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The suppression of star formation by powerful active galactic nuclei

Page, M. J. and Vieira, J. D. and Bock, J. and Cooray, A. and Dowell, C. D. and Levenson, L. and Lu, N. and Nguyen, H. T. and Schulz, B. and Shupe, D. L. and Viero, M. and Xu, C. K. and Zemcov, M. (2012) The suppression of star formation by powerful active galactic nuclei. Nature, 485 (7397). pp. 213-216. ISSN 0028-0836. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120606-132737240

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Abstract

The old, red stars that constitute the bulges of galaxies, and the massive black holes at their centres, are the relics of a period in cosmic history when galaxies formed stars at remarkable rates and active galactic nuclei (AGN) shone brightly as a result of accretion onto black holes. It is widely suspected, but unproved, that the tight correlation between the mass of the black hole and the mass of the stellar bulge results from the AGN quenching the surrounding star formation as it approaches its peak luminosity. X-rays trace emission from AGN unambiguously, whereas powerful star-forming galaxies are usually dust-obscured and are brightest at infrared and submillimetre wavelengths. Here we report submillimetre and X-ray observations that show that rapid star formation was common in the host galaxies of AGN when the Universe was 2–6 billion years old, but that the most vigorous star formation is not observed around black holes above an X-ray luminosity of 10^(44) ergs per second. This suppression of star formation in the host galaxy of a powerful AGN is a key prediction of models in which the AGN drives an outflow, expelling the interstellar medium of its host and transforming the galaxy’s properties in a brief period of cosmic time.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11096DOIArticle
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v485/n7397/full/nature11096.htmlPublisherArticle
http://rdcu.be/nDlSPublisherFree ReadCube access
https://arxiv.org/abs/1310.4147arXivDiscussion Paper
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Cooray, A.0000-0002-3892-0190
Zemcov, M.0000-0001-8253-1451
Additional Information:© 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received: 30 November 2011; Accepted: 29 March 2012; Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA. SPIRE has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by Cardiff University (UK) and which includes: University of Lethbridge (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, LAM (France); IFSI, University of Padua (Italy); IAC (Spain); Stockholm Observatory (Sweden); Imperial College London, RAL, UCL-MSSL, UKATC, University of Sussex (UK); and Caltech, JPL, NHSC, University of Colorado (USA). This development has been supported by national funding agencies: CSA (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, CNES, CNRS (France); ASI (Italy); MCINN(Spain); SNSB (Sweden); STFC, UKSA (UK); and NASA (USA). Author Contributions: This Letter represents the combined work of the HerMES collaboration, the SPIRE Instrument Team’s extragalactic survey. M.J.P. planned the study, and wrote the draft version of the paper. M.S. fitted models to the spectral energy distributions of the sources and J.D.V. performed the stacking analysis. All other co-authors contributed extensively and equally by their varied contributions to the SPIRE instrument, the Herschel mission, analysis of SPIRE and HerMES data, planning of HerMES observations and scientific support of HerMES, and by commenting on this manuscript as part of an internal review process.
Group:TAPIR
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC)UNSPECIFIED
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)UNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MCINN)UNSPECIFIED
Swedish National Space Board (SNSB)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)UNSPECIFIED
NASAUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Astronomy
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120606-132737240
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120606-132737240
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31829
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:06 Jun 2012 21:50
Last Modified:19 May 2017 16:17

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