We discuss the optical and radio properties of ∼30,000 FIRST (radio, 20 cm, sensitive to 1 mJy) sources positionally associated within 1.″5 with a Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) (optical, sensitive to r* ∼ 22.2) source in 1230 deg2 of sky. The matched sample represents ∼ 30% of the 108,000 FIRST sources and 0.1% of the 2.5 × 10 7 SDSS sources in the studied region. SDSS spectra are available for 4300 galaxies and 1154 quasars from the matched sample and for a control sample of 140,000 galaxies and 20,000 quasars in 1030 deg2 of sky. Here we analyze only core sources, which dominate the sample; the fraction of SDSS-FIRST sources with complex radio morphology is determined to be less than 10%. This large and unbiased catalog of optical identifications provides much firmer statistical footing for existing results and allows several new findings. The majority (83%) of the FIRST sources identified with an SDSS source brighter than r* = 21 are optically resolved; the fraction of resolved objects among the matched sources is a function of the radio flux, increasing from ∼50% at the bright end to ∼90% at the FIRST faint limit. Nearly all optically unresolved radio sources have nonstellar colors indicative of quasars. We estimate an upper limit of ∼5% for the fraction of quasars with broadband optical colors indistinguishable from those of stars. The distribution of quasars in the radio flux-optical flux plane suggests the existence of the "quasar radio dichotomy"; 8% ± 1% of all quasars with i* < 18.5 are radio-loud, and this fraction seems independent of redshift and optical luminosity. The radio-loud quasars have a redder median color by 0.08 ± 0.02 mag, and show a 3 times larger fraction of objects with extremely red colors. FIRST galaxies represent 5% of all SDSS galaxies with r* < 17.5, and 1% for r* < 20, and are dominated by red (u* - r* > 2.22) galaxies, especially those with r* > 17.5. Magnitude-and redshift-limited samples show that radio galaxies have a different optical luminosity distribution than nonradio galaxies selected by the same criteria; when galaxies are further separated by their colors, this result remains valid for both blue and red galaxies. For a given optical luminosity and redshift, the observed optical colors of radio galaxies are indistinguishable from those of all SDSS galaxies selected by identical criteria. The distributions of radio-to-optical flux ratio are similar for blue and red galaxies in redshift-limited samples; this similarity implies that the difference in their luminosity functions and resulting selection effects are the dominant cause for the preponderance of red radio galaxies in flux-limited samples. The fraction of radio galaxies whose emission-line ratios indicate an AGN (30%), rather than starburst, origin is 6 times larger than the corresponding fraction for all SDSS galaxies (r* < 17.5). We confirm that the AGN-to-starburst galaxy number ratio increases with radio flux and find that radio emission from AGNs is more concentrated than radio emission from starburst galaxies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science