The cluster environments of powerful radio-loud and radio-quiet active galactic nuclei

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Abstract

The spatial clustering amplitude (Bgq) is determined for a sample of 44 powerful active galactic nuclei (AGN) at z~=0.2. No significant difference is detected in the richness of the cluster environments of the radio-loud and radio-quiet subsamples, both of which typically inhabit environments as rich as Abell class ~=0. Comparison with radio luminosity-matched samples from Hill & Lilly and Wold et al. suggests that there is no epoch-dependent change in environment richness out to at least z>=0.5 for either radio galaxies or radio quasars. Comparison with the APM cluster survey shows that, contrary to current folklore, powerful AGN do not avoid rich clusters, but rather display a spread in cluster environment, which is perfectly consistent with being drawn at random from the massive elliptical population. Finally, we argue that virtually all Abell class ~=0 clusters contained an active galaxy during the epoch of peak quasar activity at z~2.5.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-524
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume321
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2001

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