AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 17. Quasars, QSO's and Their Environments
Display, Wednesday, January 12, 2000, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[17.09] HST Observations of the IR-Ultraluminous QSO IRAS 13349+2438

R. A. Lucas (STScI), K. D. Borne, F. Varosi (Raytheon ITSS, GSFC), H. Bushouse (STScI), L. Colina (CSIC-UNICAN)

We have analyzed HST I-band images of the prototypical high-polarization infrared quasar IRAS 13349+2438 (z=0.108). The images reveal an extraordinarily bright stellar nucleus, embedded in a spiral galaxy host, with a few very small companions. It is clear that the main IR luminosity power source in this ULIRG (UltraLuminous IR Galaxy) is the dust-enshrouded AGN/QSO. Our images reveal at very low surface brightness levels some faint tail-like and shell-like structures at large radii, well beyond the spiral structure. These may be indicative of a past tidal interaction, which is typical for the ULIRG population. Near the AGN-dominated center of the galaxy, a second point source (merger remnant nucleus?) is clearly seen at a separation of 1.3 arcsec -- this source appears resolved and may have a tidal tail, but this is difficult to verify due to its close proximity to the very bright WFPC2 PSF features from the central QSO. We have used TINY TIM to estimate the PSF and we have applied a new PSF-subtraction algorithm to produce a QSO-removed image of the underlying host galaxy. We have analyzed the properties of this host galaxy as well as the properties of the surrounding field (e.g., galaxy density). We will describe the results of those analyses. (Support for this work was provided by NASA through grant number GO-06346.01-95A from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.)

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

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