EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 414, Number 3, February II 2004
Page(s) 919 - 926
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20031677

A&A 414, 919-926 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20031677

NIR observations of the QSO 3C 48 host galaxy

J. Zuther1, A. Eckart1, J. Scharwächter1, M. Krips1, 2 and C. Straubmeier1

1  1. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Köln, Germany
2  IRAM, 300 rue de la Piscine, Domaine Universitaire, 38406 Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France

(Received 11 August 2003 / Accepted 30 October 2003 )

In this paper we present new near infrared (NIR) imaging and spectroscopic data of the quasar 3C 48 and its host galaxy. The data were obtained with the ESO-VLT camera ISAAC. We report the first detection of the apparent second nucleus 3C 48A about 1´´ NE of the bright QSO nucleus in the NIR bands  J, H, and  Ks. 3C 48A is highly reddened with respect to the host, which could be due to warm dust, heated by enhanced star formation or by interstellar material intercepting the radio jet. In fact, all colors on the host galaxy are reddened by several magnitudes of visual extinction. Imaging and initial spectroscopy also reveal a stellar content of about 30% to the overall QSO-light in the NIR. These results are important input parameters for future models of the stellar populations by taking extinction into account.

Key words: galaxies: fundamental parameters -- infrared: galaxies -- quasars: individual: 3C 48

Offprint request: J. Zuther, zuther@ph1.uni-koeln.de

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