AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 167 Quasars and Blazars
Oral, Thursday, January 13, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Royal Palm 1-3

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[167.02] Evolution and Luminosity Dependendence of the Hosts of Radio-quiet Quasars

S.E. Ridgway, T. Heckman (JHU), M. Lacy (SIRTF, Caltech)

The discovery that the nearest galaxies may all contain supermassive black holes, and that the black hole mass and galactic spheroid mass are strongly correlated, implies that most bulge-dominated massive galaxies went through an early quasar phase. Therefore, quasar activity is probably a natural part of the evolution of typical early-type galaxies. To investigate these links between the formation and evolution of the AGN population and that of galaxies, we have been studying the relationship between these populations at moderate and high redshift, where the quasar luminosity function is reaching a maximum. At z ~2 -- 3, we found that faint radio-quiet quasars seem to be associated with L* galaxies, as opposed to the many times L* galaxies associated with the radio-loud objects at similar redshifts. Although the radio-quiet hosts have luminosities and compactnesses similar to the Lyman-break galaxies, their rest-frame UV-optical colors indicate that they may be less actively forming stars. This is roughly consistent with hierarchical schemes of galaxy formation, with these high-redshift, low AGN-luminosity objects still in the process of formation. In contrast, at z ~1, most high-luminosity quasars seem to have very massive hosts, more comparable to those of the radio-loud objects. To determine whether this difference is due to evolution or to the difference in AGN luminosity, we have obtained deep ACS imaging of a sample of lower-luminosity radio-quiet quasar hosts at z ~1. This allows us to study the host galaxy mass as a function of AGN luminosity (and therefore black hole mass) and as a function of redshift.

This work has been funded by NASA LTSA grant NAG5-10762 and NASA/STScI HST grant GO-09902.

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