May 2018

Galaxy mergers increase AGN activity, but …

In our recent paper Steinborn & Hirschmann et al. (2018), we used the Magneticum simulations to investigate in detail how relevant galaxy mergers are for driving AGN activity. As expected, we found an enhanced merger fraction in AGN host galaxies (bottom), compared with inactive galaxies (middle panel). However, also in AGN host galaxies, the merger fraction is still relatively low (<20%), indicating that other AGN trigger mechanisms must be much more important than mergers.