NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
the hyperluminous infrared quasar 3c 318 and its implications for interpreting sub-mm detections of high-redshift radio galaxiesWe present near-infrared spectroscopy and imaging of the compact steep-spectrum radio source 3C 318 which shows it to be a quasar at redshift z = 1.574 (the z = 0.752 value previously reported is incorrect). 3C 318 is an IRAS, ISO and SCUBA source so its new redshift makes it the most intrinsically luminous far-infrared (FIR) source in the 3C catalogue (there is no evidence of strong gravitational lensing effects). Its bolometric luminosity greatly exceeds the 10(exp 13) solar luminosity level above which an object is said to be hyperluminous. Its spectral energy distribution (SED) requires that the quasar heats the dust responsible for the FIR flux, as is believed to be the case in other hyperluminous galaxies, and contributes (at the greater than 10% level) to the heating of the CIA dust responsible for the sub-mm emission. We cannot determine whether a starburst makes an important contribution to the heating of the coolest dust, so evidence for a high star-formation rate is circumstantial being based on the high dust, and hence gas, C-1 mass required by its sub-mm detection. We show that the current sub-mm and FIR data available for the highest-redshift radio galaxies are consistent with SEDs similar to that of 3C 318. This indicates that at least some of this population may be detected in the sub-mm because of dust heated by the quasar nucleus, and that interpreting sub-mm detection as evidence for very high (approx. less than 1000 solar mass/yr) star-formation rates may not always be valid. We show that the 3C318 quasar is slightly reddened (A(sub v) approx. = 0.5), the most likely cause of which is SMC-type dust in the host galaxy. If very distant radio galaxies are reddened in a similar way then we show that only slightly greater amounts of dust could obscure the quasars in these sources. We speculate that the low fraction of quasars amongst the very high redshift (z approx. greater than 3) objects in low-frequency radio-selected samples is the result of such obscuration. The highest-z objects might be preferentially obscured because like 3C318 they are inevitably observed very shortly after the jet-triggering event, or because their host galaxies are richer in dust and gas at earlier cosmic epochs, or because of some combination of these two effects.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Willott, Chris J.
(Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias Tenerife, Spain)
Rawlings, Steve
(Oxford Univ. Oxford, United Kingdom)
Jarvis, Matt J.
(Oxford Univ. Oxford, United Kingdom)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
October 25, 1999
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits