Do mergers matter? The morphologies of AGN host galaxies
Galaxy structure in the low-redshift universe
Carolin Villforth
University of Bath
The discovery that supermassive black holes reside in the centers of
most if not all massive galaxies has emphasized the importance of Active
Galactic Nuclei (AGN) in galaxy evolution. Major mergers are believed to
trigger both massive starbursts and AGN activity. However, the
observational evidence for a connection between mergers and AGN remains
weak. I will present HST studies analyzing AGN host galaxy morphologies
compared to control carefully matched control samples in samples of
moderate redshift (z=0.5-0.8) AGN, both at luminosities at which other
processes might fuel AGN, and at such high luminosities that mergers
are believed to be the dominant fueling mechanism. We find no higher
incidence of merger features in AGN hosts compared to control even at
the highest AGN luminosities. I will discuss implications of these


16:30 - 18:00
EX - C3 (150)