The ubiquitous radio continuum emission from the most massive early-type galaxies

Michael Brown, Buell Jannuzi, David Floyd, Jeremy Mould

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    We have measured the radio continuum emission of 396 early-type galaxies brighter than K = 9, using 1.4 GHz imagery from the NRAO Very Large Array Sky Survey, Green Bank 300 ft Telescope, and 64 m Parkes Radio Telescope. For M(K) <-24 early-type galaxies, the distribution of radio powers at fixed absolute magnitude spans four orders of magnitude and the median radio power is proportional to K-band luminosity to the power 2.78 +/- 0.16. The measured flux densities of M(K) <-25.5 early-type galaxies are greater than zero in all cases. It is thus highly likely that the most massive galaxies always host an active galactic nucleus or have recently undergone star formation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1 - 5
    Number of pages5
    JournalThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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