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Extreme Host Galaxy Growth In Powerful Early-Epoch Radio Galaxies

Extreme Host Galaxy Growth In Powerful Early-Epoch Radio Galaxies

Publication date: 15 September 2012

Authors: Barthel, P., et al.

Journal: The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volume: 757
Issue: 2
Page: L26
Year: 2012

Copyright: IOP Publishing

During the first half of the universe's life, a heyday of star formation must have occurred because many massive galaxies are in place after that epoch in cosmic history. Our observations with the revolutionary Herschel Space Observatory reveal vigorous optically obscured star formation in the ultra-massive hosts of many powerful high-redshift 3C quasars and radio galaxies. This symbiotic occurrence of star formation and black hole driven activity is in marked contrast to recent results dealing with Herschel observations of X-ray-selected active galaxies. Three archetypal radio galaxies at redshifts 1.132, 1.575, and 2.474 are presented here, with inferred star formation rates of hundreds of solar masses per year. A series of spectacular coeval active galactic nucleus/starburst events may have formed these ultra-massive galaxies and their massive central black holes during their relatively short lifetimes.

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