AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 140 Spitzer Studies of AGN
Poster, Wednesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 11, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[140.02] The Mid-IR/Optical Properties of Type 1 Quasars

G.T. Richards (JHU), M. Lacy, L.J. Storrie-Lombardi (SSC), X. Fan, C.J. Papovich (Arizona), P.B. Hall (York), S.C. Gallagher (UCLA), S.F. Anderson (UW), S. Jester (Southampton), D.E. Vanden Berk, D.P. Schneider (PSU), D.C. Hines (SSI)

We present an analysis of the mid-infrared (MIR) and optical properties of SDSS type 1 quasars detected by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The MIR color-redshift relation is characterized to z=3, with predictions to z=7. We demonstrate how combining MIR and optical colors can yield even more efficient selection of active galactic nuclei (AGN) than MIR or optical colors alone. Composite spectral energy distributions (SEDs) are constructed for 115 quasars with both Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Spitzer photometry, supplemented by near-IR, GALEX, VLA and ROSAT data where available. We discuss how the spectral diversity of quasars influences the determination of bolometric luminosities and accretion rates; assuming the mean SED leads to errors as large as 50% for individual quasars. Finally, we show that consideration of the shape of the mean quasar SED leads to a smaller upper limit to the fraction of reddened AGNs recovered by MIR selection that are missed by optical surveys.

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