The AMIGA sample of isolated galaxies. VI. Radio continuum properties of isolated galaxies: a very radio quiet sample

S. Leon, L. Verdes-Montenegro, J. Sabater, D. Espada, U. Lisenfeld, A. Ballu, J. Sulentic, S. Verley, G. Bergond, E. Garcia

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The study of the radio properties of the AMIGA sample is intended to characterize the radio continuum emission for a sample least affected by local environment, thus providing a reference against which less isolated and interacting samples can be compared. Radio continuum data at 325, 1420 and 4850 MHz were extracted from the WENSS, NVSS/FIRST and GB6 surveys, respectively. We focus on the complete AMIGA subsample composed of 719 galaxies. Comparison between the NVSS and FIRST detections indicates that the radio continuum is coming from disk-dominated emission in spiral galaxies, in contrast to the results found in high-density environments where nuclear activity is more frequent. The comparison of the radio continuum power with a comparable sample, which is however not selected with respect to its environment, the Condon et al. UGC-SF sample of star-forming field galaxies, shows a lower mean value for the AMIGA sample. We have obtained radio-to-optical flux ratios (R) using the NVSS radio continuum flux. The distribution of R for the AMIGA galaxies is consistent with a sample dominated by radio emission from star formation (SF) and a small number of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), with less than 3% of the sample with R > 100. We derived the radio luminosity function (RLF) and total power density of the radio continuum emission for the AMIGA sample at 1.4 GHz, and compared them with results from other low redshift studies. The Schechter fit of the RLF indicates a major weight of the low-luminosity galaxies. The results indicate the very low level of radio continuum emission in our sample of isolated galaxies, which is dominated by mild disk SF. It confirms hence the AMIGA sample as a suitable template to effectively quantify the role of interactions in samples extracted from denser environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475
Number of pages486
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008


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