AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 78 Quasars and QSOs
Poster, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[78.01] The Tilt of the QSO Fundamental Plane: A Characteristic of AGN Classes?

T. S. Hamilton (Shawnee State University), D. A. Turnshek (University of Pittsburgh), S. Casertano (Space Telescope Science Institute)

Our recent archival study of 70 medium-redshift QSOs observed with the Hubble Space Telescope showed the existence of a fundamental plane for quasars. Using a principal components analysis, we found that 3 nuclear and host properties are related in a kind of fundamental plane: nuclear luminosity, and the size and effective surface magnitude of the host. Using optical nuclear luminosity, this relationship explains 95.8% of the variance in the overall sample and 98.0% in one subsample (radio-loud QSOs in elliptical hosts). Another version of the relationship uses x-ray nuclear luminosity and explains 94.9--98.7% of the variance. Low-Luminosity AGN also exhibit this kind of fundamental plane, and we are investigating other AGN classes.

The form of the QSO fundamental plane shows similarities to the well-studied fundamental plane of elliptical galaxies, but one cannot be directly derived from the other. The key to the relationship might lie in the fueling mechanism of the central black hole. Furthermore, the various classes of QSOs (distinguished by radio loudness and host morphology) are characterized by different fundamental plane slopes. So if the tilt of an AGN class' fundamental plane is determined by its black hole fueling mechanism, then by comparing the slopes for different types of AGN, we might be able to test unified models.

This work has been supported by funding from the Space Telescope Science Institute, the University of Pittsburgh, and the National Research Council.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://cet.ssu.portsmouth.oh.us/~thamilton/research/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: hamilton@milkyway.gsfc.nasa.gov

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