A PLETHORA OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI AMONG Lyα GALAXIES AT LOW REDSHIFT* Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • We investigate the fraction of z ∼ 0.3 Lyα emitting galaxies (LAEs), which host active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity, which is typically from 1% to 5% at 2 ≲z≲ 6. Using optical spectroscopy of 23 LAEs at 0.2 ≤z≤ 0.45 selected with Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) UV data, we probe for AGNs with a variety of methods, including line widths, diagnostic line ratios, high-ionization emission, infrared activity, and X-ray luminosity. We found that our sample of low-redshift LAEs has an AGN fraction of 43 +18-26%, significantly higher than at high redshift. While previous results have shown that low-redshift LAEs have a lower space density than their high-redshift analogs, these results show that star-forming LAEs at low redshift are rarer still. Accounting for differences in available AGN classification methods, we conclude that rest-frame optical spectroscopy is necessary to identify low-luminosity AGNs in LAEs at high redshift, and that limits on the X-ray flux are necessary to determine the extent to which the AGN contaminates the Lyα fluxes. © 2009. The American Astronomical Society.

author list (cited authors)

  • Finkelstein, S. L., Cohen, S. H., Malhotra, S., Rhoads, J. E., Papovich, C., Zheng, Z., & Wang, J.

citation count

  • 24

publication date

  • September 2009