A Systematic Analysis of Stellar Populations in the Host Galaxies of Changing-look AGNs
"Changing-look" active galactic nuclei (CL-AGNs) are a newly discovered class of AGNs that show the appearance (or disappearance) of broad emission lines within short timescales (months to years), and are often associated with dramatic changes in their continuum emissions. They provide us with an unprecedented chance to directly investigate the host galaxy properties with minimal contamination from the luminous central engine during the turn-off state, which is difficult for normal luminous AGNs. In this work, for the first time, we systematically characterize the stellar populations and star formation histories of host galaxies for 26 turn-off CL-AGNs using the stellar population synthesis code STARLIGHT. We find that the stellar populations of CL-AGNs are similar to those of normal AGNs, except that the intermediate stellar populations contribute more fractions. We estimate their stellar velocity dispersions (σ ⋆) and black hole masses (M BH,vir), and find that CL-AGNs also follow the overall M BH-σ ⋆ relationship. We also confirm the previous claims that CL-AGNs tend to be biased toward lower Eddington ratios, and that their extreme variabilities are more likely due to the intrinsic changes of the accretion rates. In addition, CL-AGNs with recent star formations tend to have higher Eddington ratios. Compared with previous studies, our analysis suggests that there may be a correlation between CL-AGN host galaxy properties and their CL phenomena.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- February 2022
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- accepted by ApJ