EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 423, Number 2, August IV 2004
Page(s) L13 - L16
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200400020

A&A 423, L13-L16 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200400020


Nuclear star formation in the quasar PG1126-041 from adaptive optics assisted spectroscopy

G. Cresci1, R. Maiolino2, A. Marconi2, F. Mannucci3 and G. L. Granato4

1  Dip. di Astronomia - Università di Firenze, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
    e-mail: gcresci@arcetri.astro.it
2  INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
3  Istituto di Radioastronomia, sezione di Firenze, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
4  INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, 35100 Padova, Italy

(Received 7 April 2004 / Accepted 1 July 2004)

We present adaptive optics assisted spectroscopy of three quasars obtained with NACO at VLT. The high angular resolution achieved with the adaptive optics ( ${\sim}0.08''$), joined to the diagnostic power of near-IR spectroscopy, allow us to investigate the properties of the innermost 100 pc of these quasars. In the quasar with the best adaptive optics correction, PG1126-041, we spatially resolve the Pa $\alpha$ emission within the nuclear 100 pc. The comparison with higher excitation lines suggests that the narrow Pa $\alpha$ emission is due to nuclear star formation. The inferred intensity of the nuclear star formation (13  $M_{\odot}~\rm yr^{-1}$) may account for most of the far-IR luminosity observed in this quasar.

Key words: galaxies: active -- galaxies: nuclei -- quasars: emission lines -- galaxies: starburst -- techniques: high angular resolution -- instrumentation: adaptive optics

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© ESO 2004