The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey: the population of nearby radio galaxies at the 1-mJy level

M Magliocchetti, S J Maddox, C A Jackson, J Bland-Hawthorn, T Bridges, R Cannon, S Cole, M Colless, C Collins, W Couch, G Dalton, R de Propris, S P Driver, G Efstathiou, R S Ellis, C S Frenk, K Glazebrook, O Lahav, I Lewis, S LumsdenJ A Peacock, B A Peterson, W Sutherland, K Taylor

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38 Citations (Scopus)


We use redshift determinations and spectral analysis of galaxies in the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey to study the properties of local radio sources with S greater than or equal to1 mJy. 557 objects (hereafter called the spectroscopic sample) drawn from the FIRST survey, corresponding to 2.3 per cent of the total radio sample, are found in the 2dFGRS catalogue within the area 9(h) 48(m) less than or similar toRA(2000)less than or similar to14(h) 32(m) and -277less than or similar toDec.(2000)less than or similar to225, down to a magnitude limit b (J) =19.45. The excellent quality of 2dF spectra allows us to divide these sources into classes, according to their optical spectra.

Absorption-line systems make up 63 per cent of the spectroscopic sample. These may or may not show emission lines due to AGN activity, and correspond to 'classical' radio galaxies belonging mainly to the FRI class. They are characterized by relatively high radio-to-optical ratios, red colours, and high radio luminosities (10(21) less than or similar toP (1.4 GHz) /W Hz(-1) sr(-1) less than or similar to10(24) ). Actively star-forming galaxies contribute about 32 per cent of the sample. These objects are mainly found at low redshifts (z less than or similar to0.1) and show low radio-to-optical ratios, blue colours and low radio luminosities. We also found 18 Seyfert 2 galaxies (3 per cent) and four Seyfert 1s (1 per cent).

Analysis of the local radio luminosity function (LF) shows that radio galaxies are well described by models that assume pure luminosity evolution, at least down to radio powers P (1.4 GHz) less than or similar to10(20.5) W Hz(-1) sr(-1). Late-type galaxies, whose relative contribution to the radio LF is found to be lower than was predicted by previous works, present an LF which is comparable with the IRAS galaxy LF. This class of sources therefore plausibly constitutes the radio counterpart of the dusty spirals and starbursts that dominate the counts at 60 mum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-120
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002


  • galaxies : active
  • galaxies : starburst
  • cosmology : observations
  • radio continuum : galaxies
  • SKY
  • MJY


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