NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013B-0323

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Proposal Information for 2013B-0323


PI: Carolin Villforth, University of Florida, villforth@ufl.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, PO Box 112055, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL, 32611-2055, USA

CoI: Fred Hamann, University of Florida
CoI: Nadia Zakamska, Johns Hopkins University
CoI: Michael Strauss, Princeton University (Astrophysics)
CoI: Nicholas P. Ross, LBL
CoI: Alina Streblyanska, IAC

Title: Starburst Quasars: A transitional stage in the quasar lifecycle?

Abstract: The global star formation rate and quasar activity show a remarkable co-evolution through cosmic time, and direct links between starbursts and quasars have long been suggested. Popular theoretical models posit that wet major mergers of galaxies trigger both intense starbursts and quasar activity. However, the merger-starburst- quasar connection has proven remarkably hard to pin down both as a global phenomenon and for individual systems. Samples of systems that harbor both a luminous quasar and an active ongoing starburst are needed to address this problem. We have identified a sample of "starburst quasars" using data from the SDSS/BOSS and WISE surveys to select optically bright, unobscured, broad-line quasars with mid-IR SEDs entirely dominated by the starburst. We request GMOS long slit spectroscopy of five starburst quasars with moderate [OIII] luminosities ( 10^41-42 erg/s) at redshifts 0.6-0.9 to further characterize these sources and determine if they are, in fact, a younger transitional population compared to non-starburst quasars at similar redshifts and luminosities. We will specifically measure 1) [OIII] to probe the extent and kinematics of the narrow line regions and possible large-scale outflows, 2) broad H-beta to derive black hole masses and Eddington ratios, and 3) [OII], narrow H-beta, and other lines, as available, to help constrain the star formation rates and sources of ionization.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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