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Journal Articles The Astrophysical Journal Year : 2021

Identifying Radio-active Galactic Nuclei among Radio-emitting Galaxies

D. Kozieł-Wierzbowska
  • Function : Author
N. Vale Asari
  • Function : Author
F. R. Herpich
  • Function : Author
M. Sikora
  • Function : Author
N. Żywucka
  • Function : Author
A. Goyal
  • Function : Author


Basing our analysis on ROGUE I, a catalog of over 32,000 radio sources associated with optical galaxies, we provide two diagnostics to select the galaxies where the radio emission is dominated by an active galactic nucleus (AGN), referred to in the paper as radio-AGNs. Each of these diagnostics can be applied independently. The first one, dubbed MIRAD, compares the flux FW3 in the W3 mid-infrared band of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope, with the radio flux at 1.4 GHz, F1.4. MIRAD requires no optical spectra. The second diagnostic, dubbed DLM, compares the 4000 Å break strength, Dn(4000), with the radio luminosity per unit stellar mass. The DLM diagram has already been used in the past, but not as stand-alone. For these two diagrams, we propose simple, empirical dividing lines that result in the same classification for the objects in common. These lines correctly classify as radio-AGN 99.5% of the extended radio sources in the ROGUE I catalog, and as star-forming galaxies 98%-99% of the galaxies identified as such by their emission-line ratios. Both diagrams clearly show that radio-AGNs are preferentially found among elliptical galaxies and among galaxies hosting the most massive black holes. Most of the radio sources classified as radio-AGNs in the MIRAD or DLM diagrams are either optically weak AGNs or retired galaxies.

Dates and versions

insu-03713221 , version 1 (04-07-2022)



D. Kozieł-Wierzbowska, N. Vale Asari, G. Stasińska, F. R. Herpich, M. Sikora, et al.. Identifying Radio-active Galactic Nuclei among Radio-emitting Galaxies. The Astrophysical Journal, 2021, 910, ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/abe308⟩. ⟨insu-03713221⟩
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