A low-luminosity type-1 QSO sample
III. Optical spectroscopic properties and activity classification⋆
I. Physikalisches Institute, University of Cologne,
Zülpicher Strasse 77,
2 Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
3 Yonsei University Observatory, Yonsei University, 120-749 Seoul, Republic of Korea
Received: 21 January 2015
Accepted: 18 May 2015
Context. We report on the optical spectroscopic analysis of a sample of 99 low-luminosity quasi-stellar objects (LLQSOs) at z ≤ 0.06 base the Hamburg/ESO QSO Survey (HES). To better relate the low-redshift active galactic nucleus (AGN) to the QSO population it is important to study samples of the latter type at a level of detail similar to that of the low-redshift AGN. Powerful QSOs, however, are absent at low redshifts due to evolutionary effects and their small space density. Our understanding of the (distant) QSO population is, therefore, significantly limited by angular resolution and sensitivity. The LLQSOs presented here offer the possibility of studying the faint end of this population at smaller cosmological distances and, therefore, in greater detail.
Aims. In comparing two spectroscopic methods, we aim to establish a reliable activity classification scheme of the LLQSOs sample. Our goal is to enrich our systematic multiwavelength analysis of the AGN/starburst relation in these systems and give a complementary information on this particular sample of LLQSOs from the Hamburg ESO survey.
Methods. Here, we present results of the analysis of visible wavelength spectroscopy provided by the HES and the 6 Degree Field Galaxy Survey (6dFGS). These surveys use different spectroscopic techniques, long-slit and circular fiber, respectively. These allow us to assess the influence of different apertures on the activity of the LLQSOs using classical optical diagnostic diagrams. We perform a Gaussian fitting of strong optical emission lines and decompose narrow and broad Balmer components.
Results. A small number of our LLQSO present no broad component, which is likely to be present but buried in the noise. Two sources show double broad components, whereas six comply with the classic NLS1 requiremnts. As expected in NLR of broad line AGNs, the [Sii]-based electron density values range between 100 and 1000 Ne/cm3. Using the optical characteristics of Populations A and B, we find that 50% of our sources with Hβ broad emission are consistent with the radio-quiet sources definition. The remaining sources could be interpreted as low-luminosity radio-loud quasar. The BPT-based classification renders an AGN/Seyfert activity between 50 to 60%. For the remaining sources, the possible starburst contribution might control the LINER and Hii classification. Finally, we discuss the aperture effect as responsible for the differences found between data sets, although variability in the BLR could play a significant role as well.
Key words: galaxies: starburst / galaxies: active / galaxies: Seyfert / quasars: emission lines
Tables 1, 4, and 5 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2015