AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 107. (Quasars and Blazars-) High Luminosity AGN and their Environments
Display, Saturday, January 9, 1999, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall 1

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[107.07] Wide-Field, R and H Band Imaging of Quasar Environments

R. A. Finn, D. W. McCarthy, C. D. Impey (Steward Obs.), E. J. Hooper (CfA)

This study examines the large-scale environments of radio-loud and radio-quiet quasars. The large-scale environments of quasars are interesting because quasars are thought to be triggered by interactions with neighboring galaxies and/or intercluster gas. Studies show that quasars reside in overdense regions, and radio-quiet quasars, while more likely to have close companions than field galaxies, tend to reside in poorer clusters than radio-loud quasars. To improve our understanding of the correlation between radio properties and environment, we imaged a carefully selected sample from the Large Bright Quasar Survey (LBQS).

The sample consists of sixteen quasars in the redshift range 0.4 < z < 0.5 with absolute blue magnitudes between -23.0 and -26.5. Six of the quasars are radio-loud, and the ten remaining quasars have 8.4 GHz luminosities \rm \le 1023.5 W \cdot Hz-1. R-band images of the quasars and control fields were taken at the Steward 90 inch. The same fields were then imaged in the H-band using a new wide-field infrared camera, PISCES. PISCES is an ideal instrument for this study because its 8.5' field corresponds to a projected distance of 2.4 Mpc at z ~0.4. This allows simultaneous sampling of the quasar environment and a control field. The H and R-band photometry allows identification of companion galaxies, and the color information helps to discriminate between foreground and cluster galaxies. Preliminary results are presented comparing galaxy counts within 1 Mpc of the quasars to field galaxy counts.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: rfinn@as.arizona.edu

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