AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 81. L Dwarfs, Brown Dwarfs, Infrared AGNs and Rare Objects from 2MASS
Special, Oral, Friday, January 8, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, Room 6 (A and B)

[Previous] | [Session 81] | [Next]

[81.04] A New Population of IR-Selected AGN Uncovered By 2MASS

B. Nelson, R. M. Cutri, J.D. Kirkpatrick, C. A. Beichman, C. Lonsdale (IPAC), J. P. Huchra (CfA), M. F. Skrutskie (UMASS)

The majority of quasars in the universe may have remained hidden from view because of dust obscuration in and around their nuclei, as suggested by evidence from IRAS ("infrared" quasars and luminous IR galaxies) and the large range of optical-IR colors of radio-selected quasars. If so many objects have been missed by other surveys, our understanding of their physics and evolution must be incomplete.

Using the Two-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), we have begun searching for these hidden objects by compiling a sample of quasars and Seyfert galaxies selected from their IR colors. In 2800 square degrees, about 7% of the entire sky, 600 previously unidentified and unclassified objects redder than J-K_s=2.0 have been found. Spectroscopic follow-up on 82 objects has uncovered 57 new AGN, yielding a success rate of selecting new AGN based solely on IR colors of over 70%. Two-thirds of these have broad emission lines indicative of quasars and Seyfert 1 galaxies with redshifts from z=0.1 to 0.6. Relaxing the color selection criterion to J-K_s>1.9 doubles the number of candidates, from which we predict over 10,000 of these objects waiting to be discovered by 2MASS.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: nelson@ipac.caltech.edu

[Previous] | [Session 81] | [Next]