NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006A-0183

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Proposal Information for 2006A-0183


PI: Michael Brotherton, University of Wyoming, mbrother@uwyo.edu
Address: Physics Department, Dept. 3905, Laramie, WY 82071, USA

CoI: Cassandra Paul, University of Wyoming
CoI: Zhaohui Shang, University of Wyoming
CoI: Gabriela Canalizo, University of California at Riverside
CoI: Dan Vanden Berk, Penn State
CoI: Aleks Diamond-Stanic, University of Arizona

Title: Characterizing the Post-Starburst Quasar Population and their Companion Galaxies

Abstract: We propose to obtain improved spectroscopy of about three dozen post- starburst quasars selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Post-starburst quasars are broad-lined AGN that also possess the spectral signatures of massive, moderate aged stellar populations (in excess of 10^10 solar masses and ages of 100s Myrs). These sources represent several percent of the quasar population and may explicitly reveal how black hole mass/bulge mass correlations arise. The current project, which also utilizes HST, IRTF, and SDSS data, will for the first time determine properties of these massive starbursts (age, mass), their black holes (accretion rate, mass), morphologies, environments, and the relationships among these. We will test the hypothesis that post-starburst quasars are an evolutionary phase in the lifetimes of most quasars. Specifically, the KPNO spectra will improve on the SDSS spectra by covering shorter wavelengths where the Mg II line is present (needed for the best, uniform black hole mass estimates), increasing the signal-to-noise ratios from <10 to more like 20+ for much better modeling, and providing redshifts and classifications for companion galaxies.


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