Radio-loudness along the quasar main sequence

20 Aug 2019  ·  Ganci V., Marziani P., D'Onofrio M., del Olmo A., Bon E., Bon N., Negrete C. A. ·

Following the established view of the AGNs inner workings, an AGN is radio-loud (RL) if associated with relativistic ejections emitting a radio synchrotron spectrum (i.e., a jetted AGN). If large samples of optically-selected quasars are considered, AGNs are identified as RL if their Kellermann's radio loudness ratio RK > 10... Our aims are to characterize the optical properties of different classes based on radio-loudness within the quasar main sequence (MS) and to test whether the condition RK > 10 is sufficient for the identification of RL AGNs. A sample of 355 quasars was selected by cross-correlating the FIRST survey with the SDSS DR14 quasar catalog. We classified the optical spectra according to their spectral types along the quasars MS. For each spectral type, we distinguished compact and extended morphology, and three classes of radio-loudness: detected (specific flux ratio in the g band and at 1.4GHz, RK' < 10, RD), intermediate (10 < RK' < 70, RI), and radio loud (RK' > 70). The analysis revealed systematic differences between RD, RI, and RL in each spectral type along the MS. We show that spectral bins that contain the extreme Population A sources have radio power compatible with emission by mechanisms ultimately due to star formation processes. RL sources of Population B are characteristically jetted. Their broad H-beta profiles can be interpreted as due to a binary broad-line region. We suggest that RL Population B sources should be preferential targets for the search of black hole binaries, and present a sample of binary black hole AGN candidates. The validity of the Kellermann's criterion may be dependent on the source location along the quasar MS. The consideration of the MS trends allowed to distinguish between sources whose radio emission mechanisms is jetted from the ones where the mechanism is likely to be fundamentally different. read more

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Astrophysics of Galaxies