Quasars and ultraluminous infrared galaxies: At the limit?

K. K. McLeod, G. H. Rieke, L. J. Storrie-Lombardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


We have detected the host galaxies of 16 nearby, radio-quiet quasars using images obtained with the Near-Infrared Camera and MultiObject Spectrometer. We confirm that these luminous quasars tend to live in luminous, early-type host galaxies, and we use the host-galaxy magnitudes to refine the luminosity/host-mass limit inferred from ground-based studies. If quasars obey the relation Mblackhole/Mspheroid ∼ 0.006 found for massive dark objects in nonactive galaxies, then our analysis implies that they radiate at up to ∼20% of the Eddington rate. An analogous analysis for ultraluminous infrared galaxies shows them to accrete at up to similar Eddington fractions, consistent with the hypothesis that some of them are powered by embedded quasars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L67-L70
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1999


  • Accretion, accretion disk
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: photometry
  • Infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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