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Title:
Probing nuclear activity versus star formation at z ˜ 0.8 using near-infrared multi-object spectroscopy
Authors:
Ramos Almeida, C.; Rodríguez Espinosa, J. M.; Acosta-Pulido, J. A.; Alonso-Herrero, A.; Pérez García, A. M.; Rodríguez-Eugenio, N.
Affiliation:
AA(Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), C/Vía Láctea, s/n, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain; Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain; ), AB(Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), C/Vía Láctea, s/n, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain; Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain), AC(Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), C/Vía Láctea, s/n, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain; Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain), AD(Instituto de Física de Cantabria, CSIC-Universidad de Cantabria, E-39005 Santander, Spain), AE(Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), C/Vía Láctea, s/n, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain; Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain), AF(Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), C/Vía Láctea, s/n, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain; Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain)
Publication:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 429, Issue 4, p.3449-3471 (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
03/2013
Origin:
OUP
Astronomy Keywords:
galaxies: active, galaxies: nuclei, galaxies: star formation, infrared: galaxies
Abstract Copyright:
2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
DOI:
10.1093/mnras/sts611
Bibliographic Code:
2013MNRAS.429.3449R

Abstract

We present near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations of 28 X-ray and mid-infrared selected sources at a median redshift of z ˜ 0.8 in the Extended Groth Strip (EGS). To date this is the largest compilation of NIR spectra of active galactic nuclei (AGN) at this redshift. The data were obtained using the multi-object spectroscopic mode of the Long-slit Intermediate Resolution Infrared Spectrograph (LIRIS) at the 4.2 m William Herschel Telescope (WHT). These galaxies are representative of a larger sample studied in a previous work, consisting of over a hundred X-ray selected sources with mid-infrared counterparts, which were classified either as AGN dominated or host galaxy dominated, depending on the shape of their spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Here, we present new NIR spectra of 13 and 15 sources of each class, respectively. We detect the Halpha line at >=1.5sigma above the continuum for the majority of the galaxies. Using attenuation-corrected Halpha luminosities and observed Spitzer/MIPS 24 mum fluxes, and after subtracting an AGN component estimated using an AGN empirical correlation and multifrequency SED fits, we obtain average star formation rates (SFRs) of 7 ± 7 and 20 ± 50 M&sun; yr-1, respectively (median SFRs = 7 and 5 M&sun; yr-1). These values are lower than the SFRs reported in the literature for different samples of non-active star-forming galaxies of similar stellar masses and redshifts (M* ˜ 1011 M&sun; and z ˜ 1). In spite of the small size of the sample studied here, as well as the uncertainty affecting the AGN-corrected SFRs, we speculate with the possibility of AGN quenching the star formation in galaxies at z ˜ 0.8. Alternatively, we might be seeing a delay between the offset of the star formation and AGN activity, as observed in the local Universe.
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