Type II quasars are luminous Active Galactic Nuclei whose centers are obscured by large amounts of gas and dust. In this contribution we present 3-band HST images of nine type II quasars with redshifts 0.25 < z < 0.4 selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey based on their emission line properties. The intrinsic luminosities of these quasars are thought to be in the range -23 > MB > -26, but optical obscuration implies that host galaxies can be studied unencumbered by bright nuclei. Each object has been imaged in three filters ('red', 'green' and 'blue') placed between the strong emission lines. The spectacular, high quality images reveal a wealth of details about the structure of the host galaxies and their environments. Most galaxies in the sample are ellipticals, but strong deviations from de Vaucouleurs profiles are found, especially in the blue band. We argue that most of these deviations are due to the light from the nucleus scattered off interstellar material in the host galaxy. This scattered component can make a significant contribution to the broad-band flux and complicates the analysis of the colors of the stellar populations in the host galaxy. This extended component can be difficult to notice in unobscured luminous quasars and may bias the results of host galaxy studies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science