The Fraction of Active Galactic Nuclei in the USS 1558-003 Protocluster at z = 2.53

Michael Macuga, Paul Martini, Eric D. Miller, Mark Brodwin, Masao Hayashi, Tadayuki Kodama, Yusei Koyama, Roderik A. Overzier, Rhythm Shimakawa, Ken Ichi Tadaki, Ichi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The incidence of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) within the local environment is a potentially valuable probe of the mechanisms that trigger and provide fuel for accretion onto supermassive black holes. While the correlation between AGN fraction and environment has been well-studied in the local universe, AGN fractions have been measured for relatively few dense environments at high redshift. In this paper, we present a measurement of the X-ray AGN fraction in the USS 1558-003 protocluster associated with the z = 2.53 radio galaxy 4C-00.62. Our measurement is based on a 100-ks Chandra observation, follow-up spectroscopy from the Multi-Object Double Spectrograph on the Large Binocular Telescope, and broad and narrowband photometry. These data are sensitive to AGNs more luminous than L X > 2 ×10 43 erg s -1 in the rest-frame hard X-ray band (2-10 keV). We have identified two X-ray AGNs at the redshift of USS 1558-003, one of which is the radio galaxy. We have determined that of the Hα emitters in the protocluster are X-ray AGNs. Unlike most other high-redshift cluster progenitors studied with similar techniques, USS 1558-003 does not have a significantly higher fraction of AGNs than field galaxies at similar redshifts. This lower AGN fraction is inconsistent with the expectation that the higher gas fractions at high redshift, combined with the high galaxy densities and modest relative velocities in protoclusters, should produce higher AGN fractions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 20


  • X-rays: galaxies
  • X-rays: galaxies: clusters
  • X-rays: general
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: clusters: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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