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See detailThe QSO HE0450-2958: Scantily dressed or heavily robed? A normal quasar as part of an unusual ULIRG
Jahnke, Knud; Elbaz, David; Pantin, Eric et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2009), 700(2), 1820-1830

(Abridged) The luminous z=0.286 quasar HE0450-2958 is interacting with a companion galaxy at 6.5 kpc distance and the whole system is a ULIRG. A so far undetected host galaxy triggered the hypothesis of a ... [more ▼]

(Abridged) The luminous z=0.286 quasar HE0450-2958 is interacting with a companion galaxy at 6.5 kpc distance and the whole system is a ULIRG. A so far undetected host galaxy triggered the hypothesis of a mostly "naked" black hole (BH) ejected from the companion by three-body interaction. We present new HST/NICMOS 1.6micron imaging data at 0.1" resolution and VLT/VISIR 11.3micron images at 0.35" resolution that for the first time resolve the system in the near- and mid-infrared. We combine these with existing optical HST and CO maps. (i) At 1.6micron we find an extension N-E of the quasar nucleus that is likely a part of the host galaxy, though not its main body. If true, this places HE0450-2958 directly onto the M_BH-M_bulge-relation for nearby galaxies. (ii) HE0450-2958 is consistent with lying at the high-luminosity end of Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxies, and more exotic explanations like a "naked quasar" are unlikely. (iii) All 11.3micron radiation in the system is emitted by the quasar nucleus, which is radiating at super-Eddington rate, L/L_Edd=6.2+3.8-1.8, or 12 M_sun/yr. (iv) The companion galaxy is covered in optically thick dust and is not a collisional ring galaxy. It emits in the far infrared at ULIRG strength, powered by Arp220-like star formation (strong starburst-like). An M82-like SED is ruled out. (v) With its black hole accretion rate HE0450-2958 produces not enough new stars to maintain its position on the M_BH-M_bulge-relation, and star formation and black hole accretion are spatially disjoint; the bulge has to grow by redistribution of preexisting stars. (vi) Systems similar to HE0450-2958 with spatially disjoint ULIRG-strength star formation and quasar activity are rare. At z<0.43 we only find <4% (3/77) candidates for a similar configuration. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Host Galaxies of the Brightest Quasars: Gas-Rich Galaxies, Mergers, and Young Stars
Courbin, Frédéric; Letawe, Géraldine ULg; Meylan, Georges et al

in The Messenger (2006), 124

Because they are faint and hidden in the glare of a much brighter unresolved source, quasar host galaxies still challenge the most powerful telescopes, instrumentation and processing techniques ... [more ▼]

Because they are faint and hidden in the glare of a much brighter unresolved source, quasar host galaxies still challenge the most powerful telescopes, instrumentation and processing techniques. Determining their basic morphological parameters and their integrated colours is feasible, but difficult, from imaging alone. However, detailed information on their stellar and gas contents and on their dynamics is achievable with deep spectroscopy. [less ▲]

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