Astrophys. J., 725, 36-62 (2010/December-2)
The Spitzer high-redshift radio galaxy survey.
DE BREUCK C., SEYMOUR N., STERN D., WILLNER S.P., EISENHARDT P.R.M., FAZIO G.G., GALAMETZ A., LACY M., RETTURA A., ROCCA-VOLMERANGE B. and VERNET J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present results from a comprehensive imaging survey of 70 radio galaxies at redshifts 1 < z < 5.2 using all three cameras on board the Spitzer Space Telescope. The resulting spectral energy distributions unambiguously show a stellar population in 46 sources and hot dust emission associated with the active nucleus in 59. Using a new rest-frame S_3 µm/S1.6 µm_ versus S_5 µm/S3 µm_criterion, we identify 42 sources where the rest-frame 1.6 µm emission from the stellar population can be measured. For these radio galaxies, the median stellar mass is high, 2x1011 M☉, and remarkably constant within the range 1 < z < 3. At z>3, there is tentative evidence for a factor of two decrease in stellar mass. This suggests that radio galaxies have assembled the bulk of their stellar mass by z ∼ 3, but confirmation by more detailed decomposition of stellar and active galactic nucleus (AGN) emission is needed. The rest-frame 500 MHz radio luminosities are only marginally correlated with stellar mass but are strongly correlated with the rest-frame 5 µm hot dust luminosity. This suggests that the radio galaxies have a large range of Eddington ratios. We also present new Very Large Array 4.86 and 8.46 GHz imaging of 14 radio galaxies and find that radio core dominance–an indicator of jet orientation–is strongly correlated with hot dust luminosity. While all of our targets were selected as narrow-lined, type 2 AGNs, this result can be understood in the context of orientation-dependent models if there is a continuous distribution of orientations from obscured type 2 to unobscured type 1 AGNs rather than a clear dichotomy. Finally, four radio galaxies have nearby (<6'') companions whose mid-IR colors are suggestive of their being AGNs. This may indicate an association between radio galaxy activity and major mergers.
galaxies: active - galaxies: evolution - galaxies: high-redshift - radio continuum: galaxies
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