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XMM–Newton surveys of the Canada–France redshift survey fields – III. The environments of X-ray selected active galactic nuclei at 0.4 < z < 0.6

Waskett, Timothy J., Eales, Stephen Anthony, Gear, Walter Kieran, McCracken, H. J., Lilly, S. and Brodwin, M. 2005. XMM–Newton surveys of the Canada–France redshift survey fields – III. The environments of X-ray selected active galactic nuclei at 0.4 < z < 0.6. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 363 (3) , pp. 801-810. 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09480.x

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Abstract

The environmental properties of a sample of 31 hard X-ray selected active galactic nuclei (AGN) are investigated, from scales of 500 kpc down to 30 kpc, and are compared to a control sample of inactive galaxies. All the AGN lie in the redshift range 0.4 < z < 0.6. The accretion luminosity density of the Universe peaks close to this redshift range, and the AGN in the sample have X-ray luminosities close to the knee in the hard X-ray luminosity function, making them representative of the population that dominated this important phase of energy conversion. Using both the spatial clustering amplitude and near-neighbour counts, it is found that the AGN have environments that are indistinguishable from normal, inactive galaxies over the same redshift range and with similar optical properties. Typically, the environments are of subcluster richness, in contrast to similar studies of high-z quasars, which are often found in clusters with comparable richness to the Abell R≥ 0 clusters. It is suggested that minor mergers with low-mass companions are a likely candidate for the mechanism by which these modest luminosity AGN are fuelled.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: galaxies: active; X-rays: galaxies; galaxies: evolution
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0035-8711
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:03
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/47815

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