Herschel-ATLAS: The connection between star formation and AGN activity in radio-loud and radio-quiet active galaxies

G. Gürkan, M.J. Hardcastle, M. J. Jarvis, Daniel Smith, N. Bourne, L. Dunne, S. Maddox, R. J. Ivison, J. Fritz

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We examine the relationship between star formation and active galactic nuclei (AGN) activity by constructing matched samples of local (0 < z < 0.6) radio-loud and radio-quiet AGN in the Herschel-Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey fields. Radio-loud AGN are classified as high-excitation and low-excitation radio galaxies using their emission lines and WISE 22-μm luminosity. AGN accretion and jet powers in these active galaxies are traced by [O III] emission-line and radio luminosity, respectively. Star formation rates (SFRs) and specific star formation rates (SSFRs) were derived using Herschel 250-μm luminosity and stellar mass measurements from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey–Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics-John Hopkins University catalogue. In the past, star formation studies of AGN have mostly focused on high-redshift sources to observe the thermal dust emission that peaks in the far-infrared, which limited the samples to powerful objects. However, withHerschel we can expand this to low redshifts. Our stacking analyses show that SFRs and SSFRs of both radio-loud and radio-quiet AGN increase with increasing AGN power but that radio-loud AGN tend to have lower SFR. Additionally, radio-quiet AGN are found to have approximately an order of magnitude higher SSFRs than radio-loud AGN for a given level of AGN power. The difference between the star formation properties of radio-loud and -quiet AGN is also seen in samples matched in stellar mass
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3776-3794
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date7 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Galaxies: active
  • Infrared: galaxies


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