Journal Article

The evolution of star formation in quasar host galaxies

Stephen Serjeant and Evanthia Hatziminaoglou

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 397, issue 1, pages 265-280
Published in print July 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The evolution of star formation in quasar host galaxies

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We have used far-infrared data from IRAS, Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), Spitzer Wide-Area Infrared Extragalactic (SWIRE), Submillimetre Common User Bolometer Array (SCUBA) and Max-Planck Millimetre Bolometer (MAMBO) to constrain statistically the mean far-infrared luminosities of quasars. Our quasar compilation at redshifts 0 < z < 6.5 and I-band luminosities −20 < IAB < −32 is the first to distinguish evolution from quasar luminosity dependence in such a study. We carefully cross-calibrate IRAS against Spitzer and ISO, finding evidence that IRAS 100-μm fluxes at <1 Jy are overestimated by ∼30 per cent. We find evidence for a correlation between star formation in quasar hosts and the quasar optical luminosities, varying as star formation rate (SFR) ∝L0.44±0.07opt at any fixed redshift below z= 2. We also find evidence for evolution of the mean SFR in quasar host galaxies, scaling as (1 +z)1.6±0.3 at z < 2 for any fixed quasar I-band absolute magnitude fainter than −28. We find no evidence for any correlation between SFR and black hole mass at 0.5 < z < 4. Our data are consistent with feedback from black hole accretion regulating stellar mass assembly at all redshifts.

Keywords: galaxies: active; galaxies: high-redshift; quasars: general; infrared: galaxies; submillimetre

Journal Article.  10431 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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