Obscured Quasars: Finding and understanding the most luminous active supermassive black holes with SALT

Kevin N. Hainline, Ryan C. Hickox, Christopher Carroll, Adam D. Myers, Michael A. Dipompeo, Laura Trouille

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The discovery that all massive galaxies contain central supermassive black holes has lead to a great deal of research into how black holes and their host galaxies grow together. As material falls onto a supermassive black hole, an enormous amount of radiation is produced, and it is thought that the radiation from this "active galactic nucleus' (AGN) can significantly impact the evolution of its host galaxy. Using observations from the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we have lead a campaign to detect and characterize large samples of the most luminous AGNs, quasars, throughout the universe. Our work focuses on "obscured" quasars, objects where much of the bright UV and optical light produced near the black hole is blocked by dust along our line of sight to the center of these galaxies, allowing us to observe their host galaxies in detail. By finding and exploring these objects, we can understand the delicate relationship between black hole and stellar growth in galaxies both nearby and at large cosmic distances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number028
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd Southern African Large Telescope Science Conference, SSC 2015 - Stellenbosch, South Africa
Duration: Jun 1 2015Jun 5 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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