Monday, July 15, 2013

1307.3305 (Peng Jiang et al.)

Anomalously Steep Reddening Law in Quasars: An Exceptional Example Observed in IRAS14026+4341    [PDF]

Peng Jiang, Hongyan Zhou, Tuo Ji, Xinwen Shu, Wenjuan Liu, Jianguo Wang, Xiaobo Dong, Jinming Bai, Huiyuan Wang, Tinggui Wang
A fraction of the heavily reddened quasars require a reddening curve which is even steeper than that of the Small Magellanic Cloud. In this paper, we thoroughly characterize the anomalously steep reddening law in quasars, via an exceptional example observed in IRAS 14026+4341. By comparing the observed spectrum to the quasar composite spectrum, we derive a reddening curve in the rest-frame wavelength range of 1200 {\AA}--10000 {\AA}. It is featured with a steep rise at wavelengths shorter than 3000 {\AA}, but no significant reddening at longer wavelengths. The absence of dust reddening in optical continuum is confirmed by the normal broad-line Balmer decrement (the H$\alpha$/H$\beta$ ratio) in IRAS 14026+4341. The anomalous reddening curve can be satisfactorily reproduced by a dust model containing silicate grains in a power-law size distribution, $dn(a)/da \propto a^{-1.4}$, truncated at a maximum size $a_{max}=70 {\rm nm}$. The unusual size distribution may be caused by the destruction of large "stardust" grains by quasar activities or a different dust formation mechanism (i.e., the in situ formation of dust grains in quasar outflows). It is also possible that the analogies of the dust grains observed toward the Galactic center is responsible for the steep reddening curve. In addition, we find that IRAS 14026+4341 is a weak emission-line quasar (i.e., PHL 1811 analogies) with heavy dust reddening and blueshifted broad absorption lines.
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