The Rarity of Star Formation in Brightest Cluster Galaxies as Measured by WISE
Amelia Fraser-McKelvie
Monash University
Michael JI Brown, Kevin Pimbblet
Brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) are the most massive galaxies in the local Universe, located in extreme environments.
While it is clear that the bulk of BCGs are red, there is a well-studied portion with vigorous star formation, sometimes coupled with AGN activity.
In the low redshift Universe, Perseus A is a prime example, displaying a star formation rate (SFR) >30M_sol/year, whilst being the archetypal example of AGN feedback.
The exact portion of star forming BCGs in the local Universe is unknown however, as is the significance of this star formation.

The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) AllWISE Data Release provides the first measurement of the 12 micron star formation indicator for all BCGs in the nearby Universe. We assemble a sample of 245 BCGs that constitute a volume limited sample at z1E44 erg/s to measure BCG star formation rates.
93% of the sample possesses IR SFRs of 10 solar masses per year. Perseus A is in the tiny minority of vigorously star forming BCGs, an outlier in a mostly passive population (Fraser-McKelvie, Brown & Pimbblet, 2014,MNRAS,444,L63).