Journal Article

An 80-kpc Lyα halo around a high-redshift type-2 quasi-stellar object

D. J. B. Smith, M. J. Jarvis, C. Simpson and A. Martínez-Sansigre

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 393, issue 1, pages 309-316
Published in print February 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
An 80-kpc Lyα halo around a high-redshift type-2 quasi-stellar object

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We announce the discovery of an extended emission-line region associated with a high-redshift type-2 quasi-stellar object (QSO). The halo, which was discovered in our new wide-field narrow-band survey, resides at z= 2.85 in the Spitzer First Look Survey region and is extended over ∼80 kpc. Deep very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations imply that approximately 50 per cent of the radio emission is extended on scales >200 pc. The inferred active galactic nuclei (AGN) luminosity is sufficient to ionize the extended halo, and the optical emission is consistent with being triggered coevally with the radio source. The Lyα halo is as luminous as those found around high-redshift radio galaxies; however, the active nucleus is several orders of magnitude less luminous at radio wavelengths than those Fanarof–Riley type II (FRIIs) more commonly associated with extended emission-line regions. AMS05 appears to be a high-redshift analogue to the radio-quiet quasar E1821+643 which is core dominated, but which also exhibits extended Fanarof–Riley type I (FRI)-like structure and contains an optically powerful AGN. We also find evidence for more quiescent kinematics in the Lyα emission line in the outer regions of the halo, reminiscent of the haloes around the more powerful FRIIs. The optical to mid-infrared spectral energy distribution is well described by a combination of an obscured QSO (Lbol∼ 3.4 ± 0.2 × 1013 L) and a 1.4 Gyr old simple stellar population with mass ∼3.9 ± 0.3 × 1011 M.

Keywords: galaxies: haloes; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: jets; accretion; quasars: emission lines

Journal Article.  6192 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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