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A BADASS Analysis of Active Galactic Nuclei in Mergers

Published onJun 01, 2020
A BADASS Analysis of Active Galactic Nuclei in Mergers

We investigate a variety of potential differences between active galactic nuclei (AGN) involved in mergers versus those in isolated galaxies. We examine the optical spectra of a sample of 1075 Seyfert 1 and Seyfert 2 galaxies pulled from SDSS DR7, utilizing the Bayesian AGN Decomposition Analysis for SDSS Spectra (BADASS) program. This is a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method based spectral fitting code written in Python that has the ability to fit a wide range of objects. It has multiprocessing capabilities to simultaneously fit a large number of spectra based on the number of computing cores, and it’s open-source nature allows for future improvements and optimizations. The samples of merging and non-merging galaxies are matched in redshift (z < 0.2) and stellar mass (5.0×109 M to ~3.7×1011 M). Preliminary results affirm those made by other groups, such as mergers composing a larger fraction of the AGN population at higher luminosities. Our most intriguing discovery is a potential higher rate of outflows in mergers in comparison to isolated galaxies. Further statistical analysis of this result could have strong implications for the coevolution of central supermassive black holes and their host galaxies.

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