NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006A-0574

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Proposal Information for 2006A-0574


PI: Susan Ridgway, Johns Hopkins University, ridgway@pha.jhu.edu
Address: Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, 3400 N. Charkes St., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

CoI: Mark Lacy, Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology

Title: Radio-quiet quasar hosts at high redshift: typical galaxies close to the epoch of formation?

Abstract: Study of the host galaxies and environments of high redshift AGN is proving a valuable probe of current theories of how galaxies form and evolve. Results from our space and ground-based imaging programs of z ~ 1 - 3 quasars have indicated that the hosts of high-z radio- quiet quasars have luminosities only around local L_*, making them similar to Lyman-break field galaxies at the same redshifts, and to the low-z RQQ hosts. At z ~ 1, however, we have found that both faint and higher luminosity quasars have massive hosts that seem to be fully formed. Currently, however, the small numbers of observed objects at high z have so far made it difficult to rigorously test models that attempt to predict the hierarchical buildup of galaxies and their relation to their supermassive black holes. We propose here to begin an AO observing program to study quasars at z ~ 2 -3 that will complement the faint quasars we have already studied at that epoch, but are at higher luminosities to match our z ~ 1 Lick AO imaging program. By making such a comprehensive imaging study of the hosts of RQQs from low to high z at a range of nuclear luminosities we will be able to trace the evolution of the hosts and that of the relationship between quasar and host galaxy luminosity.


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



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006A-0574

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