Triggering active galactic nuclei in galaxy clusters

Madeline A. Marshall*, Stanislav S. Shabala, Martin G. H. Krause, Kevin A. Pimbblet, Darren J. Croton, Matt S. Owers

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    We model the triggering of active galactic nuclei (AGN) in galaxy clusters using the semianalytic galaxy formation model SAGE. We prescribe triggering methods based on the ram pressure galaxies experience as they move throughout the intracluster medium, which is hypothesized to trigger star formation and AGN activity. The clustercentric radius and velocity distribution of the simulated active galaxies produced by thesemodels are compared with those of AGN and galaxies with intense star formation from a sample of low-redshift relaxed clusters from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The ram pressure triggering model that best explains the clustercentric radius and velocity distribution of these observed galaxies has AGN and star formation triggered if 2.5 × 10-14 Pa < Pram < 2.5 × 10-13 Pa and Pram > 2Pinternal; this is consistent with expectations from hydrodynamical simulations of ram-pressure-induced star formation. Our results show that ram pressure is likely to be an important mechanism for triggering star formation and AGN activity in clusters.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3615-3628
    Number of pages14
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


    • galaxies: active
    • galaxies: clusters: general
    • galaxies: evolution
    • galaxies: formation


    Dive into the research topics of 'Triggering active galactic nuclei in galaxy clusters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this