AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 20. Radio Galaxies and Quasars I
Oral, Wednesday, January 6, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, Room 6 (A and B)

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[20.06] A Spectacular Post-Starburst Quasar

M. S. Brotherton, W. van Breugel, S. A. Stanford (IGPP/LLNL), R. J. Smith (MSSSO), B. J. Boyle (AAT), T. Shanks, S. M. Croom (Durham), L. Miller (Oxford), A. V. Filippenko (Berkeley)

We report the discovery of a spectacular ``post-starbust quasar'' UN J1025-00400 (B=19 and z=0.634). The optical spectrum is a chimera, dominated by a quasar in the blue, but in the red shows a large Balmer jump and deep Balmer absorption lines indicative of a young stellar population. Keck spectropolarimetry shows no intrinsic optical polarization. A Keck K-band image (0.5\arcsec FWHM) fails to resolve the quasar from the starburst, but does reveal surrounding asymmetric fuzz and a nearby companion, suggestive of a galactic interaction. Stellar synthesis population models can reproduce the starlight component with a 400-Myr-old instantaneous burst of 2\times1010 M\sun. While starbursts and interactions have been previously associated with quasars, no quasar ever before has been seen with such a luminous young stellar population. The extreme nature of this object provides a unique test case to investigate the connection between galaxy interactions, starbursts, and AGN activity.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mbrother@igpp.llnl.gov

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