A CCD study of the environment of Seyfert galaxies. I the survey

M. M. De Robertis, K. Hayhoe, H. K.C. Yee

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Large-format, R-band CCD data are presented for a spectroscopically complete sample of 34 Seyfert galaxies and a control sample of 45 nonactive galaxies that are well matched to the Seyfert sample in redshift, luminosity, and morphological type. Gray-scale images of the local environment are included for all of the host galaxies, as well as figures showing the surface brightness, ellipticity, and position angle of the major axis as a function of radius. These data will be used to study the environments of these galaxies and hence to test the "interaction hypothesis" that, over the past two decades, has been implicated as I he triggering mechanism for nuclear activity. While there are no dramatic differences in most parameters between the active and nonactive samples, the distributions of ellipticities and major-axis position-angle excursions of the Seyfert host galaxies and the control galaxies are marginally different. A higher proportion of Seyfert galaxies appear to be involved in late-stage mergers. A similar fraction of the control sample, however, displays significant light asymmetries that could be evidence for recent interactions. Moreover, a small but substantial number of the Seyfert galaxies show no evidence for recent interactions as judged by the absence of light asymmetries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-183
Number of pages21
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1998


  • Galaxies : Photometry
  • Galaxies : Seyfert
  • Galaxies: Active
  • Galaxies: Formation
  • Galaxies: Interactions


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