Does black-hole growth depend on the cosmic environment?

G. Yang, W. N. Brandt, B. Darvish, C. T.J. Chen, F. Vito, D. M. Alexander, F. E. Bauer, J. R. Trump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


It is well known that environment affects galaxy evolution, which is broadly related to supermassive black hole (SMBH) growth. We investigate whether SMBH evolution also depends on host-galaxy local (sub-Mpc) and global (≈1-10 Mpc) environment. We construct the surface-density field (local environment) and cosmic web (global environment) in the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) field at z = 0.3-3.0. The environments in COSMOS range from the field to clusters (Mhalo ≥ 1014M), covering the environments where ≈99 per cent of galaxies in the Universe reside. We measure sample-averaged SMBH accretion rate (BHAR) from X-ray observations, and study its dependence on overdensity and cosmic-web environment at different redshifts while controlling for galaxy stellar mass (M*). Our results show that BHAR does not significantly depend on overdensity or cosmic-web environment once M* is controlled, indicating that environment-related physical mechanisms (e.g. tidal interaction and ram-pressure stripping) might not significantly affect SMBH growth. We find that BHAR is strongly related to host-galaxy M*, regardless of environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1022-1042
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Yang, G., Brandt, W. N., Darvish, B., Chen, C. T. J., Vito, F., Alexander, D. M., Bauer, F. E., & Trump, J. R. (2018). Does black-hole growth depend on the cosmic environment? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 480(1), 1022-1042.