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New Paper: No obvious signature of AGN feedback on star formation, but subtle trends

Monday, November 22, 2021

This new paper (after minor revision requested by the referee) for CARS DR1 was lead by PhD student Irina Smirnova-Pinchukova from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany. Here, we focused on accurate measurements of the stellar masses and star formation rates of the AGN host galaxies to study if AGN feedback had an immediate impact on star formation. We were not able to recover any significant change of the star formation rates, but noted that it is important to consider the gas content to quantify the expectation of the star formation rate for each galaxy which was often not done in past literature. This allowed us to provide new scaling relations to predict the "normal" star formation rate of AGN host galaxies in the nearby Universe. Comparing the star formation rate inferred from the Halpha and FIR diagnostics revealed a systematic offset which is likely due to obscuration effects. However, there are some subtle indications that the relative difference of star formation rates may also be related to recent star formation history of a given system. Moreover,  there is some subtle tendency for more edge-on galaxies to exhibit lower star formation rates than expected even using FIR diagnostics which may suggest that the relative orientation of the ionization cones and the host galaxy does impact the efficiency of energy dissipation from the black hole to the galaxy.

Comparison of the Ha and IR-based star formation main sequences with the CARS data using only the stellar mass as a proxy for the star formation rate.  The scatter around the main relation decrease significantly if cold gas mass is taken into account as well.