Molecular gas in nearby low-luminosity QSO host galaxies
I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Köln, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
2 Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
3 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, SMA project, 645 North A'ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
Accepted: 14 May 2007
Aims.This paper addresses the global molecular gas properties of a representative sample of galaxies hosting low-luminosity quasistellar objects. An abundant supply of gas is necessary to fuel both the active galactic nucleus and any circum-nuclear starburst activity of QSOs. The connection between ultraluminous infrared galaxies and the host properties of QSOs is still subject to a controversial debate. Nearby low-luminosity QSOs are ideally suited to study the properties of their host galaxies because of their higher frequency of occurrence compared to high-luminosity QSOs in the same comoving volume and because of their small cosmological distance.
Methods. We selected a sample of nearby low-luminosity QSO host galaxies that is free of infrared excess biases. All objects are drawn from the Hamburg-ESO survey for bright UV-excess QSOs, have -30° and redshifts that do not exceed . The IRAM 30 m telescope was used to measure the 12CO(1-0) and 12CO(2-1) transition in parallel.
Results.27 out of 39 galaxies in the sample have been detected. The molecular gas masses of the detected sources range from 0.4109 to 9.7109. The upper limits of the non-detected sources correspond to molecular gas masses between 0.3109 and 1.2109. We can confirm that the majority of galaxies hosting low-luminosity QSOs are rich in molecular gas. The properties of galaxies hosting brighter type I AGN and circumnuclear starformation regions differ from the properties of galaxies with fainter central regions. The overall supply of molecular gas and the spread of the line width distribution is larger. When comparing the far-infrared with the CO luminosities, the distribution can be separated into two different power-laws: one describing the lower activity Seyfert I population and the second describing the luminous QSO population. The separation in the LFIR/ behavior may be explainable with differing degrees of compactness of the emission regions. We provide a simple model to describe the two power-laws. The sample studied in this paper is located in a transition region between the two populations.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: ISM / quasars: general / radio lines: ISM / galaxies: Seyfert
© ESO, 2007