Environmental dependence of active galactic nuclei activity in the supercluster A901/2 Academic Article uri icon


  • We present XMM data for the supercluster A901/2, at z 0.17, which is combined with deep imaging and 17-band photometric redshifts (from the COMBO-17 survey), two degree field (2dF) spectra and Spitzer 24 m data, to identify active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the supercluster. The 90 ksec XMM image contains 139 point sources, of which 11 are identified as supercluster AGN with L X(0.5-7.5 keV) > 1.7 1041 erg cm-2 s-1. The host galaxies have MR < -20 and only two of eight sources with spectra could have been identified as AGN by the detected optical emission lines. Using a large sample of 795 supercluster galaxies, we define control samples of massive galaxies with no detected AGN. The local environments of the AGN and control samples differ at 98 per cent significance. The AGN host galaxies lie predominantly in areas of moderate projected galaxy density and with more local blue galaxies than the control sample, with the exception of one very bright type I AGN very near the centre of a cluster. These environments are similar to, but not limited to, cluster outskirts and blue groups. Despite the large number of potential host galaxies, no AGN are found in regions with the highest galaxy density (excluding some cluster cores where emission from the intra-cluster medium obscures moderate luminosity AGN). AGN are also absent from the areas with lowest galaxy density. We conclude that the prevalence of cluster AGN is linked to their environment. 2007 RAS.

published proceedings

  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

author list (cited authors)

  • Gilmour, R., Gray, M. E., Almaini, O., Best, P., Wolf, C., Meisenheimer, K., Papovich, C., & Bell, E.

citation count

  • 52

complete list of authors

  • Gilmour, R||Gray, ME||Almaini, O||Best, P||Wolf, C||Meisenheimer, K||Papovich, C||Bell, E

publication date

  • October 2007