Herschel ATLAS: The cosmic star formation history of quasar host galaxies

S. Serjeant, F. Bertoldi, A. W. Blain, D. L. Clements, A. Cooray, L. Danese, J. Dunlop, L. Dunne, S. Eales, J. Falder, E. Hatziminaoglou, D. H. Hughes, E. Ibar, M. J. Jarvis, A. Lawrence, M. G. Lee, M. Michalowski, M. Negrello, A. Omont, M. PageC. Pearson, P. P. van der Werf, G. White, A. Amblard, R. Auld, M. Baes, D. G. Bonfield, D. Burgarella, S. Buttiglione, A. Cava, A. Dariush, G. de Zotti, S. Dye, D. Frayer, J. Fritz, J. Gonzalez-Nuevo, D. Herranz, R. J. Ivison, G. Lagache, L. Leeuw, M. Lopez-Caniego, S. Maddox, E. Pascale, M. Pohlen, E. Rigby, G. Rodighiero, S. Samui, B. Sibthorpe, D. J. B. Smith, P. Temi, M. Thompson, I. Valtchanov, A. Verma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We present a derivation of the star formation rate per comoving volume of quasar host galaxies, derived from stacking analyses of far-infrared to mm-wave photometry of quasars with redshifts 0 z 6 and absolute I-band magnitudes -22 > I-AB > -32 We use the science demonstration observations of the first similar to 16 deg(2) from the Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) in which there are 240 quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and a further 171 from the 2dF-SDSS LRG and QSO (2SLAQ) survey. We supplement this data with a compilation of data from IRAS, ISO, Spitzer, SCUBA and MAMBO. H-ATLAS alone statistically detects the quasars in its survey area at > 5 sigma at 250, 350 and 500 mu m. From the compilation as a whole we find striking evidence of downsizing in quasar host galaxy formation: low-luminosity quasars with absolute magnitudes in the range -22 > I-AB > -24 have a comoving star formation rate (derived from 100 mu m rest-frame luminosities) peaking between redshifts of 1 and 2, while high-luminosity quasars with I-AB -26 have a maximum contribution to the star formation density at z similar to 3. The volume-averaged star formation rate of -22 > IAB > -24 quasars evolves as (1 + z)(2.3 +/- 0.7) at z 2, but the evolution at higher luminosities is much faster reaching (1 + z)(10 +/- 1) at -26 > I-AB > -28. We tentatively interpret this as a combination of a declining major merger rate with time and gas consumption reducing fuel for both black hole accretion and star formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL7
Number of pages5
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • galaxies: active
  • infrared: galaxies
  • quasars: general
  • galaxies: formation
  • submillimeter: galaxies
  • galaxies: starburst


Dive into the research topics of 'Herschel ATLAS: The cosmic star formation history of quasar host galaxies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this