C. Villforth

University of Bath, Bath, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (49)219.4 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Black hole feedback is now a standard component of galaxy formation models. These models predict that the impact of black hole activity on its host galaxy likely peaked at z=2-3, the epoch of strongest star formation activity and black hole accretion activity in the Universe. We used XShooter on the Very Large Telescope to measure rest-frame optical spectra of four z~2.5 extremely red quasars with infrared luminosities ~10^47 erg/sec. We present the discovery of very broad (full width at half max= 2600-5000 km/sec), strongly blue-shifted (by up to 1500 km/sec) [OIII]5007A emission lines in these objects. In a large sample of obscured and red quasars, [OIII] kinematics are positively correlated with infrared luminosity, and the four objects in our sample are on the extreme end both in [OIII] kinematics and infrared luminosity. We estimate that ~3% of the bolometric luminosity in these objects is being converted into the kinetic power of the observed wind. These sources may be the signposts of the most extreme form of quasar feedback at the peak epoch of galaxy formation, and may represent an active "blow-out" phase of quasar evolution.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new morphological indicator designed for automated recognition of galaxies with faint asymmetric tidal features suggestive of an ongoing or past merger. We use the new indicator, together with pre-existing diagnostics of galaxy structure to study the role of galaxy mergers in inducing (post-) starburst spectral signatures in local galaxies, and investigate whether (post-) starburst galaxies play a role in the build-up of the ‘red sequence’. Our morphological and structural analysis of an evolutionary sample of 335 (post-) starburst galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR7 with starburst ages 0 < tSB < 0.6 Gyr, shows that 45 per cent of galaxies with young starbursts (tSB < 0.1 Gyr) show signatures of an ongoing or past merger. This fraction declines with starburst age, and we find a good agreement between automated and visual classifications. The majority of the oldest (post-) starburst galaxies in our sample (tSB ∼ 0.6 Gyr) have structural properties characteristic of early-type discs and are not as highly concentrated as the fully quenched galaxies commonly found on the ‘red sequence’ in the present day Universe. This suggests that, if (post-) starburst galaxies are a transition phase between active star-formation and quiescence, they do not attain the structure of presently quenched galaxies within the first 0.6 Gyr after the starburst.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

  • No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal Letters
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    ABSTRACT: The most frequently proposed model for the origin of quasars holds that the high accretion rates seen in luminous active galactic nuclei are primarily triggered during major mergers between gas-rich galaxies. While plausible for decades, this model has only begun to be tested with statistical rigor in the past few years. Here we report on a Hubble Space Telescope study to test the merger-triggering hypothesis for $z=2$ quasars with high super-massive black hole masses ($M_\mathrm{BH}=10^9-10^{10}~M_\odot{}$), which dominate cosmic black hole growth at this redshift. We compare Wide Field Camera 3 $F160W$ (rest-frame $V$-band) imaging of 19 point source-subtracted quasar hosts to a matched sample of 84 inactive galaxies, testing whether the quasar hosts have a statistically higher fraction of strong gravitational interaction signatures. We recover strong distortion fractions of $f_\mathrm{m,qso}=0.39\pm{}0.11$ for the quasar hosts and $f_\mathrm{m,gal}=0.30\pm{}0.05$ for the inactive galaxies (distribution modes, 68\% confidence intervals), with both measurements subjected to the same observational conditions and limitations. We definitively rule out both extreme cases (all mergers, no mergers) for the quasar host population. The slight observed enhancement in merger signatures for quasar hosts over inactive galaxies is not statistically significant, with a probability that the quasar fraction is higher of $P(f_\mathrm{m,qso}>f_\mathrm{m,gal}) = 0.78$ ($0.78\,\sigma$), in line with results for lower mass and lower $z$ AGN. We thus find no evidence that major mergers are the primary triggering mechanism for the massive active galactic nuclei that dominate accretion at the peak of cosmic quasar activity.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first results from the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) Network's Active Galactic Nuclei Key Project, a large program devoted to using the robotic resources of LCOGT to perform time domain studies of active galaxies. We monitored the Seyfert 1 galaxy Arp~151 (Mrk~40) for $\sim$200 days with robotic imagers and with the FLOYDS robotic spectrograph at Faulkes Telescope North. Arp~151 was highly variable during this campaign, with $V$-band light curve variations of $\sim$0.3 mag and H$\beta$ flux changing by a factor of $\sim$3. We measure robust time lags between the $V$-band continuum and the H$\alpha$, H$\beta$ and H$\gamma$ emission lines, with $\tau_\mathrm{cen} = 13.89^{+1.39}_{-1.41}$, 7.52$^{+1.43}_{-1.06}$ and 7.40$^{+1.50}_{-1.32}$ days, respectively. The lag for the \ion{He}{2} $\lambda4686$ emission line is unresolved. We measure a velocity-resolved lag for the H$\beta$ line, which is clearly asymmetric with higher lags on the blue wing of the line which decline to the red, possibly indicative of radial inflow, and is similar in morphology to past observations of the H$\beta$ transfer function shape. Assuming a virialization factor of $f$=5.5, we estimate a black hole mass of $M_\mathrm{BH}=6.2^{+1.4}_{-1.2}\times$10$^{6}$~$M_{\odot}$, also consistent with past measurements for this object. These results represent the first step to demonstrate the powerful robotic capabilities of LCOGT for long-term, AGN time domain campaigns that human intensive programs cannot easily accomplish. Arp 151 is now one of just a few AGN where the virial product is known to remain constant against substantial changes in H$\beta$ lag and luminosity.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present ground-based optical photometric monitoring data for NGC 5548, part of an extended multi-wavelength reverberation mapping campaign. The light curves have nearly daily cadence from 2014 January to July in nine filters ($BVRI$ and $ugriz$). Combined with UV data from the $Hubble$ $Space$ $Telescope$ and $Swift$, we confirm significant time delays between the continuum bands as a function of wavelength, extending the wavelength coverage from $1158\,{\rm \AA}$ to the $z$-band ($\sim\! 9160\,{\rm \AA}$). We find that the lags at wavelengths longer than the $V$ band are equal to or greater than the lags of high ionization-state emission lines (such as HeII$\lambda 1640$ and $\lambda 4686$), suggesting that the continuum emitting source is of a physical size comparable to the inner broad line region. The trend of lag with wavelength is broadly consistent with the prediction for continuum reprocessing by an accretion disk with $\tau \propto \lambda^{4/3}$. However, the lags also imply a disk radius that is 3 times larger than the prediction from standard thin-disk theory, assuming that the bolometric luminosity is 10\% of the Eddington luminosity ($L = 0.1L_{\rm Edd}$). Using optical spectra from the Large Binocular Telescope, we estimate the bias of the inter-band continuum lags due to broad line region emission observed in the filters. We find that the bias for filters with high levels of BLR contamination ($\sim\! 20\%$) can be important for the shortest continuum lags, and likely has a significant impact on the $u$ and $U$ bands due to Balmer continuum emission.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015
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    Carolin Villforth · Fred Hamann
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    ABSTRACT: Major gas-rich mergers of galaxies are expected to play an important role in triggering and fuelling luminous AGN. We present deep multi-band (u/r/z) imaging and long slit spectroscopy of four double-peaked [OIII] emitting AGN, a class of objects associated with either kcp-separated binary AGN or final stage major mergers, though AGN with complex narrow-line regions are known contaminants. Such objects are of interest since they represent the onset of AGN activity during the merger process. Three of the objects studied have been confirmed as major mergers using near-infrared imaging, one is a confirmed X-ray binary AGN. All AGN are luminous and have redshifts of 0.1 < z < 0.4. Deep r-band images show that a majority (3/4) of the sources have disturbed host morphologies and tidal features, while the remaining source is morphologically undisturbed down to low surface brightness limits. The lack of morphological disturbances in this galaxy despite the fact that is is a close binary AGN suggests that the merger of a binary black hole can take longer than ~1 Gyr. The narrow line regions (NLRs) have large sizes (10 kpc < r < 100 kpc) and consist of compact clumps with considerable relative velocities (~ 200-650 km/s). We detect broad, predominantly blue, wings with velocities up to ~1500 km/s in [OIII], indicative of powerful outflows. The outflows are compact (<5 kpc) and co-spatial with nuclear regions showing considerable reddening, consistent with enhanced star formation. One source shows an offset between gas and stellar kinematics, consistent with either a bipolar flow or a counter-rotating gas disk. We are not able to unambiguously identify the sources as binary AGN using our data, X-ray or radio data is required for an unambiguous identification. However, the data still yield interesting results for merger triggering of AGN and time-scales of binary black hole mergers.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2015 · The Astronomical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Recent intensive Swift monitoring of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 5548 yielded 282 usable epochs over 125 days across six UV/optical bands and the X-rays. This is the densest extended AGN UV/optical continuum sampling ever obtained, with a mean sampling rate < 0.5-day. Approximately daily HST UV sampling was also obtained. The UV/optical light curves show strong correlations (r_max = 0.57 - 0.90) and the clearest measurement to date of interband lags. These lags are well-fit by a lambda^4/3 wavelength dependence, with a normalization that indicates an unexpectedly large disk size of ~0.35 +/- 0.05 lt-day at 1367 A, assuming a simple face-on model. The U-band shows a marginally larger lag than expected from the fit and surrounding bands, which could be due to Balmer continuum emission from the broad-line region as suggested by Korista and Goad. The UV/X-ray correlation is weaker (r_max < 0.45) and less consistent over time. This indicates that while Swift is beginning to measure UV/optical lags in agreement with accretion disk theory, the relationship between X-ray and UV variability is less fully understood. Combining this accretion disk size estimate with those estimated from quasar microlensing studies suggests that AGN disk sizes scale approximately linearly with central black hole mass over a wide range of masses.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the first results from a six-month long reverberation-mapping experiment in the ultraviolet based on 170 observations of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 5548 with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope. Significant correlated variability is found in the continuum and broad emission lines, with amplitudes ranging from ~30% to a factor of two in the emission lines and a factor of three in the continuum. The variations of all the strong emission lines lag behind those of the continuum, with He II 1640 lagging behind the continuum by ~2.5 days and Lyman alpha 1215, C IV 1550, and Si IV 1400 lagging by ~5-6 days. The relationship between the continuum and emission lines is complex. In particular, during the second half of the campaign, all emission-line lags increased by a factor of 1.3-2 and differences appear in the detailed structure of the continuum and emission-line light curves. Velocity-resolved cross-correlation analysis shows coherent structure in lag versus line-of-sight velocity for the emission lines; the high-velocity wings of C IV respond to continuum variations more rapidly than the line core, probably indicating higher velocity BLR clouds at smaller distances from the central engine. The velocity-dependent response of Lyman alpha, however, is more complex and will require further analysis.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We study the relationship between the structure and star-formation rate (SFR) of X-ray selected low and moderate luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the two Chandra Deep Fields, using Hubble Space Telescope imaging from the Cosmic Assembly Near Infrared Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) and deep far-infrared maps from the PEP+GOODS-Herschel survey. We derive detailed distributions of structural parameters and FIR luminosities from carefully constructed control samples of galaxies, which we then compare to those of the AGNs. At z~1, AGNs show slightly diskier light profiles than massive inactive (non-AGN) galaxies, as well as modestly higher levels of gross galaxy disturbance (as measured by visual signatures of interactions and clumpy structure). In contrast, at z~2, AGNs show similar levels of galaxy disturbance as inactive galaxies, but display a red central light enhancement, which may arise due to a more pronounced bulge in AGN hosts or due to extinguished nuclear light. We undertake a number of tests of these alternatives, but our results do not strongly favour one interpretation over the other. The mean SFR and its distribution among AGNs and inactive galaxies are similar at z>1.5. At z<1, however, clear and significant enhancements are seen in the SFRs of AGNs with bulge-dominated light profiles. These trends suggest an evolution in the relation between nuclear activity and host properties with redshift, towards a minor role for mergers and interactions at z>1.5.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present the most complete study to date of the X-ray emission from star formation in high-redshift (median z = 0.7; z < 1.5), IR-luminous (LIR = 1010–1013 L⊙) galaxies detected by Herschel's PACS and SPIRE instruments. For our purpose, we take advantage of the deepest X-ray data to date, the Chandra Deep Fields (North and South). Sources which host AGN are removed from our analysis by means of multiple AGN indicators. We find an AGN fraction of 18 ± 2 per cent amongst our sample and note that AGN entirely dominate at values of log [LX/LIR] > −3 in both hard and soft X-ray bands. From the sources which are star formation dominated, only a small fraction are individually X-ray detected and for the bulk of the sample we calculate average X-ray luminosities through stacking. We find an average soft X-ray to infrared ratio of log 〈LSX/LIR〉 = −4.3 and an average hard X-ray to infrared ratio of log 〈LHX/LIR〉 = −3.8. We report that the X-ray/IR correlation is approximately linear through the entire range of LIR and z probed and, although broadly consistent with the local (z < 0.1) one, it does display some discrepancies. We suggest that these discrepancies are unlikely to be physical, i.e. due to an intrinsic change in the X-ray properties of star-forming galaxies with cosmic time, as there is no significant evidence for evolution of the LX/LIR ratio with redshift. Instead, they are possibly due to selection effects and remaining AGN contamination. We also examine whether dust obscuration in the galaxy plays a role in attenuating X-rays from star formation, by investigating changes in the LX/LIR ratio as a function of the average dust temperature. We conclude that X-rays do not suffer any measurable attenuation in the host galaxy.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Quasars with extremely red infrared-to-optical colours are an interesting population that can test ideas about quasar evolution as well as orientation, obscuration and geometric effects in the so-called AGN unified model. To identify such a population, we match the quasar catalogues of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) to the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to identify quasars with extremely high infrared-to-optical ratios. We identify 65 objects with rAB − W4Vega > 14 mag (i.e. Fν(22 μm)/Fν(r) ≳ 1000). This sample spans a redshift range of 0.28 < z < 4.36 and has a bimodal distribution, with peaks at z ∼ 0.8 and z ∼ 2.5. It includes three z > 2.6 objects that are detected in the W4 band but not W1 or W2 (i.e. ‘W1W2 dropouts'). The SDSS/BOSS spectra show that the majority of the objects are reddened type 1 quasars, type 2 quasars (both at low and high redshift) or objects with deep low-ionization broad absorption lines (BALs) that suppress the observed r-band flux. In addition, we identify a class of type 1 permitted broad emission-line objects at z ≃ 2–3 which are characterized by emission line rest-frame equivalent widths (REWs) of ≳150 Å, much larger than those of typical quasars. In particular, 55 per cent (45 per cent) of the non-BAL type 1s with measurable C iv in our sample have REW(C iv) > 100 (150) Å, compared to only 5.8 per cent (1.3 per cent) for non-BAL quasars in BOSS. These objects often also have unusual line ratios, such as very high N v/Ly α ratios. These large REWs might be caused by suppressed continuum emission analogous to type 2 quasars; however, there is no obvious mechanism in standard unified models to suppress the continuum without also obscuring the broad emission lines.
    Preview · Article · May 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Quasars with extremely red colours are an interesting population that can test ideas about quasar evolution as well as orientation and geometric effects in the so-called AGN unified model. To identify such a population we search the quasar catalogs of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) for quasars with extremely high infrared-to-optical ratios. We identify 65 objects with r(AB)-W4(Vega)>14 mag (i.e., F_nu(22um)/F_nu(r) > ~1000). This sample spans a redshift range of 0.28
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014
  • C. Villforth · P. F. Hopkins
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    ABSTRACT: The processes that trigger active galactic nuclei (AGN) remain poorly understood. While lower luminosity AGN may be triggered by minor disturbances to the host galaxy, stronger disturbances are likely required to trigger luminous AGN. Major wet mergers of galaxies are ideal environments for AGN triggering since they provide large gas supplies and galaxy scale torques. There is however little observational evidence for a strong connection between AGN and major mergers. We analyse the morphological properties of AGN host galaxies as a function of AGN and host galaxy luminosity and compare them to a carefully matched sample of control galaxies. AGN are X-ray selected in the redshift range 0.5 < z < 0.8 and have luminosities 41 ≲ log (L_X [erg s^(−1)]) ≲ 44.5. ‘Fake AGN’ are simulated in the control galaxies by adding point sources with the magnitude of the matched AGN. We find that AGN host and control galaxies have comparable asymmetries, Sérsic indices and ellipticities at rest frame ∼950 nm. AGN host galaxies show neither higher average asymmetries nor higher fractions of very disturbed objects. There is no increase in the prevalence of merger signatures with AGN luminosity. At 95 per cent confidence we find that major mergers are responsible for <6 per cent of all AGN in our sample as well as <40 per cent of the highest luminosity AGN (log (L_X [erg s^(−1)]) ∼ 43.5). Major mergers therefore either play only a very minor role in the triggering of AGN in the luminosity range studied or time delays are too long for merger features to remain visible.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014
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    ABSTRACT: The processes that trigger Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) remain poorly understood. While lower luminosity AGN may be triggered by minor disturbances to the host galaxy, stronger disturbances are likely required to trigger luminous AGN. Major wet mergers of galaxies are ideal environments for AGN triggering since they provide large gas supplies and galaxy scale torques. There is however little observational evidence for a strong connection between AGN and major mergers. We analyse the morphological properties of AGN host galaxies as a function of AGN and host galaxy luminosity and compare them to a carefully matched sample of control galaxies. AGN are X-ray selected in the redshift range 0.5 < z < 0.8 and have luminosities 41 < log(L_X [erg/s]) < 44.5. 'Fake AGN' are simulated in the control galaxies by adding point sources with the magnitude of the matched AGN. We find that AGN host and control galaxies have comparable assymetries, Sersic indices and ellipticities at restframe ~950nm. AGN host galaxies show neither higher average asymmetries nor higher fractions of very disturbed objects. There is no increase in the prevalence of merger signatures with AGN luminosity. At 95% confidence we find that major mergers are responsible for <6% of all AGN in our sample as well as <40% of the highest luminosity AGN log(L_X [erg/s]) ~ 43.5). Major mergers therefore either play only a very minor role in the triggering of AGN in the luminosity range studied or time delays are too long for merger features to remain visible.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Context. The international whole earth blazar telescope (WEBT) consortium planned and carried out three days of intensive micro-variability observations of S5 0716+714 from February 22, 2009 to February 25, 2009. This object was chosen due to its bright apparent magnitude range, its high declination, and its very large duty cycle for micro-variations. Aims. We report here on the long continuous optical micro-variability light curve of 0716+714 obtained during the multi-site observing campaign during which the Blazar showed almost constant variability over a 0.5 magnitude range. The resulting light curve is presented here for the first time. Observations from participating observatories were corrected for instrumental diff?erences and combined to construct the overall smoothed light curve. Methods. Thirty-six observatories in sixteen countries participated in this continuous monitoring program and twenty of them submitted data for compilation into a continuous light curve. The light curve was analyzed using several techniques including Fourier transform, Wavelet and noise analysis techniques. Those results led us to model the light curve by attributing the variations to a series of synchrotron pulses. Results. We have interpreted the observed microvariations in this extended light curve in terms of a new model consisting of individual stochastic pulses due to cells in a turbulent jet which are energized by a passing shock and cool by means of synchrotron emission. We obtained an excellent fit to the 72-hour light curve with the synchrotron pulse model.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    Carolin Villforth · Fred Hamann
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    ABSTRACT: Mergers are suspected to be reliable triggers of both starformation and AGN activity. However, the exact timing of this process remains poorly understood. Here, we present deep imaging and long slit spectroscopy data of a sample of four double-peaked [OIII] emitting AGN. These sources are often believed to host binary AGN, or at least be currently undergoing major mergers. The sample presented here either have previous IFU and high resolution imaging data that show double-nuclei in the IR as well as kinematicly and spatially distinct line emitting regions. Two sources have detections of double point sources in either the X-ray or radio. The sources studied are therefore likely binary AGN. The AGN in this sample are luminous, radio-quiet and at low redshift. The $u/r/z$ imaging data show host galaxies in a wide range of merger stages, with the majority (3/4) showing tidal tails or complex kinematics and morphologies clearly indicating a recent merger. One source however -hosting a double X-ray source- shows quiescent morphologies with no clear signs of interaction from imaging data. The spectroscopy in this case reveals a gas disk counter-rotating with respect to the stellar component. Spectroscopy of the other sources reveal disturbed kinematics further confirming their status as ongoing mergers. Our data show that AGN triggering in mergers may happen over a wide time span and that sinking of black holes to the center of a merged system might take considerable time in some cases. A detailed analysis will be published in an upcoming paper. Further studies of AGN in merging galaxies will show how the hosts of those AGN differ from normal mergers without AGN activity.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Mergers of galaxies have been suspected to be a major trigger of AGN activity for many years. However, when compared to carefully matched control samples, AGN host galaxies often show no enhanced signs of interaction. A common explanation for this lack of observed association between AGN and mergers has often been that while mergers are of importance for triggering AGN, they only dominate at the very high luminosity end of the AGN population. In this study, we compare the morphologies of AGN hosts to a carefully matched control sample and particularly study the role of AGN luminosity. We find no enhanced merger rates in AGN hosts and also find no trend for stronger signs of disturbance at higher AGN luminosities. While this study does not cover very high luminosity AGN, we can exclude a strong connection between AGN and mergers over a wide range of AGN luminosities and therefore for a large part of the AGN population.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013
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    Carolin Villforth · Vicki Sarajedini · Anton Koekemoer
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    ABSTRACT: Variability selection has been proposed as a powerful tool for identifying both low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGN) and those with unusual spectral energy distributions. However, a systematic study of sources selected in such a way has been lacking. In this paper, we present the multiwavelength properties of the variability-selected AGN in GOODS-South. We demonstrate that variability selection indeed reliably identifies AGN, predominantly of low luminosity. We find contamination from stars as well as a very small sample of sources that show no sign of AGN activity, their number is consistent with the expected false positive rate. We also study the host galaxies and environments of the AGN in the sample. Disturbed host morphologies are relatively common. The host galaxies span a wide range in the level of ongoing star formation. However, massive starbursts are only present in the hosts of the most luminous AGN in the sample. There is no clear environmental preference for the AGN sample in general but we find that the most luminous AGN on average avoid dense regions while some low-luminosity AGN hosted by late-type galaxies are found near the centres of groups. AGN in our sample have closer nearest neighbours than the general galaxy population. We find no indications that major mergers are a dominant triggering process for the moderate- to low-luminosity AGN in this sample. The environments and host galaxy properties instead suggest secular processes, in particular tidal processes at first passage and minor mergers, as likely triggers for the objects studied. This study demonstrates the strength of variability selection for AGN and gives first hints at possibly triggering mechanisms for high-redshift low-luminosity AGN.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of deep I-band imaging of two BL Lacerate objects, RGB 0136+391 and PKS 0735+178, during an epoch when the optical nucleus was in a faint state in both targets. In PKS 0735+178 we find a significant excess over a point source, which, if fitted by the de Vaucouleurs model, corresponds to a galaxy with I = 18.64 +- 0.11 and r_eff = 1.8 +- 0.4 arcsec. Interpreting this galaxy as the host galaxy of PKS 0735+178 we derive z = 0.45 +- 0.06 using the host galaxy as a "standard candle". We also discuss the immediate optical environment of PKS 0735+178 and the identity of the MgII absorber at z = 0.424. Despite of the optimally chosen epoch and deep imaging we find the surface brightness profile of RGB 0136+391 to be consistent with a point source. By determining a lower limit for the host galaxy brightness by simulations, we derive z > 0.40 for this target.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Astronomy and Astrophysics

Publication Stats

1k Citations
219.40 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • University of Bath
      • Department of Physics
      Bath, England, United Kingdom
  • 2014-2015
    • University of St Andrews
      Saint Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2012-2015
    • University of Florida
      • Department of Astronomy
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 2008-2013
    • University of Turku
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Turku, Varsinais-Suomi, Finland
    • Universität Heidelberg
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2010-2012
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States