AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 88. Seyfert Galaxies and QSOs
Oral, Thursday, June 7, 2001, 2:00-3:30pm, C107

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[88.07] Adaptive optics imaging of QSO host galaxies with Hokupa'a on the Gemini North telescope

O. Guyon, D.B. Sanders, A. Stockton, P. Baudoz, D. Potter (IfA (University of Hawaii))

We report the initial results of a new near-infrared imaging survey of quasar hosts using the University of Hawaii Hokupa'a Adaptive Optics system on the 8.2m Gemini-North telescope. J,H,K' images of a complete subsample (~25) of nearby (z <0.3), "bona-fide" optically selected (MB < -23; Ho = 50, qo=0; Schmidt & Green 1983) QSOs are being taken in order to obtain accurate host galaxy magnitudes and colors and to determine two-dimensional structure.

In the initial phase of our observations we found that PSF subtraction residuals were severely limiting our ability to characterize the host galaxy. However we were able to obtain a significant increase in stability of the PSF by turning off the Cassegrain rotator during observations (see Roth et al. contribution at this meeting).

Our sample of Palomar-Green Bright QSOs includes both radio quiet and radio loud objects plus objects spanning the full range of observed "infrared excess" continuum emission. One of the most surprising results has been the detection of modest scale (3-5" ~ 5 kpc diameter) "bars" and/or circumnuclear "disks" that were not evident in previous one-dimensional profile analyses. These structures may be related to the reservoir of fuel needed to power the QSO and may provide important clues concerning the origin and evolution of QSO hosts.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: guyon@ifa.hawaii.edu

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