X-ray emission from optically selected radio-intermediate and radio-loud quasars

B. P. Miller, W. N. Brandt, D. P. Schneider, R. R. Gibson, A. T. Steffen, Jianfeng Wu

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23 Scopus citations


We present the results of an investigation into the X-ray properties of radio-intermediate and radio-loud quasars (RIQs and RLQs, respectively). We combine large, modern optical (e.g., SDSS) and radio (e.g., FIRST) surveys with archival X-ray data from Chandra, XMM-Newton, and ROSAT to generate an optically selected sample that includes 188 RIQs and 603 RLQs. This sample is constructed independently of X-ray properties but has a high X-ray detection rate (85%); it provides broad and dense coverage of the l-z plane, including at high redshifts (22% of objects have z = 2-5), and it extends to high radio-loudness values (33% of objects have R* = 3-5, using logarithmic units). We measure the "excess" X-ray luminosity of RIQs and RLQs relative to radio-quiet quasars (RQQs) as a function of radio loudness and luminosity, and parameterize the X-ray luminosity of RIQs and RLQs both as a function of optical/UV luminosity and also as a joint function of optical/UV and radio luminosity. RIQs are only modestly X-ray bright relative to RQQs; it is only at high values of radio loudness (R* ≳ 3.5) and radio luminosity that RLQs become strongly X-ray bright. We find no evidence for evolution in the X-ray properties of RIQs and RLQs with redshift (implying jet-linked IC/CMB emission does not contribute substantially to the nuclear X-ray continuum). Finally, we consider a model in which the nuclear X-ray emission contains both disk/corona-linked and jet-linked components and demonstrate that the X-ray jet-linked emission is likely beamed but to a lesser degree than applies to the radio jet. This model is used to investigate the increasing dominance of jet-linked X-ray emission at low inclinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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