EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 485, Number 2, July II 2008
Page(s) 475 - 486
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20078533
Published online 16 April 2008

A&A 485, 475-486 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20078533

The AMIGA sample of isolated galaxies

VI. Radio continuum properties of isolated galaxies: a very radio-quiet sample
S. Leon1, 2, L. Verdes-Montenegro2, J. Sabater2, D. Espada3, U. Lisenfeld4, A. Ballu5, J. Sulentic6, S. Verley7, G. Bergond2, and E. García2

1  Instituto de Radioastronomía Milimétrica (IRAM), Avenida Divina Pastora 7, Núcleo Central, 18012 Granada, Spain
    e-mail: leon@iram.es
2  Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, Apdo. 3004, 18080 Granada, Spain
3  Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, No. 1, Roosevelt Rd, Sec. 4, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
4  Departamento de Física Teórica y del Cosmos, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, Spain
5  École Nationale Supérieure de Physique, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France
6  Department of Astronomy, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, USA
7  INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy

Received 22 August 2007 / Accepted 4 April 2008

Context. This paper is part of a series that describes the results of the AMIGA (Analysis of the interstellar Medium of Isolated GAlaxies) project, studying the largest sample of very isolated galaxies in the local Universe.
Aims. The study of the radio properties of the AMIGA sample is intended to characterize the radio continuum emission for a sample least affected by the local environment, thus providing a reference against which less isolated and interacting samples can be compared.
Methods. Radio continuum data at 325, 1420, and 4850 MHz were extracted from the WENSS, NVSS/FIRST, and GB6 surveys, respectively. The source extractions have been obtained from reprocessing the data and new detections added to the cross-matched detections with the respective survey catalogs. We focus on the complete AMIGA subsample composed of 719 galaxies.
Results. A catalog of radio fluxes was obtained from the above four surveys. Comparison between the NVSS and FIRST detections indicates that the radio continuum is coming from disk-dominated emission in spiral galaxies, in contrast to the results found in high-density environments where nuclear activity is more frequent. The comparison of the radio continuum power with a comparable sample, which is however not selected with respect to its environment, the Condon et al. UGC-SF sample of starforming field galaxies, shows a lower mean value for the AMIGA sample. We have obtained radio-to-optical flux ratios (R) using the NVSS radio continuum flux. The distribution of R for the AMIGA galaxies is consistent with a sample dominated by radio emission from star formation (SF) and a small number of active galactic nuclei (AGN), with less than 3% of the sample with R > 100. We derived the radio luminosity function (RLF) and total power density of the radio continuum emission for the AMIGA sample at 1.4 GHz, and compared them with results from other low-redshift studies. The Schechter fit of the RLF indicates a major weight of the low-luminosity galaxies.
Conclusions. The results indicate the very low level of radio continuum emission in our sample of isolated galaxies, which is dominated by mild disk SF. It confirms thus the AMIGA sample as a suitable template to effectively quantify the role of interactions in samples extracted from denser environments.

Key words: galaxies: evolution -- galaxies: luminosity function -- radio continuum: galaxies -- surveys -- mass function

© ESO 2008