Does black-hole growth depend on the cosmic environment?

G. Yang, W. N. Brandt, B. Darvish, C. T.J. Chen, F. Vito, D. M. Alexander, F. E. Bauer, J. R. Trump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


It is well known that environment affects galaxy evolution, which is broadly related to supermassive black hole (SMBH) growth. We investigate whether SMBH evolution also depends on host-galaxy local (sub-Mpc) and global (≈1-10 Mpc) environment. We construct the surface-density field (local environment) and cosmic web (global environment) in the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) field at z = 0.3-3.0. The environments in COSMOS range from the field to clusters (Mhalo ≥ 1014M), covering the environments where ≈99 per cent of galaxies in the Universe reside. We measure sample-averaged SMBH accretion rate (BHAR) from X-ray observations, and study its dependence on overdensity and cosmic-web environment at different redshifts while controlling for galaxy stellar mass (M*). Our results show that BHAR does not significantly depend on overdensity or cosmic-web environment once M* is controlled, indicating that environment-related physical mechanisms (e.g. tidal interaction and ram-pressure stripping) might not significantly affect SMBH growth. We find that BHAR is strongly related to host-galaxy M*, regardless of environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1022-1042
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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