We use the Herschel-Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (ATLAS) science demonstration data to investigate the star formation properties of radio-selected galaxies in the GAMA-9h field as a function of radio luminosity and redshift. Radio selection at the lowest radio luminosities, as expected, selects mostly starburst galaxies. At higher radio luminosities, where the population is dominated by active galactic nuclei (AGN), we find that some individual objects are associated with high far-infrared luminosities. However, the far-infrared properties of the radio-loud population are statistically indistinguishable from those of a comparison population of radio-quiet galaxies matched in redshift and K-band absolute magnitude. There is thus no evidence that the host galaxies of these largely low-luminosity (Fanaroff–Riley class I), and presumably low-excitation, AGN, as a population, have particularly unusual star formation histories. Models in which the AGN activity in higher luminosity, high-excitation radio galaxies is triggered by major mergers would predict a luminosity-dependent effect that is not seen in our data (which only span a limited range in radio luminosity) but which may well be detectable with the full Herschel-ATLAS data set.
|Journal||Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
- galaxies : active
- radio continuum : galaxies
- infrared : galaxies