Atlas of quasar energy distributions

Martin Elvis, Belinda J. Wilkes, Jonathan C. Mcdowell, Richard F. Green, Jill Bechtold, S. P. Wlllner, M. S. Oey, Elisha Polomski, Roc Cutri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1464 Scopus citations


We present an atlas of the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of normal, nonblazar, quasars over the whole available range (radio to 10 keV X-rays) of the electromagnetic spectrum. The primary (UVSX) sample includes 47 quasars for which the spectral energy distributions include X-ray spectral indices and UV data. Of these, 29 are radio quiet, and 18 are radio loud. The SEDs are presented both in figures and in tabular form, with additional tabular material published on CD-ROM. Previously unpublished observational data for a second set of quasars excluded from the primary sample are also tabulated. The effects of host galaxy starlight contamination and foreground extinction on the UVSX sample are considered and the sample is used to investigate the range of SED properties. Of course, the properties we derive are influenced strongly by the selection effects induced by quasar discovery techniques. We derive the mean energy distribution (MED) for radio-loud and radio-quiet objects and present the bolometric corrections derived from it. We note, however, that the dispersion about this mean is large (∼one decade for both the infrared and ultraviolet components when the MED is normalized at the near-infrared inflection). At least part of the dispersion in the ultraviolet may be due to time variability, but this is unlikely to be important in the infrared. The existence of such a large dispersion indicates that the MED reflects only some of the properties of quasars and so should be used only with caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-68
Number of pages68
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994


  • Atlases
  • Galaxies : photometry
  • Quasars : general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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