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Journal Articles Nature Year : 2012

The suppression of star formation by powerful active galactic nuclei

1 MSSL - Mullard Space Science Laboratory
2 Computing and Mathematical Sciences [Pasadena]]
3 Herschel Science Centre
4 ARC - NASA Ames Research Center
5 University of Edinburgh
6 AIM (UMR7158 / UMR_E_9005 / UM_112) - Astrophysique Interprétation Modélisation
7 Blackett Laboratory
8 Department of Physics and Astronomy [Leicester]
9 LAM - Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille
10 IAC - Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias
11 UCM - Universidad Complutense de Madrid = Complutense University of Madrid [Madrid]
12 AIM (UMR_7158 / UMR_E_9005 / UM_112) - Astrophysique Interprétation Modélisation
13 CASA - Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy [Boulder]
14 Herschel Science Center [Madrid]
15 CALTECH - California Institute of Technology
16 Astronomy Centre, University of Sussex
17 GSFC - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
18 UON - University of Nottingham, UK
19 Cardiff University
20 Astronomy Centre
21 Astrophysics Group
22 Unipd - Università degli Studi di Padova = University of Padua
23 School of Physics and Astronomy [Cardiff]
24 Department of Physics and Astronomy [Vancouver]
25 UK ATC - UK Astronomy Technology Centre
26 ESTEC - European Space Research and Technology Centre
27 IAS - Institut d'astrophysique spatiale
28 Division of Engineering
29 University of Manchester [Manchester]
30 Dipartimento di Astronomia [Padova]
31 IAP - Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris
32 RAL Space - Space Science and Technology Department [Didcot]
33 UBC - University of British Columbia
34 UH - University of Hertfordshire [Hatfield]
35 CfA - Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
B. Altieri
H. Aussel
T. Babbedge
  • Function : Author
A. Boselli
V. Buat
S. Eales
  • Function : Author
D. Farrah
  • Function : Author
M. Fox
  • Function : Author
W. Gear
  • Function : Author
Guilaine Lagache
N. Lu
  • Function : Author
S. Madden
S. J. Oliver
  • Function : Author
P. Panuzzo
M. Pohlen
  • Function : Author
D. Rizzo
  • Function : Author


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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Dates and versions

cea-00881177 , version 1 (11-09-2020)



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, 2012, 485 (7397), pp.213-216. ⟨10.1038/nature11096⟩. ⟨cea-00881177⟩
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