AAS 197, January 2001
Session 74. Surveys for Active Galaxies
Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[74.07] The Reddest and the Brightest: Optically Obscured Quasars in the FIRST Survey

D.J. Helfand, E. Glikman (Columbia University), R.H. Becker (IGPP/UC Davis), M.D. Gregg, M. Lacy (IGPP), R.L. White (STScI)

The possible existence of a large population of optically obscured quasars has been discussed for many years, most recently in the context of the origin of the cosmic X-ray background. We are using a comparison of our FIRST radio survey and the 2MASS near-IR survey to search for such objects. A total of 64 radio sources with K magnitudes brighter than 15.5 are absent from the POSS-I sky survey plates in the ~4000 deg2 overlap of the two surveys. K-band imaging has shown the majority of these objects to be stellar, while optical imaging finds a range of R-K colors from 5 to 8. The first two objects for which we have spectra are both highly obscured quasar at z ~ 2.2; one is also gravitationally lensed. Additional followup spectroscopy will be presented, and an estimate of the fraction of such reddened objects will be derived.

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant AST-98-02732.

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