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Abstract: We present results from an archival study of 70 medium-redshift QSOs observedwith the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on board the Hubble Space Telescope. TheQSOs have magnitudes M V <= -23 total nuclear plus host light and redshifts$0.06 <= z <= 0.46$. The aim of the present study is to investigate theconnections between the nuclear and host properties of QSOs, usinghigh-resolution images and removing the central point source to reveal the hoststructure. We confirm that more luminous QSO nuclei are found in more luminoushost galaxies. Using central black hole masses from the literature, we findthat nuclear luminosity also generally increases with black hole mass, but itis not tightly correlated. Nuclear luminosities range from 2.3% to 200% of theEddington limit. Those in elliptical hosts cover the range fairly evenly, whilethose in spirals are clustered near the Eddington limit. Using a principalcomponents analysis, we find a kind of fundamental plane relating the nuclearluminosity to the size and effective surface magnitude of the bulge. Usingoptical nuclear luminosity, this relationship explains 96.1% of the variance inthe overall sample, while another version of the relationship uses x-raynuclear luminosity and explains 95.2% of the variance. The form of this QSOfundamental plane shows similarities to the well-studied fundamental plane ofelliptical galaxies, and we examine the possible relationship between them aswell as the difficulties involved in establishing this connection.

Author: Timothy S. Hamilton Shawnee State Univ., Stefano Casertano STScI, David A. Turnshek Univ. of Pittsburgh


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