AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 149 AGN: Host Galaxies and Clustering
Oral, Wednesday, 10:00-11:30am, January 11, 2006, Salon 1

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[149.05] AGN Activity and Galaxy Clustering

A. Constantin, M. S. Vogeley (Drexel University)

Investigations of the spatial clustering properties of active galactic nuclei (AGN), in comparison to those of otherwise normal galaxies, should provide important clues to the nature of the environments within which black holes (BH) form and accrete. In particular, comparisons of clustering amplitudes of different species of line-emitting galaxy nuclei should offer important insights into the potential dissimilarities between dark matter haloes that host different kinds and levels of galactic nuclear activity. We will present and discuss the results of a SDSS based analysis of the spatial clustering of low redshift, low luminosity AGN. We carefully examine different schemes proposed to spectrally classify narrow-line AGN and the impact of these schemes on AGN clustering. Contrary to previous claims, we find that bona fide AGN are not unbiased tracers of the whole galaxy population, with respect to mass, for the large scale structure in the nearby universe: Seyferts are clearly less clustered than the average galaxies. LINERS, however, do exhibit clustering very similar to that of the general galaxy distribution. We find evidence for a relationship between the [O I] line luminosity, the level of the nuclear activity, and the spatial clustering amplitude. Our results imply that, if more massive halos are more clustered, than at the present epoch they must harbor AGN of high BH mass and low fueling rate (i.e. LINER-like objects). Stronger accreting AGN (i.e. Seyferts) should have small BH masses, as they reside in less clustered, and thus less massive haloes.

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