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Title: OBSCURATION BY GAS AND DUST IN LUMINOUS QUASARS

We explore the connection between absorption by neutral gas and extinction by dust in mid-infrared (IR) selected luminous quasars. We use a sample of 33 quasars at redshifts 0.7 < z ≲ 3 in the 9 deg{sup 2} Boötes multiwavelength survey field that are selected using Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Array Camera colors and are well-detected as luminous X-ray sources (with >150 counts) in Chandra observations. We divide the quasars into dust-obscured and unobscured samples based on their optical to mid-IR color, and measure the neutral hydrogen column density N {sub H} through fitting of the X-ray spectra. We find that all subsets of quasars have consistent power law photon indices Γ ≈ 1.9 that are uncorrelated with N {sub H}. We classify the quasars as gas-absorbed or gas-unabsorbed if N {sub H} > 10{sup 22} cm{sup –2} or N {sub H} < 10{sup 22} cm{sup –2}, respectively. Of 24 dust-unobscured quasars in the sample, only one shows clear evidence for significant intrinsic N {sub H}, while 22 have column densities consistent with N {sub H} < 10{sup 22} cm{sup –2}. In contrast, of the nine dust-obscured quasars, six show evidence for intrinsic gas absorption, and three are consistent with Nmore » {sub H} < 10{sup 22} cm{sup –2}. We conclude that dust extinction in IR-selected quasars is strongly correlated with significant gas absorption as determined through X-ray spectral fitting. These results suggest that obscuring gas and dust in quasars are generally co-spatial, and confirm the reliability of simple mid-IR and optical photometric techniques for separating quasars based on obscuration.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Physics and Astronomy Department, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, 6127 Wilder Laboratory, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States)
  3. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO 64110 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365812
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 788; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION SPECTRA; CAMERAS; COLOR; COSMIC DUST; DENSITY; GALAXY NUCLEI; HYDROGEN; PHOTOMETRY; QUASARS; RED SHIFT; SPACE; TELESCOPES; X-RAY GALAXIES; X-RAY SPECTRA