Host Galaxies of Luminous Quasars: Structural Properties and the Fundamental Plane

Type Journal Article
Names Marsha J. Wolf, Andrew I. Sheinis
Publication The Astronomical Journal
Volume 136
Pages 1587-1606
Date October 1, 2008
Short Title Host Galaxies of Luminous Quasars
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract We present stellar velocity dispersion measurements in the host galaxies of ten luminous quasars (MV < -23) using the Ca H&K lines in off-nuclear spectra. We combine these data with effective radii and magnitudes from the literature to place the host galaxies on the fundamental plane (FP) where their properties are compared with other types of galaxies. We find that the radio-loud (RL) QSO hosts have similar properties to massive elliptical galaxies, while the radio-quiet (RQ) hosts are more similar to intermediate-mass galaxies. The RL hosts lie at the upper extreme of the FP due to their large velocity dispersions (langσ*rang = 321 km s-1), low surface brightness (langμ e (r)rang = 20.8 mag arcsec-2), and large effective radii (langRe rang = 11.4 kpc), and have langM *rang = 1.5 × 1012 M sun and langM/Lrang = 12.4. In contrast, properties of the RQ hosts are langσ*rang = 241 km s-1, langM *rang = 4.4 × 1011 M sun, and M/L ~ 5.3. The distinction between these galaxies occurs at σ*~ 300 km s-1, Re ~ 6 kpc, and corresponding M * ~ 5.9 ± 3.5 × 1011 M sun. Our data support previous results that Palomar-Green QSOs are related to gas-rich galaxy mergers that form intermediate-mass galaxies, while RL QSOs reside in massive early-type galaxies, most of which also show signs of recent mergers or interactions. Previous authors have drawn these conclusions by using estimates of the black hole mass and inferring host galaxy properties from that, while here we have relied purely on directly measured host galaxy properties.
Tags GALAXIES: EVOLUTION, GALAXIES: FUNDAMENTAL PARAMETERS, galaxies: active, galaxies: formation, galaxies: kinematics and dynamics, quasars: general
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