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Published April 21, 2015 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

Submillimetre observations of WISE/radio-selected AGN and their environments


We present JCMT SCUBA-2 850 μm submillimetre (submm) observations of 30 mid-infrared (mid-IR) luminous active galactic nuclei (AGNs), detected jointly by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky IR survey and the NVSS/FIRST radio survey. These rare sources are selected by their extremely red mid-IR spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and compact radio counterparts. Further investigations show that they are highly obscured, have abundant warm AGN-heated dust and are thought to be experiencing intense AGN feedback. These galaxies appear to be consistent with a later AGN-dominated phase of merging galaxies, while hot, dust-obscured galaxies are an earlier starburst-dominated phase. When comparing the number of submm galaxies detected serendipitously in the surrounding 1.5 arcmin to those in blank-field submm surveys, there is a very significant overdensity, of order 5, but no sign of radial clustering centred at our primary objects. The WISE/radio-selected AGN thus reside in 10-Mpc-scale overdense environments that could be forming in pre-viralized clusters of galaxies. WISE/radio-selected AGNs appear to be the strongest signposts of high-density regions of active, luminous and dusty galaxies. SCUBA-2 850 μm observations indicate that their submm fluxes are low compared to many popular AGN SED templates, hence the WISE/radio-selected AGNs have either less cold and/or more warm dust emission than normally assumed for typical AGN. Most of the targets are not detected, only four targets are detected at SCUBA-2 850 μm, and have total IR luminosities ≥10^(13) L⊙, if their redshifts are consistent with the subset of the 10 SCUBA-2 undetected targets with known redshifts, z ∼ 0.44–2.86.

Additional Information

© 2015 The Authors. Accepted 2015 January 28. Received 2015 January 15; in original form 2014 November 27. First published online March 11, 2015. The authors would like to thank the anonymous referee for his/her comments and suggestions, which have greatly improved this paper. SFJ gratefully acknowledges support from the University of Leicester Physics & Astronomy Department. This publication makes use of data products from the WISE, which is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope has historically been operated by the Joint Astronomy Centre on behalf of the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the National Research Council of Canada and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Additional funds for the construction of SCUBA-2 were provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The programme IDs under which the data were obtained were M12BU07 and M13BU02. RJA was supported by Gemini-CONICYT grant number 32120009.

Attached Files

Published - MNRAS-2015-Jones-3325-38.pdf

Submitted - 1503.02561v1.pdf


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