The host galaxies of FeLoBAL quasars at z$\sim$0.9 are not dominated by recent major mergers

C. Villforth, H. Herbst, F. Hamann, T. Hamilton, C. Bertemes, A. Efthymiadou, T. Hewlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Theoretical models have suggested an evolutionary model for quasars, in which most of luminous quasars are triggered by major mergers. It is also postulated that reddening as well as powerful outflows indicate an early phase of activity, close to the merger event. We test this model on a sample of quasars with powerful low ionization outflows seen in broad Iron absorption lines (FeLoBAL). This sample of objects show strong reddening in the optical and fast ($\sim$0.1c) high column density outflows. We present HST WFC3/IR F160W imaging of 10 FeLoBAL host galaxies at redshifts z$\sim$0.9 ($\lambda_{rest}\sim8500\AA$). We compare the host galaxy morphologies and merger signatures of FeLoBALs to luminous blue non-BAL quasars from Villforth et al. 2017 of comparable luminosity, which show no excess of merger features compared to inactive control samples. If FeLoBAL quasars are indeed in a young evolutionary state, close in time to the initial merging event, they should have strong merger features. We find that the host galaxies of FeLoBAL quasars are of comparable luminosity to the host galaxies of optical quasars and show no enhanced merger rates. When looking only at quasars without strong PSF residuals, an enhancement in disturbed and merger rates is seen. While FeLoBAL hosts show weak enhancements over a control of blue quasars, their host galaxies are not dominated by recent major mergers.
LanguageEnglish
Pages2441-2452
Number of pages12
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume483
Issue number2
DOIs
StatusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.CO

Cite this

The host galaxies of FeLoBAL quasars at z$\sim$0.9 are not dominated by recent major mergers. / Villforth, C.; Herbst, H.; Hamann, F.; Hamilton, T.; Bertemes, C.; Efthymiadou, A.; Hewlett, T.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 483, No. 2, 2019, p. 2441-2452.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Hamilton, T.

AU - Bertemes, C.

AU - Efthymiadou, A.

AU - Hewlett, T.

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AB - Theoretical models have suggested an evolutionary model for quasars, in which most of luminous quasars are triggered by major mergers. It is also postulated that reddening as well as powerful outflows indicate an early phase of activity, close to the merger event. We test this model on a sample of quasars with powerful low ionization outflows seen in broad Iron absorption lines (FeLoBAL). This sample of objects show strong reddening in the optical and fast ($\sim$0.1c) high column density outflows. We present HST WFC3/IR F160W imaging of 10 FeLoBAL host galaxies at redshifts z$\sim$0.9 ($\lambda_{rest}\sim8500\AA$). We compare the host galaxy morphologies and merger signatures of FeLoBALs to luminous blue non-BAL quasars from Villforth et al. 2017 of comparable luminosity, which show no excess of merger features compared to inactive control samples. If FeLoBAL quasars are indeed in a young evolutionary state, close in time to the initial merging event, they should have strong merger features. We find that the host galaxies of FeLoBAL quasars are of comparable luminosity to the host galaxies of optical quasars and show no enhanced merger rates. When looking only at quasars without strong PSF residuals, an enhancement in disturbed and merger rates is seen. While FeLoBAL hosts show weak enhancements over a control of blue quasars, their host galaxies are not dominated by recent major mergers.

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