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Title: A spectroscopic survey of WISE-selected obscured quasars with the southern african large telescope

We present the results of an optical spectroscopic survey of a sample of 40 candidate obscured quasars identified on the basis of their mid-infrared emission detected by the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Optical spectra for this survey were obtained using the Robert Stobie Spectrograph on the Southern African Large Telescope. Our sample was selected with WISE colors characteristic of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), as well as red optical to mid-IR colors indicating that the optical/UV AGN continuum is obscured by dust. We obtain secure redshifts for the majority of the objects that comprise our sample (35/40), and find that sources that are bright in the WISE W4 (22 μm) band are typically at moderate redshift ((z) = 0.35) while sources fainter in W4 are at higher redshifts ((z) = 0.73). The majority of the sources have narrow emission lines with optical colors and emission line ratios of our WISE-selected sources that are consistent with the locus of AGN on the rest-frame g – z color versus [Ne III] λ3869/[O II] λλ3726+3729 line ratio diagnostic diagram. We also use empirical AGN and galaxy templates to model the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) for the objects in our sample, and find thatmore » while there is significant variation in the observed SEDs for these objects, the majority require a strong AGN component. Finally, we use the results from our analysis of the optical spectra and the SEDs to compare our selection criteria to alternate criteria presented in the literature. These results verify the efficacy of selecting luminous obscured AGNs based on their WISE colors.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071 (United States)
  3. Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, The Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL 60605 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370017
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 795; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DUSTS; EMISSION; ENERGY SPECTRA; GALAXIES; GALAXY NUCLEI; INFRARED SURVEYS; INTERMEDIATE INFRARED RADIATION; QUASARS; RED SHIFT; TELESCOPES; VARIATIONS