A connection between obscuration and star formation in luminous quasars

Chien Ting J. Chen, Ryan C. Hickox, Stacey Alberts, Chris M. Harrison, David M. Alexander, Roberto Assef, Mark Brodwin, Michael J.I. Brown, Agnese Del Moro, William R. Forman, Varoujan Gorjian, Andrew D. Goulding, Kevin N. Hainline, Christine Jones, Christopher S. Kochanek, Stephen S. Murray, Alexandra Pope, Emmanouel Rovilos, Daniel Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We present a measurement of the star formation properties of a uniform sample of mid-IR-selected, optically unobscured, and obscured quasars (QSO1s and QSO2s) in the Boötessurvey region. We use a spectral energy distribution analysis for photometric data spanning optical to far-IR wavelengths to separate the active galactic nucleus (AGN) and host galaxy components. We find that when compared to a matched sample of QSO1s, the QSO2s have roughly twice the far-IR detection fractions, far-IR fluxes, and infrared star formation luminosities (LIR SF). Correspondingly, we show that the AGN obscured fraction rises from 0.3 to 0.7 between (440) 1011LO. We also find evidence associating X-ray absorption with the presence of far-IR-emitting dust. Overall, these results are consistent with galaxy evolution models in which quasar obscuration is associated with dust-enshrouded starburst galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number50
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 20 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • X-rays: galaxies
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: starburst
  • infrared: galaxies
  • quasars: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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