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Paper: Alas, No Merger-AGN Connection at z < 1
Volume: 477, Galaxy Mergers in an Evolving Universe
Page: 173
Authors: Cisternas, M.; Jahnke, K.; COSMOS Collaboration
Abstract: In our recent study, we set out to understand the relevance of major merging as an AGN triggering mechanism at z < 1. Using HST/ACS imaging from the COSMOS survey, we visually analyzed the morphologies of 140 X-ray-selected AGN looking for signatures of recent mergers, and compared them with a control sample of over 1200 matched inactive galaxies. We found that the merger fraction of the AGN host galaxies is statistically the same as that of the equivalent inactive galaxy population. Together with the fact that the majority of the AGN hosts are disk-dominated, an unlikely relic of an old major merger, our results are the strongest evidence to date that major merging has not been the dominant black hole fueling mechanism for the last 8 Gyr.
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