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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[107.10] NICMOS Imaging of High-Redshift Radio Galaxies

A. Zirm (JHU), A. Dey (NOAO), M. Dickinson (STScI), P. J. McCarthy (OCIW), P. Eisenhardt (JPL/Caltech), S. G. Djorgovski (Caltech), H. Spinrad (UCB), A. Stanford, W. van Breugel (LLNL)

We present high resolution, emission line-free near-infrared images of 11 powerful radio galaxies at redshifts 0.7 < z < 1.8 observed with NICMOS Camera 2 on HST. The high angular resolution afforded by HST permits a detailed study of galaxy morphology in these systems. WFPC2 images of these galaxies sample the rest-frame UV emission, which is often dominated by scattered light and other AGN-related processes. The extended UV continuum is typically aligned with the major axis of the radio source and in all objects shows a peculiar morphology dominated by small clumps or filaments. The NICMOS images sample the rest-frame optical emission, which is largely dominated by starlight. In contrast to their rest-frame UV morphologies, the optical / near-infrared morphologies of these systems are more symmetric and are consistent with dynamically relaxed elliptical host galaxies. The active nucleus does not appear to contribute significantly to the near-infrared light. Our observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the host galaxies of z\approx 1-2 radio galaxies are similar to modern-day gE galaxies.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: azirm@pha.jhu.edu

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