References of "Surdej, Jean"
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See detailObscured and unobscured AGN populations in a hard-X-ray selected sample of the XMDS survey
Tajer, M.; Polletta, M.; Chiappetti, L. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2007), 467(1), 73-91

Aims. Our goal is to probe the populations of obscured and unobscured AGN investigating their optical-IR and X-ray properties as a function of X-ray flux, luminosity and redshift within a hard X-ray ... [more ▼]

Aims. Our goal is to probe the populations of obscured and unobscured AGN investigating their optical-IR and X-ray properties as a function of X-ray flux, luminosity and redshift within a hard X-ray selected sample with wide multiwavelength coverage. Methods. We selected a sample of 136 X-ray sources detected at a significance of >= 3 sigma in the 2-10 keV band (F2-10 greater than or similar to 10(-1)4 erg cm(-2) s(-1)) in a similar to 1 deg(2) area in the XMM Medium Deep Survey (XMDS). The XMDS area is covered with optical photometry from the VVDS and CFHTLS surveys and infrared Spitzer data from the SWIRE survey. Based on the X-ray luminosity and X-ray to optical ratio, 132 sources are likely AGN, of which 122 have unambiguous optical - IR identification. The observed optical and IR spectral energy distributions of all identified sources are fitted with AGN/galaxy templates in order to classify them and compute photometric redshifts. X-ray spectral analysis is performed individually for sources with a sufficient number of counts and using a stacking technique for subsamples of sources at different flux levels. Hardness ratios are used to estimate X-ray absorption in individual weak sources. Results. 70% of the AGN are fitted by a type 2 AGN or a star forming galaxy template. We group them together in a single class of "optically obscured" AGN. These have "red" optical colors and in about 60% of cases show significant X-ray absorption (N-H > 10(22) cm(-2)). Sources with SEDs typical of type 1 AGN have "blue" optical colors and exhibit X-ray absorption in about 30% of cases. The stacked X-ray spectrum of obscured AGN is flatter than that of type 1 AGN and has an average spectral slope of Gamma = 1.6. The subsample of objects fitted by a star forming galaxy template has an even harder stacked spectrum, with Gamma similar to 1.2-1.3. The obscured fraction is larger at lower fluxes, lower redshifts and lower luminosities. X-ray absorption is less common than "optical" obscuration and its incidence is nearly constant with redshift and luminosity. This implies that at high luminosities X-ray absorption is not necessarily related to optical obscuration. The estimated surface densities of obscured, unobscured AGN and type 2 QSOs are respectively 138, 59 and 35 deg(-2) at F > 10-14 erg cm(-2) s(-1). [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM-LSS Survey : properties and two-point angular correlations of point-like sources
Garcet, O.; Gandhi, P.; Disseau, L. et al

Poster (2007)

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See detailSpectral Energy Distributions of Hard X-Ray Selected Active Galactic Nuclei in the XMM-Newton Medium Deep Survey
Polletta, M.; Tajer, M.; Maraschi, L. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2007), 663

We present the SEDs of a hard X-ray selected sample containing 136 sources with F[SUB]2-10keV[/SUB]>10[SUP]-14[/SUP] erg cm[SUP]-2[/SUP] s[SUP]-1[/SUP] 132 are AGNs. The sources are detected in a 1 deg ... [more ▼]

We present the SEDs of a hard X-ray selected sample containing 136 sources with F[SUB]2-10keV[/SUB]>10[SUP]-14[/SUP] erg cm[SUP]-2[/SUP] s[SUP]-1[/SUP] 132 are AGNs. The sources are detected in a 1 deg[SUP]2[/SUP] area of the XMM-Newton Medium Deep Survey where optical data from the VVDS and CFHTLS and infrared data from the SWIRE survey are available. Based on a SED fitting technique we derive photometric redshifts with sigma(1+z)=0.11 and 6% of outliers and identify AGN signatures in 83% of the objects. This fraction is higher than derived when a spectroscopic classification is available. The remaining 17[SUP]+9[/SUP][SUB]-6[/SUB]% of AGNs show star-forming galaxy SEDs (SF class). The sources with AGN signatures are divided in two classes, AGN1 (33[SUP]+6[/SUP][SUB]-1[/SUB]%) and AGN2 (50[SUP]+6[/SUP][SUB]-11[/SUB]%). The AGN1 and AGN2 classes include sources whose SEDs are fitted by type 1 and type 2 AGN templates, respectively. On average, AGN1s show soft X-ray spectra, consistent with being unabsorbed, while AGN2s and SFs show hard X-ray spectra, consistent with being absorbed. The analysis of the average SEDs as a function of X-ray luminosity shows a reddening of the infrared SEDs, consistent with a decreasing contribution from the host galaxy at higher luminosities. The AGNs in the SF classes are likely obscured in the mid-infrared, as suggested by their low L[SUB]3-20mum[/SUB]/L[SUP]corr[/SUP][SUB]0.5-10keV[/SUB] ratios. We confirm the previously found correlation for AGNs between the radio luminosity and the X-ray and the mid-infrared luminosities. The X-ray-radio correlation can be used to identify heavily absorbed AGNs. However, the estimated radio fluxes for the missing AGN population responsible for the bulk of the background at E>10 keV are too faint to be detected even in the deepest current radio surveys. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM large scale structure survey: optical vs. X-ray classifications of active galactic nuclei and the unified scheme
Garcet, Olivier ULg; Gandhi, P.; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2007), 474

Aims.Our goal is to characterize AGN populations by comparing their X-ray and optical classifications within the framework of the standard orientation-based unified scheme. Methods: We present a sample of ... [more ▼]

Aims.Our goal is to characterize AGN populations by comparing their X-ray and optical classifications within the framework of the standard orientation-based unified scheme. Methods: We present a sample of 99 spectroscopically identified (R <= 22 mag) X-ray selected point sources in the XMM-LSS survey which are significantly detected (>=3sigma) in the [ 2-10] keV band with fluxes between 8 × 10[SUP]-15[/SUP] and 8 × 10[SUP]-14[/SUP] erg s[SUP]-1[/SUP] cm[SUP]-2[/SUP], and which have more than 80 counts. We have compared their X-ray and optical classifications. To this end, we performed an X-ray spectral analysis for all of these 99 X-ray sources in order to assess whether they are intrinsically absorbed or not. The X-ray classification is based on the measured intrinsic column density. The optical classification is based on the measured FWHM of the permitted emission lines, the absence of broad lines being due to obscuration within the framework of the standard AGN unified scheme. Results: Introducing the fourfold point correlation coefficient r, we find a mild correlation between the X-ray and the optical classifications (r = 0.28), as up to 32 X-ray sources out of 99 have differing X-ray and optical classifications: on one hand, 10% of the type 1 sources (7/32) present broad emission lines in their optical spectra and strong absorption (N{H}[SUP]int[/SUP] >= 10[SUP]22[/SUP] cm[SUP]-2[/SUP]) in the X-rays. These objects are highly luminous AGN lying at high redshift and thus dilution effects by the host galaxy light are totally ruled out, their discrepant nature being an intrinsic property instead. Their X-ray luminosities and redshifts distributions are consistent with those of the unabsorbed X-ray sources with broad emission lines (L{2-10} 4 × 10[SUP]44[/SUP] erg s[SUP]-1[/SUP]; z 1.9). On the other hand, 25/32 are moderate luminosity (L{2-10} <= 5 × 10[SUP]43[/SUP] erg s[SUP]-1[/SUP]) AGN, which are both unabsorbed in the X-rays and only present narrow emission lines in their optical spectra. Based on their line ratios in the optical, the majority of them have an optical spectrum which is more representative of the host galaxy rather than of a reddened AGN. We finally infer that dilution of the AGN by the host galaxy seems to account for their nature. 5/25 have been defined as Seyfert 2 based on their optical spectra. In conclusion, most of these 32 discrepant cases can be accounted for by the standard AGN unified scheme, as its predictions are not met for only 12% of the 99 X-ray sources. Table 4 and Figs. [see full text]-[see full text] are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org [less ▲]

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See detailThe European Interferometry Initiative (EII) within OPTICON
Surdej, Jean ULg; Chelli, A.; Garcia, P. et al

in Epchtein, N.; Candidi, M. (Eds.) EAS Publications Series, Volume 25 (2007)

We present a brief summary of past Network and Joint Research Activities of the European Interferometry Initiative Consortium in FP6 within OPTICON, of a Marie Curie exchange and education project within ... [more ▼]

We present a brief summary of past Network and Joint Research Activities of the European Interferometry Initiative Consortium in FP6 within OPTICON, of a Marie Curie exchange and education project within the EU program and of planned activitiesinFP7. [less ▲]

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See detailGravitational lens simulator : a didactical experiment
Surdej, Jean ULg; Pospieszalska-Surdej, Anna ULg

Learning material (2007)

A large concentration of mass may act as a kind of lens, called a gravitational lens. A simple educational experience makes it possible to simulate such effects, see also (http://www.aeos.ulg.ac.be/GL ... [more ▼]

A large concentration of mass may act as a kind of lens, called a gravitational lens. A simple educational experience makes it possible to simulate such effects, see also (http://www.aeos.ulg.ac.be/GL/didactics.php). [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM Large-Scale Structure survey: the X-ray pipeline and survey selection function
Pacaud, F.; Pierre, M.; Refregier, A. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2006), 372(2), 578-590

We present the X-ray pipeline developed for the purpose of the cluster search in the XMM Large-Scale Structure (XMM-LSS) survey. It is based on a two-stage procedure via a dedicated handling of the ... [more ▼]

We present the X-ray pipeline developed for the purpose of the cluster search in the XMM Large-Scale Structure (XMM-LSS) survey. It is based on a two-stage procedure via a dedicated handling of the Poisson nature of the signal: (i) source detection on multiresolution wavelet filtered images and (ii) source analysis by means of a maximum likelihood fit to the photon images. The source detection efficiency and characterization are studied through extensive Monte Carlo simulations. This led us to define two samples of extended sources: the C1 class that is uncontaminated, and the less restrictive C2 class that allows for 50 per cent contamination. The resulting predicted selection function is presented and the comparison to the current XMM-LSS confirmed cluster sample shows very good agreement. We arrive at average predicted source densities of about seven C1 and 12 C2 per deg(2), which is higher than any available wide field X-ray survey. We finally note a substantial deviation of the predicted redshift distribution for our samples from the one obtained using the usual assumption of a flux-limited sample. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM Large-Scale Structure survey: a well-controlled X-ray cluster sample over the D1 CFHTLS area
Pierre, M.; Pacaud, F.; Duc, P. A. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2006), 372(2), 591-608

We present the XMM Large-Scale Structure Survey (XMM-LSS) cluster catalogue corresponding to the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey D1 area. The list contains 13 spectroscopically confirmed, X ... [more ▼]

We present the XMM Large-Scale Structure Survey (XMM-LSS) cluster catalogue corresponding to the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey D1 area. The list contains 13 spectroscopically confirmed, X-ray selected galaxy clusters over 0.8 deg(2) to a redshift of unity and so constitutes the highest density sample of clusters to date. Cluster X-ray bolometric luminosities range from 0.03 to 5 x 10(44) erg s(-1). In this study, we describe our catalogue construction procedure: from the detection of X-ray cluster candidates to the compilation of a spectroscopically confirmed cluster sample with an explicit selection function. The procedure further provides basic X-ray products such as cluster temperature, flux and luminosity. We detected slightly more clusters with (0.5-2.0 keV) X-ray fluxes of > 2 x 10(-14) erg s(-1) cm(-2) than we expected based on expectations from deep ROSAT surveys. We also present the luminosity-temperature relation for our nine brightest objects possessing a reliable temperature determination. The slope is in good agreement with the local relation, yet compatible with a luminosity enhancement for the 0.15 < z < 0.35 objects having 1 < T < 2 keV, a population that the XMM-LSS is identifying systematically for the first time. The present study permits the compilation of cluster samples from XMM images whose selection biases are understood. This allows, in addition to studies of large-scale structure, the systematic investigation of cluster scaling law evolution, especially for low mass X-ray groups which constitute the bulk of our observed cluster population. All cluster ancillary data (images, profiles, spectra) are made available in electronic form via the XMM-LSS cluster data base. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM large scale structure survey: properties and two-point angular correlations of point-like sources
Gandhi, P.; Garcet, Olivier ULg; Disseau, L. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2006), 457(2), 393-404

We analyze X-ray sources detected over 4.2 pseudo-contiguous sq. deg. in the 0.5-2 keV and 2-10 keV bands down to fluxes of 2× 10[SUP]-15[/SUP] and 8× 10[SUP]-15[/SUP] erg s[SUP]-1[/SUP] cm[SUP]-2[/SUP ... [more ▼]

We analyze X-ray sources detected over 4.2 pseudo-contiguous sq. deg. in the 0.5-2 keV and 2-10 keV bands down to fluxes of 2× 10[SUP]-15[/SUP] and 8× 10[SUP]-15[/SUP] erg s[SUP]-1[/SUP] cm[SUP]-2[/SUP] respectively, as part of the XMM-Newton Large Scale Structure Survey. The log N-log S in both bands shows a steep slope at bright fluxes, but agrees well with other determinations below ~2 × 10[SUP]-14[/SUP] erg s[SUP]-1[/SUP] cm[SUP]-2[/SUP]. The detected sources resolve close to 30 per cent of the X-ray background in the 2-10 keV band. We study the two-point angular clustering of point sources using nearest neighbours and correlation function statistics and find a weak, positive signal for ~1130 sources in the 0.5-2 keV band, but no correlation for ~400 sources in the 2-10 keV band below scales of 100 arcsec. A sub-sample of ~200 faint sources with hard X-ray count ratios, that is likely to be dominated by obscured AGN, does show a positive signal with the data allowing for a large angular correlation length, but only at the ~2 (3)sigma level, based on re-sampling (Poisson) statistics. We discuss possible implications and emphasize the importance of wider, complete surveys in order to fully understand the large scale structure of the X-ray sky. [less ▲]

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See detailCoronagraphic imaging of three weak-line T Tauri stars: evidence of planetary formation around PDS 70
Riaud, Pierre ULg; Mawet, Dimitri ULg; Absil, Olivier ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2006), 458

Context: High angular resolution imaging of nearby pre-main sequence stars with ages between 1 and 30 Myr can give valuable information on planet formation mechanisms. This range of ages is thought to ... [more ▼]

Context: High angular resolution imaging of nearby pre-main sequence stars with ages between 1 and 30 Myr can give valuable information on planet formation mechanisms. This range of ages is thought to correspond to the dissipation of the optically thick dust disks surrounding young stars and to the end of the planet formation. Aims: This paper presents new observations of three weak-line T Tauri Stars (WTTS) of intermediate ages ranging from 7 to 16 Myr. It aims at increasing the knowledge and sample of circumstellar disks around "old" WTTS. Methods: We observed three stars with the VLT's NAOS-CONICA adaptive optics system in coronagraphic mode. The four-quadrant phase mask coronagraph was used to improve the dynamic range (by a factor of 100) while preserving the high angular resolution (inner working angle of 0farcs 15). Results: One object of our sample (PDS 70), a K5 star, exhibits a brown dwarf companion and a disk in scattered light with a surface brightness power law of r[SUP]-2.8[/SUP], extending from a distance of 14 to 140 AU (assuming a stellar distance of 140 pc) and an integrated luminosity of 16.7 mJy in the K_s-band. The mass of the companion can be estimated to be within a range between 27 and 50 Jupiter masses with an effective temperature of 2750 ± 100 K. This object also shows a resolved outflow stretching up to 550 AU. Conclusions: This newly detected circumstellar disk shows strong similarities with the disk around TW Hya, and adds to the observed population of "old" TTS surrounded by circumstellar material. Moreover, three clues of planetary formation are brought to light by this study. [less ▲]

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See detailAngular Clustering of Obscured Active Galactic Nuclei
Gandhi, Poshak; Garcet, O.; Disseau, L. et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 38 (2006, September 01)

We describe the properties of X-ray point-like sources detected over 4.2 sq. degs. of the largest contiguous survey with XMM-Newton to date (the XMM-LSS survey) to fluxes of F[SUB]2-10 keV[/SUB] 8x10[SUP ... [more ▼]

We describe the properties of X-ray point-like sources detected over 4.2 sq. degs. of the largest contiguous survey with XMM-Newton to date (the XMM-LSS survey) to fluxes of F[SUB]2-10 keV[/SUB] 8x10[SUP]-15[/SUP] erg/s/cm[SUP]2[/SUP] and F[SUB]0.5-2 keV[/SUB] 2x10[SUP]-15[/SUP] erg/s/cm[SUP]2[/SUP] respectively. For 1200 sources in the soft band, we find a two-point angular correlation function (ACF) signal similar to previous work, but no correlation for 400 sources in the hard band. A sample of 200 faint sources with hard X-ray spectra does show a 2-3 sigma positive signal with a power-law normalization theta[SUB]0[/SUB]>40 arcsec. We discuss implications, including the fact that a large correlation length for obscured AGN is inconsistent with simple AGN Unification based on orientation only. [less ▲]

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See detailAstroPoles : Astronomy from the Polar Plateaus; The astronomy program for the International Polar Year
Burton, M.; et al.; Surdej, Jean ULg et al

Poster (2006, August)

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See detailThe 4m international liquid mirror telescope (ILMT)
Surdej, Jean ULg; Absil, Olivier ULg; Bartczak, Przemyslaw ULg et al

in Stepp, Larry (Ed.) Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes (2006, July 01)

The entire funding has recently been obtained in Belgium for the construction of a 4m Liquid Mirror Telescope. Its prime focus will be equipped with a semi-conventional glass corrector allowing to correct ... [more ▼]

The entire funding has recently been obtained in Belgium for the construction of a 4m Liquid Mirror Telescope. Its prime focus will be equipped with a semi-conventional glass corrector allowing to correct for the TDI effect and a thinned, high quantum efficiency, 4K × 4K pixel equivalent CCD camera. It will be capable of subarcsecond imaging in the i'(760 nm) and possibly r', g' band(s) over a field of ~ 30' in diameter. This facility will be entirely dedicated to a deep photometric and astrometric variability survey over a period of ~ 5 years. In this paper, the working principle of liquid mirror telescopes is first recalled, along with the advantages and disadvantages of the latter over classical telescopes. Several science cases are described. For a good access to one of the galactic poles, the best image quality sites for the ILMT are located either in Northern Chile (latitude near -29°30') or in North-East India (Nainital Hills, latitude near +29°30'). At those geographic latitudes, a deep (i' = 22.5 mag.) survey will approximately cover 90 square degrees at high galactic latitude, which is very useful for gravitational lensing studies as well as for the identification of various classes of interesting galactic and extragalactic objects (cf. microlensed stars, supernovae, clusters, etc.). A description of the telescope, its instrumentation and the handling of the data is also presented. [less ▲]

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See detailInfrared achromatic phase shifters using modulated total internal reflection
Mawet, Dimitri; Lenaerts, Cédric; Riaud, Pierre ULg et al

in Monnier, John D; Schöller, Markus; Danchi, William C (Eds.) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series "Advances in Stellar Interferometry" - SPIE Conference 6268 (2006, July 01)

We propose a new family of achromatic phase shifters that uses the modulated total internal reflection (TIR) phenomenon. These components can be seen as enhanced Fresnel rhombs for infrared applications ... [more ▼]

We propose a new family of achromatic phase shifters that uses the modulated total internal reflection (TIR) phenomenon. These components can be seen as enhanced Fresnel rhombs for infrared applications like nulling interferometry and polarimetry. The TIR phenomenon comes with a differential phase shift between the polarization components of the incident light. Modulating the index transition at the TIR interface allows compensating for the intrinsic material dispersion in order to make the subsequent phase shift achromatic over broad bands. The modulation can be induced by a thin film of a well-chosen medium or a subwavelength grating whose parameters are specially optimized. We present results from theoretical simulations together with preliminary fabrication outcomes. [less ▲]

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See detailVSI: a milli-arcsec spectro-imager for the VLTI
Malbet, F.; Kern, P. Y.; Berger, J.-P. et al

in Monnier, John D; Schöller, Markus; Danchi, William C (Eds.) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series "Advances in Stellar Interferometry" - SPIE Conference 6268 (2006, July)

VLTi Spectro-Imager (VSI) is a proposition for a second generation VLTI instrument which is aimed at providing the ESO community with the capability of performing image synthesis at milli-arcsecond ... [more ▼]

VLTi Spectro-Imager (VSI) is a proposition for a second generation VLTI instrument which is aimed at providing the ESO community with the capability of performing image synthesis at milli-arcsecond angular resolution. VSI provides the VLTI with an instrument able to combine 4 telescopes in a baseline version and optionally up to 6 telescopes in the near-infrared spectral domain with moderate to high spectral resolution. The instrument contains its own fringe tracker in order to relax the constraints onto the VLTI infrastructure. VSI will do imaging at the milli-arcsecond scale with spectral resolution of: a) the close environments of young stars probing the initial conditions for planet formation; b) the surfaces of stars; c) the environment of evolved stars, stellar remnants and stellar winds, and d) the central region of active galactic nuclei and supermassive black holes. The science cases allowed us to specify the astrophysical requirements of the instrument and to define the necessary studies of the science group for phase A. [less ▲]

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See detailMulti wavelength study of the gravitational lens system RXS J1131-1231 - II. Lens model and source reconstruction
Claeskens, Jean-François ULg; Sluse, Dominique; Riaud, Pierre ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2006), 451(3), 865-879

Aims. High angular resolution images of the complex gravitational lens system RXS J1131-1231 (a quadruply imaged AGN with a bright Einstein ring) obtained with the Advanced Camera for Surveys and NICMOS ... [more ▼]

Aims. High angular resolution images of the complex gravitational lens system RXS J1131-1231 (a quadruply imaged AGN with a bright Einstein ring) obtained with the Advanced Camera for Surveys and NICMOS instruments onboard the Hubble Space Telescope are analysed to determine the lens model and to reconstruct the host galaxy. Methods. The lens model is constrained by the relative astrometric positions of the lens and point-like images, and by the extended lensed structures. The non-parametric light distribution is recovered in the source plane by means of back ray-tracing. Results. 1-Precise astrometry and photometry of the four QSO lensed images (A-D) and of the lensing galaxy ( G) are obtained. They are found in agreement with an independent study presented in a companion paper. The position and colours of the X object seen in projection close to the lens are found to be only compatible with a satellite galaxy associated with the lens. 2- The Singular Isothermal Ellipsoid plus external shear provides a good fit of the astrometry of images A-D. The positions of extended substructures are also well reproduced. However an octupole ( m = 4) must be added to the lens potential in order to reproduce the observed lens position, as well as the I-B/I-C point-like image flux ratio. The ellipticity and orientation of the mass quadrupole are found similar to those of the light distribution, fitted by a Sersic profile. The lens (z = 0.295) is found to be a massive elliptical in a rich environment and showing possible evolution with respect to z = 0. 3- The host galaxy ( z = 0.658) is found to be a substantially magnified ( M similar to 9) luminous Seyfert 1 spiral galaxy. The angular resolution is sufficient to see regions where stars are intensively forming. Interaction with a closeby companion is also observed. 4- Finally, in the case of RXS J1131-1231, extended lensed structures do not help much in constraining the lens model. [less ▲]

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See detailK-excess, an unexploited method for discovering red quasars
Nakos, T.; Willis, J.; Andreon, S. et al

Conference (2006, May 19)

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See detailIdentification and redshift determination of quasi-stellar objects with medium-band photometry: application to Gaia
Claeskens, Jean-François ULg; Smette, Alain; Vandenbulcke, Luc ULg et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2006), 367(3), 879-904

All-sky, multicolour, medium deep (V similar or equal to 20) surveys have the potentiality of detecting several hundred thousands of quasi-stellar objects (QSOs). Spectroscopic confirmation is not ... [more ▼]

All-sky, multicolour, medium deep (V similar or equal to 20) surveys have the potentiality of detecting several hundred thousands of quasi-stellar objects (QSOs). Spectroscopic confirmation is not possible for such a large number of objects, so that secure photometric identification and precise photometric determination of redshifts (and other spectral features) become mandatory. This is especially the case for the Gaia mission, in which QSOs play the crucial role of fixing the celestial referential frame, and in which more than 900 gravitationally lensed QSOs should be identified. We first built two independent libraries of synthetic QSO spectra reflecting the most important variations in the spectra of these objects. These libraries are publicly available for simulations with any instrument and photometric system. Traditional template fitting and artificial neural networks (ANNs) are compared to identify QSOs among the population of stars using broad- and medium-band photometry (BBP and MBP, respectively). Besides those two methods, a new one, based on the spectral principal components (SPCs), is also introduced to estimate the photometric redshifts. Generic trends as well as results specifically related to Gaia observations are given. We found that (i) ANNs can provide clean, uncontaminated QSO samples suitable for the determination of the reference frame, but with a level of completeness decreasing from similar or equal to 50 per cent at the Galactic pole at V= 18 to similar or equal to 16 per cent at V= 20; (ii) the chi(2) approach identifies about 90 per cent (60 per cent) of the observed QSOs at V= 18 (V= 20), at the expense of a higher stellar contamination rate, reaching similar or equal to 95 per cent in the galactic plane at V= 20. Extinction is a source of confusion and makes difficult the identification of QSOs in the galactic plane and (iii) the chi(2) method is better than ANNs to estimate the photometric redshifts. Due to colour degeneracies, the largest median absolute error (vertical bar Delta z vertical bar(Median)similar or equal to 0.2) is predicted in the range 0.5 < z(spec) < 2. The method based on the SPCs is promisingly good at recovering the redshift, in particular for V < 19 and z < 2.5 QSOs. For bright (V less than or similar to 18) QSOs, SPCs are also able to recover the spectral shape from the BBP and MBP data. [less ▲]

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