Redshifted H I and OH absorption in radio galaxies and quasars
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2011

From a survey for the redshifted H i 21-cm and OH 18-cm absorption in the hosts of a sample of radio galaxies and quasars, we detect H i in three of the 10 and OH in none of the 14 sources for which useful data were obtained. As expected from our recent result, all of the 21-cm detections occur in sources with ultraviolet (UV) continuum luminosities of L(UV) < 1023 W Hz-1. At these 'moderate' luminosities, we also obtain four non-detections, although, as confirmed by the equipartition of detections between the type 1 and type 2 objects, this near-50 per cent detection rate cannot be attributed to unified schemes of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). All of our detections are at redshifts of z less than or similar to 0.67, which, in conjunction with our faint source selection, biases against UV luminous objects. The importance of the UV luminosity (over AGN type) in the detection of the 21-cm absorption is further supported by the non-detections in the two high-redshift (z similar to 3.6-3.8) radio galaxies, which are both type 2 objects, while having L(UV) > 1023 W Hz-1. Our 21-cm detections in combination with those previously published give a total of eight (associated and intervening) H i-absorbing sources searched and undetected in OH. Using the detected 21-cm line strengths to normalize the limits, we find that only two of these eight sources may have been searched sufficiently deeply in OH, even though these are marginal.

flat-spectrum sample

21 cm absorption

fundamental constants

unified schemes



radio lines: galaxies

absorbing gas




quasars: absorption lines

sky survey

galaxies: active

active galactic nuclei

ultraviolet: galaxies

red quasars

galaxies: fundamental parameters


S.J. Curran

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

M. T. Whiting

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Australia Telescope National Facility

M. T. Murphy

Swinburne University of Technology

University of Cambridge

J. K. Webb

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

C. Bignell

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

A. G. Polatidis

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)


Tommy Wiklind

Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Onsala rymdobservatorium

P. Francis

Australian National University

G. Langston

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

0035-8711 (ISSN) 1365-2966 (eISSN)

Vol. 413 2 1165-1173


Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi



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