US 3215: An active gE2 galaxy

Steve B. Howell, Joseph E. Pesce, J. J. Condon, Robin Ciardullo, P. D. Usher

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2 Scopus citations


The object US 3215 is an optically variable galaxy with very broad Balmer lines, relatively strong forbidden lines, and a weak UV-excess continuum. It has been classed as a Seyfert 1 galaxy. We report that optical CCD images taken in excellent seeing reveal a central miniquasar in an elliptical galaxy with a de Vaucouleurs profile extending across an angular diameter of ∼ 13 arcsec. This corresponds to a linear size of almost 50 kpc (H0 = 50 km s-1 Mpc-1). Our data indicate that the host galaxy is of type gE2 and is the gravitational center of a cluster of galaxies. A companion galaxy is observed at a projected distance of 24 kpc. H and K magnitudes were obtained and the index H-K is consistent with quasar colors. A VLA snapshot at 1425 MHz gives an upper limit to radio emission at a flux level of 0.2 mJy beam-1 that is consistent with the Sy 1 designation. Thus US 3215 appears to be an active broad-line cluster gE2 galaxy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1149-1153
Number of pages5
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number740
StatePublished - Oct 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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