Searching for a Connection Between Radio Emission and UV/optical Absorption in Quasars

Sean Haas


Quasars, active galactic cores in distant galaxies, are one of the most energetic objects in the universe. The supermassive black holes that power quasars accrete matter and, in the proccess, cause the accretion disk to release massive amounts of radiation and, on occasion, ejects large amounts of matter. These ejections, called outflows, can be observed in quasar spectra as UV/optical broad absorption lines (BALs). Some of these outflows can reach speeds larger than 0.1c. In this study, 6760 quasar spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 9(SDSS DR9) were analyzed in search of outflows. Of these spectra, 23 quasars were found to have outflows. These spectra were then cross-correlated with the Very Large Array Faint Images of radio Sky at Twenty cm (VLA FIRST) survey in order to search for possible trends between radio properties and outflows. None of the quasars in this sample had any measured radio flux. In comparison, 3.5% of the quasars from the SDSS DR9 quasar catalog had measured radio flux. These findings suggest that radio emissions are not a prerequisite for outflows in quasars.


Quasar;BAL;Astronomy;Outflow;Radio;AGN;black hole

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