A search for extended line emission from broad absorption line QSOs

Randal C. Telfer, Gerard A. Kriss, Zlatan Tsvetanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


We have obtained Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS snapshot images of 10 broad absorption line (BAL) QSOs and four radio-quiet non-BAL QSOs to search for extended narrow-line regions. For each object, we obtained an image in the F160W filter and a narrowband image in either Hα, Hβ, or [O II]. We find no detections of extended narrow-line emission in the sample. We generate simulated images of QSOs with extended narrow-line regions to place limits on the amount of flux that may be present, and we conclude that BAL QSOs cannot be more than several times brighter in extended emission than typical type 2 active galactic nuclei. Spatially unresolved Hα emission is detected in all nine objects observed in this line, which we attribute to broad Ha emission. The five detected BAL QSOs have derived Ha equivalent widths that are larger than those of the four non-BAL QSOs by a factor of ∼2 on average. This may point to an intrinsic difference between the rest-frame optical spectral properties of BAL and non-BAL QSOs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2363-2372
Number of pages10
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Quasars: absorption lines
  • Quasars: emission lines
  • Quasars: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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