AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 114. Quasars
Poster, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[114.09] Coronagraphic Observations of the QSO 3C 273 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys

A.R. Martel, H.C. Ford (JHU), J. Krist (STScI), H.D. Tran (JHU), R.L. White, G. Hartig (STScI), G.D. Illingworth (UCO/Lick Obs.), M. Clampin, W.B. Sparks (STScI), Z.I. Tsvetanov (JHU), G. Miley (Leiden Obs.), N. Cross, D.R. Ardila (JHU), F. Bartko (Bartko Sci. & Tech.), N. Ben\'itez, J.P. Blakeslee (JHU), R. Bouwens (UCO/Lick Observatory), T.J. Broadhurst (Racah Inst. Physics, Hebrew U.)), R.A. Brown, C. Burrows (STScI), E. Cheng (GSFC), P.D. Feldman (JHU), M. Franx (Leiden Obs.), D.A. Golimowski (JHU), C. Gronwall (Pennsylvania State Univ.), L. Infante (Pontificia Univ. Catolica de Chile), R.A. Kimble (GSFC), M. Lesser (Steward Obs.), F. Menanteau, G.R. Meurer (JHU), M. Postman (STScI), P. Rosati (ESO), M. Sirianni, W. Zheng (JHU)

The nearby and luminous QSO 3C 273 was imaged in July 2002 with the High Resolution Channel (HRC) of the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) in coronagraphic mode in F475W (g), F606W (V), and F814W (I) as part of the Early Release Observations (ERO) program. After subtraction of the bright PSF, these images offer the most detailed look yet of the morphology and colors of the host galaxy of this QSO. We find a compact and asymmetric light distribution within the central 6" (15 kpc), imbedded in a large, distorted galactic halo. The central light distribution is elongated along the jet axis and its outer edge is delineated by a blue arc centered on the jet. A spiral-shaped structure is also observed in the inner regions and several emission-line filaments and clumps are identified in the host. A section of the inner jet is unambiguously detected in all three bands and its detailed morphology matches that of a MERLIN radio map. We consider that 3C 273 is the result of a merger event and/or that light in the central few arcseconds is dominated by scattered QSO continuum radiation. ACS was developed under NASA contract NAS 5-32865, and this research is supported by NASA grant NAG5-7697. We are grateful for an equipment grant from the Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.