Radio galaxies in the 2SLAQ Luminous Red Galaxy Survey: I. The evolution of low-power radio galaxies to z~0.7

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Impact Factor: 5.23). 12/2006; 381(1). DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12231.x
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We have combined optical data from the 2dF-SDSS Luminous Red Galaxy and QSO (2SLAQ) redshift survey with radio measurements from the 1.4 GHz VLA FIRST and NVSS surveys to identify a volume-limited sample of 391 radio galaxies at redshift 0.4<z<0.7. By determining an accurate radio luminosity function for early-type galaxies in this redshift range, we can investigate the cosmic evolution of the radio-galaxy population over a wide range in radio luminosity. The low-power radio galaxies in our LRG sample (those with 1.4 GHz radio luminosities in the range 10^{24} to 10^{25} W/Hz, corresponding to FR I radio galaxies in the local universe) undergo significant cosmic evolution over the redshift range 0<z<0.7, consistent with pure luminosity evolution of the form (1+z)^k where k=2.0+/-0.3. Our results appear to rule out (at the 6-7 sigma level) models in which low-power radio galaxies undergo no cosmic evolution. The most powerful radio galaxies in our sample (with radio luminosities above 10^{26} W/Hz) may undergo more rapid evolution over the same redshift range. The evolution seen in the low-power radio-galaxy population implies that the total energy input into massive early-type galaxies from AGN heating increases with redshift, and was roughly 50% higher at z~0.55 (the median redshift of the 2SLAQ LRG sample) than in the local universe. Comment: 18 pages, 15 figures, one 10-page data table in landscape format. Replaced with final version accepted for publication in MNRAS

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