The ubiquitous radio continuum emission from the most massive early-type galaxies

Michael J.I. Brown, Buell T. Jannuzi, David J.E. Floyd, Jeremy R. Mould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


We have measured the radio continuum emission of 396 early-type galaxies brighter than K = 9, using 1.4 GHz imagery from the NRAO Very Large Array Sky Survey, Green Bank 300 ft Telescope, and 64 m Parkes Radio Telescope. For M K < -24 early-type galaxies, the distribution of radio powers at fixed absolute magnitude spans four orders of magnitude and the median radio power is proportional to K-band luminosity to the power 2.78 ± 0.16. The measured flux densities of MK < -25.5 early-type galaxies are greater than zero in all cases. It is thus highly likely that the most massive galaxies always host an active galactic nucleus or have recently undergone star formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL41
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2 PART II
StatePublished - Apr 20 2011


  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • radio continuum: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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