Host and Trigger of AGNs in local Universe

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Ziwen Zhang, Huiyuan Wang, Wentao Luo, H.J. Mo, Zhixiong Liang, Ran Li, Xiaohu Yang, Tinggui Wang, Hongxin Zhang, Hui Hong, Xiaoyu Wang, Enci Wang, Pengfei Li, JingJing Shi

Based on the spectroscopic and shear catalogs for SDSS galaxies in the local Universe, we compare optically-selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with control star-forming and quiescent galaxies on galactic, inter-halo and larger scales. We find that AGNs are preferentially found in two specific stages of galaxy evolution: star-burst and `green valley' phases, and that the stellar population of their host galaxies is quite independent of stellar mass, different from normal galaxies. Combining galaxy-galaxy lensing and galaxy clustering on large scales, we measure the mass of AGN host halos. The typical halo mass is about ∼1012h−1M⨀, similar to the characteristic mass in the stellar mass-halo mass relation (SHMR). For given stellar mass, AGN host galaxies and star-forming galaxies share the same SHMR, while quiescent galaxies have more massive halos. Clustering analysis on halo scales reveals that AGNs are surrounded by a larger number of satellites (with stellar mass down to 1/1000 of the mass of the central galaxy) than star-forming galaxies, and that galaxies with larger stellar velocity dispersion have more satellites. The number of satellites also increase with halo mass, reaching unity around ∼1012h−1M⨀. Our results suggest a scenario, in which the interaction of the central galaxy with the satellites triggers an early episode of star burst and AGN activities, followed by multiple AGN cycles driven by the non-axisymmetric structure produced by the interaction. The feedback from the starburst and AGN reduces the amount of cold gas for fueling the central black hole, producing a characteristic halo mass scale, ∼1012h−1M⨀, where the AGN fraction peaks.

Sponsor: Rexing P1