Wide field multiband imaging of low redshift quasar environments

Jennifer E. Scott, Alireza Rafiee, Jill Bechtold, Erica Ellingson, Christopher Thibodeau, Michael Richmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We present photometry of the large-scale environments of a sample of 12 broad line active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with 0.06 < z < 0.37 from deep images in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey u, g, r, and i filters taken with the 90Prime prime focus camera on the Steward Observatory Bok Telescope. We measure galaxy clustering around these AGNs using two standard techniques: correlation amplitude (B gq) and the two point correlation function. We find average correlation amplitudes for the 10 radio-quiet objects in the sample equal to (9 ± 18, 144 ± 114, -39 ± 56, 295 ± 260) Mpc1.77 in (u, g, r, i), all consistent with the expectation from galaxy clustering. Using a ratio of the galaxy-quasar cross-correlation function to the galaxy autocorrelation function, we calculate the relative bias of galaxies and AGNs, b gq. The bias in the u band, b gq = 3.08 ± 0.51 is larger compared to that calculated in the other bands, but it does not correlate with AGN luminosity, black hole mass, or AGN activity via the luminosity of the [O III] emission line. Thus ongoing nuclear accretion activity is not reflected in the large scale environments from 10 h -1 kpc to 0.5 h -1 Mpc and may indicate a non-merger mode of AGN activity and/or a significant delay between galaxy mergers and nuclear activity in this sample of mostly radio-quiet quasars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number93
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • galaxies: active
  • large-scale structure of universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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