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Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA): active galactic nuclei in pairs of galaxies

Gordon, Yjan A.; Owers, Matt S.; Pimbblet, Kevin A.; Croom, Scott M.; Alpaslan, Mehmet; Baldry, Ivan K.; Brough, Sarah; Brown, Michael J.I.; Cluver, Michelle E.; Conselice, Christopher J.; Davies, Luke J. M.; Holwerda, Benne W.; Hopkins, Andrew M.; Gunawardhana, Madusha L.P.; Loveday, Jonathan; Taylor, Edward N.; Wang, Lingyu

Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA): active galactic nuclei in pairs of galaxies Thumbnail


Yjan A. Gordon

Matt S. Owers

Kevin A. Pimbblet

Scott M. Croom

Mehmet Alpaslan

Ivan K. Baldry

Sarah Brough

Michael J.I. Brown

Michelle E. Cluver

Christopher J. Conselice

Luke J. M. Davies

Benne W. Holwerda

Andrew M. Hopkins

Madusha L.P. Gunawardhana

Jonathan Loveday

Edward N. Taylor

Lingyu Wang


There exist conflicting observations on whether or not the environment of broad and narrow line AGN differ and this consequently questions the validity of the AGN unification model. The high spectroscopic completeness of the GAMA survey makes it ideal for a comprehensive analysis of the close environment of galaxies. To exploit this, and conduct a comparative analysis of the environment of broad and narrow line AGN within GAMA, we use a double-Gaussian emission line fitting method to model the more complex line profiles associated with broad line AGN.We select 209 type 1 (i.e., unobscured), 464 type 1.5-1.9 (partially obscured), and 281 type 2 (obscured) AGN within the GAMA II database. Comparing the fractions of these with neighbouring galaxies out to a pair separation of 350 kpc h-1 and delta z < 0:012 shows no difference between AGN of different type, except at separations less than 20 kpc h-1 where our observations suggest an excess of type 2 AGN in close pairs. We analyse the properties of the galaxies neighbouring our AGN and find no significant differences in colour or the star formation activity of these galaxies. Further to this we find that sigma 5 is also consistent between broad and narrow line AGN. We conclude that the observations presented here are consistent with AGN unification.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 10, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 14, 2016
Publication Date Mar 15, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 15, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 15, 2017
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 465
Issue 3
Keywords methods: observational, galaxies: active, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: interactions
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