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Sörgel, Björn; Giannantonio, Tommaso; Efstathiou, George; Puchwein, Ewald; Sijacki, Debora (2017): Constraints on AGN feedback from its Sunyaev-Zel'dovich imprint on the cosmic background radiation. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 468, No. 1: pp. 577-596
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Abstract

We derive constraints on feedback by active galactic nuclei (AGN) by setting limits on their thermal Sunyaev-Zel ' dovich (SZ) imprint on the cosmic microwave background. The amplitude of any SZ signature is small and degenerate with the poorly known sub-mm spectral energy distribution of theAGNhost galaxy and other unresolved dusty sources along the line of sight. Here we break this degeneracy by combining microwave and sub-mm data from Planck with all-sky far-infraredmaps from the AKARI satellite. We first test our measurement pipeline using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) redMaPPer catalogue of galaxy clusters, finding a highly significant detection (> 20 sigma) of the SZ effect together with correlated dust emission. We then constrain the SZ signal associated with spectroscopically confirmed quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) from SDSS data release 7 (DR7) and the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) DR12. We obtain a low-significance (1.6 sigma) hint of an SZ signal, pointing towards a mean thermal energy of similar or equal to 5 x 10(60) erg, lower than reported in some previous studies. A comparison of our results with high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations including AGN feedback suggests QSO host masses ofM(200c) similar to 4 x 10(12)h(-1)M(circle dot), but with a large uncertainty. Our analysis provides no conclusive evidence for an SZ signal specifically associated with AGN feedback.