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The suppression of star formation by powerful active galactic nuclei

M. J. Page 1 M. Symeonidis 1 J. D. Vieira 2 B. Altieri 3 A. Amblard 4 V. Arumugam 5 H. Aussel 6 T. Babbedge 7 A. Blain 8 J. Bock 2 A. Boselli 9 V. Buat 9 N. Castro-Rodríguez 10 A. Cava 11 P. Chanial 12 D. L. Clements 7 A. Conley 13 L. Conversi 14 A. Cooray 15 C. D. Dowell 2 E. N. Dubois 16 J. S. Dunlop 5 E. Dwek 17 S. Dye 18 S. Eales 19 D. Elbaz 12 D. Farrah 20 M. Fox 21 A. Franceschini 22 W. Gear 19 J. Glenn 13 M. Griffin 23 M. Halpern 24 E. Hatziminaoglou 2 E. Ibar 25 K. Isaak 26 R. J. Ivison 25 Guilaine Lagache 27 L. Levenson 2 N. Lu 28 S. Madden 12 B. Maffei 29 G. Mainetti 30 L. Marchetti 31 H. T. Nguyen 15 B. O'Halloran 7 S. J. Oliver 20 A. Omont 32 P. Panuzzo 12 A. Papageorgiou 2 C. P. Pearson 33 I. Pérez-Fournon 10 M. Pohlen 19 J. I. Rawlings 1 D. Rigopoulou 33 L. Riguccini 12 D. Rizzo 7 G. Rodighiero 22 I. G. Roseboom 5 M. Rowan-Robinson 7 M. Sánchez Portal 14 B. Schulz 15 D. Scott 34 N. Seymour 1 D. L. Shupe 2 A. J. Smith 16 J. A. Stevens 35 M. Trichas 36 K. E. Tugwell 1 M. Vaccari 31 I. Valtchanov 14 M. Viero 2 L. Vigroux 32 L. Wang 16 R. Ward 16 Gavin Wright 25 C. K. Xu 2 M. Zemcov 15
21 Astrophysics Group
Blackett Laboratory
Abstract : The old, red stars that constitute the bulges of galaxies, and the massive black holes at their centres, are the relics of a period in cosmic history when galaxies formed stars at remarkable rates and active galactic nuclei (AGN) shone brightly as a result of accretion onto black holes. It is widely suspected, but unproved, that the tight correlation between the mass of the black hole and the mass of the stellar bulge1 results from the AGN quenching the surrounding star formation as it approaches its peak luminosity2, 3, 4. X-rays trace emission from AGN unambiguously5, whereas powerful star-forming galaxies are usually dust-obscured and are brightest at infrared and submillimetre wavelengths6. Here we report submillimetre and X-ray observations that show that rapid star formation was common in the host galaxies of AGN when the Universe was 2-6 billion years old, but that the most vigorous star formation is not observed around black holes above an X-ray luminosity of 1044 ergs per second. This suppression of star formation in the host galaxy of a powerful AGN is a key prediction of models in which the AGN drives an outflow7, 8, 9, expelling the interstellar medium of its host and transforming the galaxy's properties in a brief period of cosmic time
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M. J. Page, M. Symeonidis, J. D. Vieira, B. Altieri, A. Amblard, et al.. The suppression of star formation by powerful active galactic nuclei. Nature, Nature Publishing Group, 2012, 485 (7397), pp.213-216. ⟨10.1038/nature11096⟩. ⟨cea-00881177⟩



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