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FIRST-2MASS Red Quasars: Transitional Objects Emerging from the Dust

Glikman, Eilat and Urrutia, Tanya and Lacy, Mark and Djorgovski, S. George and Mahabal, Ashish and Myers, Adam D. and Ross, Nicholas P. and Petitjean, Patrick and Ge, Jian and Schneider, Donald P. and York, Donald G. (2012) FIRST-2MASS Red Quasars: Transitional Objects Emerging from the Dust. Astrophysical Journal, 757 (1). Art. No. 51. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We present a sample of 120 dust-reddened quasars identified by matching radio sources detected at 1.4 GHz in the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty Centimeters survey with the near-infrared Two Micron All Sky Survey catalog and color-selecting red sources. Optical and/or near-infrared spectroscopy provide broad wavelength sampling of their spectral energy distributions that we use to determine their reddening, characterized by E(B – V). We demonstrate that the reddening in these quasars is best described by Small-Magellanic-Cloud-like dust. This sample spans a wide range in redshift and reddening (0.1 ≲ z ≲ 3, 0.1 ≲ E(B – V) ≲ 1.5), which we use to investigate the possible correlation of luminosity with reddening. At every redshift, dust-reddened quasars are intrinsically the most luminous quasars. We interpret this result in the context of merger-driven quasar/galaxy co-evolution where these reddened quasars are revealing an emergent phase during which the heavily obscured quasar is shedding its cocoon of dust prior to becoming a "normal" blue quasar. When correcting for extinction, we find that, depending on how the parent population is defined, these red quasars make up ≲ 15%-20% of the luminous quasar population. We estimate, based on the fraction of objects in this phase, that its duration is 15%-20% as long as the unobscured, blue quasar phase.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Glikman, Eilat0000-0003-0489-3750
Urrutia, Tanya0000-0001-6746-9936
Lacy, Mark0000-0002-3032-1783
Djorgovski, S. George0000-0002-0603-3087
Mahabal, Ashish0000-0003-2242-0244
Ross, Nicholas P.0000-0003-1830-6473
Additional Information:© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 December 16; accepted 2012 June 28; published 2012 September 5. We thank Meg Urry for a careful reading of the manuscript and helpful comments. We are grateful to the staff of W.M. Keck observatory for their assistance during our observing runs. E.G., T.U., and M.L. acknowledge support from Spitzer grant GO4-PID40143. S.G.D. and A.A.M. acknowledge a partial support from the NSF grants AST-0407448 and AST-0909182. A.D.M. acknowledges support from the NASA-ADAP program through grants NNX12AI49G and NNX12AE38G. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The Digitized Sky Surveys were produced at the Space Telescope Science Institute under U.S. Government grant NAGW-2166. The images of these surveys are based on photographic data obtained using the Oschin Schmidt Telescope on Palomar Mountain and the UK Schmidt Telescope. The plates were processed into the present compressed digital form with the permission of these institutions. The Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS-II) was made by the California Institute of Technology with funds from the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the Sloan Foundation, the Samuel Oschin Foundation, and the Eastman Kodak Corporation. The Guide Star Catalog II is a joint project of the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino. Space Telescope Science Institute is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under contract NAS5-26555. The participation of the Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino is supported by the Italian Council for Research in Astronomy. Additional support is provided by European Southern Observatory, Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility, the International GEMINI project, and the European Space Agency Astrophysics Division. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. Funding for the creation and distribution of the SDSS Archive has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, and the Max Planck Society. The SDSS Web site is The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are The University of Chicago, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, The Johns Hopkins University, the Korean Scientist Group, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington. Funding for SDSS-III has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SDSS-III Web site is SDSS-III is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions of the SDSS-III Collaboration including the University of Arizona, the Brazilian Participation Group, Brookhaven National Laboratory, University of Cambridge, University of Florida, the French Participation Group, the German Participation Group, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the Michigan State/Notre Dame /JINA Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, New Mexico State University, New York University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the Spanish Participation Group, University of Tokyo, University of Utah, Vanderbilt University, University of Virginia, University of Washington, and Yale University. Facilities: Keck:I (LRIS), Keck:II (ESI), Sloan, VLA, IRTF (SpeX), Hale (TripleSpec), Hiltner (TIFKAM), Shane (Kast Double spectrograph)
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Subject Keywords:dust, extinction; quasars: general; surveys
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121101-104020960
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Official Citation:FIRST-2MASS Red Quasars: Transitional Objects Emerging from the Dust Eilat Glikman et al. 2012 ApJ 757 51
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35238
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:01 Nov 2012 20:23
Last Modified:04 Nov 2019 02:06

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