AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 111. Science with Wide Field Imaging in Space
Oral, Wednesday, January 9, 2002, 10:00-11:30am, Georgetown East

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[111.03] Studying Active Galactic Nuclei with SNAP

P.S. Osmer (OSU), P.B. Hall (Princeton/Catolica)

The proposed SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) offers the chance to study thousands of active galactic nuclei (AGN) just in its primary imaging of 20 square degrees of sky to a coadded AB=32. Time sampling of every two days or better for 1.5 years will yield the largest sample to date of variability-selected AGN. Any AGN not sufficiently variable for detection on the observed timescales can be found at bright magnitudes via comparision with ground-based surveys and at faint magnitudes by fitting models including nuclear point sources to the observed galaxy light profiles. This AGN sample from the primary SNAP imaging area will be large enough to study variability as a function of luminosity and many other parameters down to an absolute B magnitude of -16 at least. It will also yield the bivariate AGN / host galaxy luminosity function as a function of redshift to z=1.7. Dense time sampling of so many AGN may also allow the detection of strong flaring events, such as might be produced by the tidal disruption of a star by a

supermassive black hole.


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