Dusting off the star formation history of AGN hosts with SHARDS
Recent works show that the restframe colours of X-ray selected AGN host galaxies at z~1 are no different from those of inactive galaxies once stellar mass selection effects are taken into account. However, there is a clear deficit of AGN among quiescent galaxies, and the average star formation rates of AGN hosts are comparable or higher than those of inactive star-forming galaxies. These apparently contradictory findings could be a consequence of higher extinction in star-forming AGN hosts compensating for their younger stellar populations in observed colours. In this talk I will present a new method of extinction correction that breaks the degeneracy with stellar age and metallicity by comparing the restframe U-V colour with measurements of the Dn(4000) index on intermediate band photospectra from SHARDS. I'll show that the distribution of extinction corrected U-V colours and Dn(4000) for AGN hosts at z<1 is significantly different from that of comparison samples of inactive galaxies, with a clear deficit of AGN in intrinsic red galaxies and a higher prevalence among those with intermediate age stellar populations.
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