Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen,
2 Astronomisches Institut, Ruhr Universität, 44801 Bochum, Germany
3 Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie (MPIA), 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
4 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
5 Astrophysics Group, Imperial College London, Blackett Laboratory, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK
6 Institute for Astronomy, Department of Physics, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
7 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
8 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching b. München, Germany
Received: 10 October 2014
Accepted: 31 December 2014
We present Herschel (PACS and SPIRE) far-infrared (FIR) photometry of a complete sample of z> 1 3CR sources, from the Herschel guaranteed time project The Herschel Legacy of distant radio-loud AGN. Combining these with existing Spitzer photometric data, we perform an infrared (IR) spectral energy distribution (SED) analysis of these landmark objects in extragalactic research to study the star formation in the hosts of some of the brightest active galactic nuclei (AGN) known at any epoch. Accounting for the contribution from an AGN-powered warm dust component to the IR SED, about 40% of our objects undergo episodes of prodigious, ULIRG-strength star formation, with rates of hundreds of solar masses per year, coeval with the growth of the central supermassive black hole. Median SEDs imply that the quasar and radio galaxy hosts have similar FIR properties, in agreement with the orientation-based unification for radio-loud AGN. The star-forming properties of the AGN hosts are similar to those of the general population of equally massive non-AGN galaxies at comparable redshifts, thus there is no strong evidence of universal quenching of star formation (negative feedback) within this sample. Massive galaxies at high redshift may be forming stars prodigiously, regardless of whether their supermassive black holes are accreting or not.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: high-redshift / galaxies: star formation / infrared: galaxies
Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.
Tables 1, 2, 4 and Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2015