The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping Project: Quasar Host Galaxies at z < 0.8 from Image Decomposition

Minghao Yue, Linhua Jiang, Yue Shen, Patrick B. Hall, Zhefu Yu, Donald P. Schneider, Luis C. Ho, Keith Horne, Patrick Petitjean, Jonathan R. Trump

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17 Scopus citations


We present the rest-frame UV and optical photometry and morphology of low-redshift broad-line quasar host galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping project. Our sample consists of 103 quasars at z < 0.8, spanning a luminosity range of -25 ≤ M g ≤ -17 mag. We stack the multi-epoch images in the g and i bands taken by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. The combined g-band (i-band) images reach a 5σ depth of 26.2 (25.2) mag, with a typical point-spread function (PSF) size of 0.″7 (0.″6). Each quasar is decomposed into a PSF and a Sérsic profile, representing the components of the central active galactic nucleus (AGN) and the host galaxy, respectively. The systematic errors of the measured host galaxy flux in the two bands are 0.23 and 0.18 mag. The relative errors of the measured galaxy half-light radii (R e) are about 13%. We estimate the rest-frame u- and g-band flux of the host galaxies, and find that the AGN-to-galaxy flux ratios in the g band are between 0.9 and 4.4 (68.3% confidence). These galaxies have high stellar masses . They have similar colors to star-forming galaxies at similar redshifts, which is consistent with AGN positive feedback in these quasars. We find that the relation in our sample is shallower than the local M Bulge-M BH relation. The Sérsic indices and the M -R e relation indicate that the majority of the host galaxies are disk-like.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 10 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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