LeMMINGs III. The e-MERLIN legacy survey of the Palomar sample: Exploring the origin of nuclear radio emission in active and inactive galaxies through the [O iii] - Radio connection
Journal article, 2021

What determines the nuclear radio emission in local galaxies? To address this question, we combine optical [O iii] line emission, robust black hole (BH) mass estimates, and high-resolution e-MERLIN 1.5-GHz data, from the LeMMINGs survey, of a statistically complete sample of 280 nearby optically active (LINER and Seyfert) and inactive [H ii and absorption line galaxies (ALGs)] galaxies. Using [O iii] luminosity (L[O III]) as a proxy for the accretion power, local galaxies follow distinct sequences in the optical-radio planes of BH activity, which suggest different origins of the nuclear radio emission for the optical classes. The 1.5-GHz radio luminosity of their parsec-scale cores (Lcore) is found to scale with BH mass (MBH) and [O iii] luminosity. Below MBH ∼106.5 M⊙, stellar processes from non-jetted H ii galaxies dominate with Lcore ∝ MBH0.61 ± 0.33 and Lcore ∝ L[O III]0.79 ± 0.30. Above MBH ∼106.5 M⊙, accretion-driven processes dominate with Lcore ∝ MBH1.5-1.65 and Lcore ∝ L[O III]0.99-1.31 for active galaxies: radio-quiet/loud LINERs, Seyferts, and jetted H ii galaxies always display (although low) signatures of radio-emitting BH activity, with L1.5 GHz ≳ 1019.8 W Hz-1 and MBH ≳ 107 M⊙, on a broad range of Eddington-scaled accretion rates (m). Radio-quiet and radio-loud LINERs are powered by low-m discs launching sub-relativistic and relativistic jets, respectively. Low-power slow jets and disc/corona winds from moderately high to high-m discs account for the compact and edge-brightened jets of Seyferts, respectively. Jetted H ii galaxies may host weakly active BHs. Fuel-starved BHs and recurrent activity account for ALG properties. In conclusion, specific accretion-ejection states of active BHs determine the radio production and the optical classification of local active galaxies.

galaxies: active

radio continuum: galaxies

galaxies: star formation

galaxies: nuclei

galaxies: jets


R. D. Baldi

Istituto di Radioastronomia

University of Southampton

D. R.A. Williams

University of Manchester

R. J. Beswick

University of Manchester

I. M. McHardy

University of Southampton

B. T. Dullo

Complutense University

J. H. Knapen

University of La Laguna

Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

L. Zanisi

University of Southampton

M. K. Argo

University of Central Lancashire

University of Manchester

Susanne Aalto

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Astronomy and Plasmaphysics

Antxon Alberdi

Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA)

Willem A. Baan

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

G. J. Bendo

University of Manchester

D. M. Fenech

University College London (UCL)

D. A. Green

University of Cambridge

H. R. Klockner

Max Planck Society

E. Körding

Radboud University

T. J. Maccarone

Texas Tech University at Lubbock

J.M. Marcaide

Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales de España

I. Mutie

University of Manchester

Technical University of Kenya

F. Panessa

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

M.A. Pérez-Torres

Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA)

C. Romero-Cañizales

Academia Sinica

D. J. Saikia

Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics

P. Saikia

New York University Abu Dhabi

F. Shankar

University of Southampton

R. E. Spencer

University of Manchester

I. R. Stevens

University of Southampton

P. Uttley

University of Amsterdam

E. Brinks

University of Hertfordshire

S. Corbel

The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)

Station de Radioastronomie de Nançay

Ivan Marti-Vidal

Universitat de Valencia

C. G. Mundell

University of Bath

M. Pahari

IIT Hyderabad

M. J. Ward

Durham University

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

0035-8711 (ISSN) 1365-2966 (eISSN)

Vol. 508 2 2019-2038

Joining up Users for Maximising the Profile, the Innovation and the Necessary Globalisation of JIVE (Jumping Jive)

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/730884), 2016-12-01 -- 2021-01-31.

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