Near-IR Properties of Quasar and AGN Host Galaxies

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Session 100 -- AGN: Unified Picture
Oral presentation, Friday, January 14, 2:15-3:45, Crystal Forum Room (Crystal City Marriott)

[100.01] Near-IR Properties of Quasar and AGN Host Galaxies

K.K. McLeod, G.H. Rieke (Steward Observatory)

We present H band images of 50 low-redshift quasars from the Bright Quasar Survey (BQS) and K band images of the CfA Seyfert galaxies. We detect the host galaxy in at least 45 of the BQS objects. On average, we find the hosts to be bluer than normal galaxies. The colors are consistent either with fairly large bursts of star formation about $10^8$ years ago, or with moderate levels of ongoing star formation. The hosts of lower-luminosity quasars have H magnitudes, and hence masses, of $\rm L^*$ galaxies. Higher-luminosity quasars live in galaxies roughly twice as massive and are possibly more likely to have close (within 30kpc), massive companions. Thus, the highest levels of quasar activity seem to require a massive host or a substantial interaction. We see no host galaxy with axis ratio $b/a<0.5$; therefore, if a significant fraction of this population is composed of spirals, there is a deficiency of hosts seen edge-on. These characteristics will be compared with the CfA Seyfert host galaxies.

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