The Nuclear Activity of Galaxies in the Hickson Compact Groups

Masashi Shimada, Youichi Ohyama, Shingo Nishiura, Takashi Murayama, Yoshiaki Taniguchi
2000 Astronomical Journal  
In order to investigate the nuclear activity of galaxies residing in compact groups of galaxies, we present results of our optical spectroscopic program made at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory. We have performed optical spectroscopy of 69 galaxies which belong to 31 Hickson Compact Groups (HCGs) of Galaxies. Among them, three galaxies have discordant redshifts. Further, spectral quality is too poor to classify other three galaxies. Therefore, we describe our results for the remaining 63
more » ... es. Our main results are summarized below. (1) We have found in our sample; 28 AGN, 16 HII nuclei, and 19 normal galaxies which show no emission line. We used this HCG sample for statistical analyses. (2) Comparing the frequency distributions of activity types between the HCGs and the field galaxies whose data are taken from Ho, Filippenko, & Sargent (382 field galaxies), we find that the frequency of HII nuclei in the HCGs is significantly less than that in the field. However, this difference may be due to selection bias that our HCG sample contains more early-type galaxies than the field, because it is known that HII nuclei are rarer in early-type galaxies than in later ones. (3) Applying correction this morphological bias to the HCG sample, we find that there is no statistically significant difference in the frequency of occurrence of emission-line galaxies between the HCGs and the field. This implies that the dense galaxy environment in the HCGs does not affect triggering both the AGN activity and the nuclear starburst. We discuss some implications on the nuclear activity in the HCG galaxies.
doi:10.1086/301381 fatcat:a5u57vfqnje6nfqrjz5wfdeg5u