The sloan digital sky survey reverberation mapping project: Post-starburst signatures in quasar host galaxies at z < 1

Yoshiki Matsuoka, Michael A. Strauss, Yue Shen, William N. Brandt, Jenny E. Greene, Luis C. Ho, Donald P. Schneider, Mouyuan Sun, Jonathan R. Trump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Quasar host galaxies are key for understanding the relation between galaxies and the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at their centers. We present a study of 191 broad-line quasars and their host galaxies at using high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) spectra produced by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping project. Clear detection of stellar absorption lines allows a reliable decomposition of the observed spectra into nuclear and host components, using spectral models of quasar and stellar radiations as well as emission lines from the interstellar medium. We estimate age, mass , and velocity dispersion of the host stars, the star formation rate (SFR), quasar luminosity, and SMBH mass for each object. The quasars are preferentially hosted by massive galaxies with characterized by stellar ages around 1 billion yr, which coincides with the transition phase of normal galaxies from the blue cloud to the red sequence. The host galaxies have relatively low SFRs and fall below the main sequence of star-forming galaxies at similar redshifts. These facts suggest that the hosts have experienced an episode of major star formation sometime in the past 1 billion yr, which was subsequently quenched or suppressed. The derived and relations agree with our past measurements and are consistent with no evolution from the local universe. The present analysis demonstrates that reliable measurements of stellar properties of quasar host galaxies are possible with high-S/N fiber spectra, which will be acquired in large numbers with future powerful instruments such as the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number91
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume811
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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