The clustering of active galactic nuclei in the sloan digital sky survey

David A. Wake, Christopher J. Miller, Tiziana Di Matteo, Robert C. Nichol, Adrian Pope, Alexander S. Szalay, Alexander Gray, Donald P. Schneider, Donald G. York

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


We present the two-point correlation function (2PCF) of narrow-line active galactic nuclei (AGNs) selected within the First Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Using a sample of 13,605 AGNs in the redshift range 0.055 < z < 0.2, we find that the AGN autocorrelation function is consistent with the observed galaxy autocorrelation function on scales from 0.2 to greater than 100 h-1 Mpc. The AGN hosts trace an intermediate population of galaxies and are not detected in either the bluest (youngest) disk-dominated galaxies or many of the reddest (oldest) galaxies. We show that the AGN 2PCF is dependent on the luminosity of the narrow [O III] emission line (L [O III]), with low L[O III] AGNs having a higher clustering amplitude than high L[O III] AGNs. This is consistent with lower activity AGNs residing in more massive galaxies than higher activity AGNs, and L[O III] providing a good indicator of the fueling rate. Using a model relating halo mass to black hole mass in cosmological simulations, we show that AGNs hosted by ∼1012 M⊙ dark matter halos have a 2PCF that matches that of the observed sample. This mass scale implies a mean black hole mass for the sample of MBH ∼ 108 M⊙.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L85-L88
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The clustering of active galactic nuclei in the sloan digital sky survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this