The clustering of radio galaxies at z~0.55 from the 2SLAQ LRG survey

Wake, David A.
Croom, Scott M.
Sadler, Elaine M.
Johnston, Helen M.
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We examine the clustering properties of low-power radio galaxies at redshift 0.4<z<0.8, using data from the 2SLAQ Luminous Red Galaxy (LRG) survey. We find that radio-detected LRGs (with optical luminosities of 3-5L* and 1.4GHz radio powers between 1e24 and 1e26 W/Hz) are significantly more clustered than a matched sample of radio-quiet LRGs with the same distribution in optical luminosity and colour. The measured scale length of the 2pt auto-correlation function, r0, is 12.3+/-1.2 1/h Mpc and 9.02+/-0.52 1/h Mpc for the radio-detected and radio-quiet samples respectively. Using the halo model framework we demonstrate that the radio-loud LRGs have typical halo masses of 10.1+/-1.4 x10^13 1/h M_sun compared to 6.44+/-0.32 x10^13 1/h M_sun for the radio-quiet sample. A model in which the radio-detected LRGs are almost all central galaxies within haloes provides the best fit, and we estimate that at least 30% of LRGs with the same clustering amplitude as the radio-detected LRGs are currently radio-loud. Our results imply that radio-loud LRGs typically occupy more massive haloes than other LRGs of the same optical luminosity, so the probability of finding a radio-loud AGN in a massive galaxy at z~0.55 is influenced by the halo mass in addition to the dependence on optical luminosity. If we model the radio-loud fraction of LRGs, F_rad, as a function of halo mass M, then the data are well-fitted by a power law of the form F_rad \propto M^(0.65+/-0.23). The relationship between radio emission and clustering strength could arise either through a higher fuelling rate of gas onto the central black holes of galaxies in the most massive haloes (producing more powerful radio jets) or through the presence of a denser IGM (providing a more efficient working surface for the jets, thus boosting their radio luminosity).
Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRAS