Radio Properties of Low Redshift Broad Line Active Galactic Nuclei

TYPEAstrophysics Seminar
Speaker:Dr. Stephen Rafter
Location:Lidow 620

We present a study of the extended radio emission in a sample of 8434 low redshift (z < 0.35) broad line active galactic nuclei (AGN) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). To calculate the jet and lobe contributions to the total radio luminosity, we have taken the 846 radio core sources detected in our previous study of this sample and performed a systematic search in the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty-centimeters (FIRST) database for extended radio emission that is likely associated with the optical counterparts. We found 51 out of 846 radio core sources have extended emission (> 4" from the optical AGN) that is positively associated with the AGN, and we have identified an additional 12 AGN with extended radio emission but no detectable radio core emission. Among these 63 AGN, we found 6 giant radio galaxies (GRGs), with projected emission exceeding 750 kpc in length, and several other AGN with unusual radio morphologies also seen in higher redshift surveys.  The optical spectra of many of the extended sources are similar to that of typical broad line radio galaxy spectra, having broad H$\alpha$ emission lines with boxy profiles and large M$_{\rm BH}$.  With extended emission taken into account, we find strong evidence for a bimodal distribution in the radio-loudness parameter $\mathcal{R}$ ($\equiv \nu_{\rm radio}$L$_{\rm radio}/\nu_{\rm opt}$L$_{\rm opt}$), where the lower radio luminosity core-only sources appear as a population separate from the extended sources, with a dividing line at log($\mathcal{R}$) $\approx 1.75$. This dividing line ensures that these are indeed the most radio-loud AGN, which may have different or extreme physical conditions in their central engines when compared to the more numerous radio quiet AGN.