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Molecular Gas and the Host-Galaxy System of the z ~ 0.3 QSO PG 1700+518

Evans, A. S. and Hines, D. C. and Barthel, P. D. and Schneider, G. and Surace, J. A. and Sanders, D. B. and Vavilkin, T. and Frayer, D. T. and Tacconi, L. J. and Storrie-Lombardi, L. J. (2009) Molecular Gas and the Host-Galaxy System of the z ~ 0.3 QSO PG 1700+518. Astronomical Journal, 138 (1). pp. 262-271. ISSN 0004-6256.

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The detection of CO(1→0) emission in the massive (i.e., MH ~ –26.13 mag), z ~ 0.3 host-galaxy system of the broad absorption line quasi-stellar object (QSO) PG1700+518 is reported. The host system has a CO luminosity of L'_CO ~ 1.4 × 10^(10) K km s^(–1) pc^2, and thus a star-forming molecular gas mass of M(H_2) ~ 6 × 10^(10) M_☉ (adopting an α = 4 M_☉[K km s^(–1) pc^2]^(–1)), making it one of the most molecular gas-rich Palomar-Green QSO hosts observed to date. New Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2 direct and NICMOS coronagraphic images show the highest resolution view yet of the host and companion. The new NICMOS image reveals the underlying, apparently tidally disrupted structure seen previously from high-resolution ground-based optical imaging. Light from the host galaxy is overwhelmed by the central point source in the WFPC2 images. The companion galaxy is well resolved in both data sets, and the WFPC2 provides for the first time a clear picture of the optically visible ring structure. The CO redshift is within the range of redshifts derived from optical QSO emission lines, thus the observed CO is associated with the QSO host. However, it cannot be ruled out that the companion has at least ~10^(10) M_☉ of molecular gas. Finally, if the far-infrared luminosity, which is 1/5 of the bolometric luminosity, is the luminosity of the starburst population, the star formation rate is estimated to be ~210 M_☉ yr^(–1). There is thus sufficient molecular gas in the QSO host galaxy to fuel both star formation and QSO activity for another ~10^8 yr. We speculate that we may be witnessing the fueling event in progress that resulted from a collision between the QSO host and the companion galaxy, and that there is an accompanying expulsion of material along our line of sight in the form of broad absorption line gas.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Evans, A. S.0000-0003-2638-1334
Hines, D. C.0000-0003-4653-6161
Barthel, P. D.0000-0002-0106-5776
Schneider, G.0000-0002-4511-5966
Surace, J. A.0000-0001-7291-0087
Sanders, D. B.0000-0002-1233-9998
Frayer, D. T.0000-0003-1924-1122
Tacconi, L. J.0000-0002-1485-9401
Storrie-Lombardi, L. J.0000-0002-5987-5210
Additional Information:© 2009. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2008 April 11; accepted 2009 April 25; published 2009 June 10. We thank the telescope operators and staff of the IRAM 30 m telescope for their support both during and after the observations were obtained. We also thank an anonymous referee for a careful reading of the manuscript and many key suggestions, G. Canalizo for providing optical redshifts for the PG 1700+518 system, P. Appleton for input on CO emission measurements of collisional ring galaxies, and L. Yao, R.-Q. Mao, P. Lacerda, J. Ulvestad, and K. Kellermann for useful discussions and assistance. A.S.E. was supported by NSF grant AST 02-06262 and by NASA through grants HST-GO10592.01-A and HST-GO11196.01-A from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. G.S. was supported by HST programs GTO 7220 and AR 11279 under NASA contract NAG5-3042. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFAST 02-06262
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: active galaxies: individual (PG1700+518) galaxies: interactions galaxies: ISM infrared: galaxies ISM: molecules quasars: emission lines
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090824-102627517
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Molecular Gas and the Host-Galaxy System of the z ~ 0.3 QSO PG 1700+518 A. S. Evans, D. C. Hines, P. Barthel, G. Schneider, J. A. Surace, D. B. Sanders, T. Vavilkin, D. T. Frayer, L. J. Tacconi, and L. J. Storrie-Lombardi 2009 The Astronomical Journal 138 262-271 doi: 10.1088/0004-6256/138/1/262
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:15263
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Aug 2009 16:20
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:56

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