AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 60 Quasars
Poster, Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[60.01] A Spectropolarimetric Survey of Radio-Selected Broad Absorption Line Quasars

B. Scoggins, M.S. Brotherton (Univ. of Wyoming), R.H. Becker (UC-Davis/LLNL), H.D. Tran (Keck Obs.), M.D. Gregg (UC-Davis/LLNL), R.L. White (STScI), S. Laurent-Muehleisen (UC-Davis)

We have conducted a spectropolarimetric survey of some 30 radio-selected broad absorption line (BAL) quasars using Keck Observatory. Both low and high-ionization BAL quasars are well represented. We find the full range of spectropolarimetric properties present in radio-quiet BAL quasars. Properties include continuum polarizations as high as 10% typically dropping to redder wavelengths, polarization rises in absorption trough bottoms, and broad emission lines that are much less polarized that the continuum. The polarization mechanism is scattering. No clear trends exist among the radio and polarization properties, arguing against simple orientation schemes that explain BAL quasars as otherwise normal quasars seen edge-on. We have estimated the intrinsic reddening and find that this property most strongly correlates with the continuum polarization. This result may suggest that scattered light is most likely always present, but only prominent when diluting direct light suffers extinction.

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