Volume 595, November 2016
|Number of page(s)||22|
|Published online||24 October 2016|
Determining the fraction of reddened quasars in COSMOS with multiple selection techniques from X-ray to radio wavelengths⋆
1 Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
2 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschildstrasse 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
3 ASTRON, The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
4 Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS-UPMC, UMR 7095, 98bis bd Arago, 75014 Paris, France
5 Gran Telescopio Canarias (GRANTECAN), Cuesta de San José s/n, 38712 Breña Baja, La Palma, Spain
6 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Vía Láctea s/n, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
7 Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
8 European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Córdova 3107, Vitacura, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
Received: 2 May 2016
Accepted: 19 August 2016
The sub-population of quasars reddened by intrinsic or intervening clouds of dust are known to be underrepresented in optical quasar surveys. By defining a complete parent sample of the brightest and spatially unresolved quasars in the COSMOS field, we quantify to which extent this sub-population is fundamental to our understanding of the true population of quasars. By using the available multiwavelength data of various surveys in the COSMOS field, we built a parent sample of 33 quasars brighter than J = 20 mag, identified by reliable X-ray to radio wavelength selection techniques. Spectroscopic follow-up with the NOT/ALFOSC was carried out for four candidate quasars that had not been targeted previously to obtain a 100% redshift completeness of the sample. The population of high AV quasars (HAQs), a specific sub-population of quasars selected from optical/near-infrared photometry, some of which were shown to be missed in large optical surveys such as SDSS, is found to contribute 21%+9-5 of the parent sample. The full population of bright spatially unresolved quasars represented by our parent sample consists of 39%+9-8 reddened quasars defined by having AV > 0.1, and 21%+9-5 of the sample having E(B−V) > 0.1 assuming the extinction curve of the Small Magellanic Cloud. We show that the HAQ selection works well for selecting reddened quasars, but some are missed because their optical spectra are too blue to pass the g−r color cut in the HAQ selection. This is either due to a low degree of dust reddening or anomalous spectra. We find that the fraction of quasars with contributing light from the host galaxy, causing observed extended spatial morphology, is most dominant at z ≲ 1. At higher redshifts the population of spatially unresolved quasars selected by our parent sample is found to be representative of the full population of bright active galactic nuclei at J< 20 mag. This work quantifies the bias against reddened quasars in studies that are based solely on optical surveys.
Key words: galaxies: active / quasars: general / surveys
© ESO, 2016
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