Volume 569, September 2014
|Number of page(s)||39|
|Section||Catalogs and data|
|Published online||30 September 2014|
ZAH, Landessternwarte Heidelberg, Königstuhl 12, 69117
2 Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA), University of Turku, Väisäläntie 20, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland
3 Heidelberger Institut für Theoretische Studien (HITS), Schloss-Wolfsbrunnenweg 35, 69118 Heidelberg, Germany
4 Haus der Astronomie Heidelberg, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 31 July 2014
Context. Deep optical surveys open the avenue for finding large numbers of BL Lac objects that are hard to identify because they lack the unique properties classifying them as such. While radio or X-ray surveys typically reveal dozens of sources, recent compilations based on optical criteria alone have increased the number of BL Lac candidates considerably. However, these compilations are subject to biases and may contain a substantial number of contaminating sources.
Aims. In this paper we extend our analysis of 182 optically selected BL Lac object candidates from the SDSS with respect to an earlier study. The main goal is to determine the number of bona fide BL Lac objects in this sample.
Methods. We examine their variability characteristics, determine their broad-band radio-UV spectral energy distributions (SEDs), and search for the presence of a host galaxy. In addition we present new optical spectra for 27 targets with improved signal-to-noise ratio with respect to the SDSS spectra.
Results. At least 59% of our targets have shown variability between SDSS DR2 and our observations by more than 0.1–0.27 mag depending on the telescope used. A host galaxy was detected in 36% of our targets. The host galaxy type and luminosities are consistent with earlier studies of BL Lac host galaxies. Simple fits to broad-band SEDs for 104 targets of our sample derived synchrotron peak frequencies between 13.5 ≤ log 10(νpeak) ≤ 16 with a peak at log 10 ~ 14.5. Our new optical spectra do not reveal any new redshift for any of our objects. Thus the sample contains a large number of bona fide BL Lac objects and seems to contain a substantial fraction of intermediate-frequency peaked BL Lacs.
Key words: galaxies: active / BL Lacertae objects: general / polarization
Based on observations collected with the NTT on La Silla (Chile) operated by the European Southern Observatory under proposal 082.B-0133.
Based on observations collected at the Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán (CAHA), operated jointly by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias.
© ESO, 2014
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