Connecting radio emission to AGN wind properties with Broad Absorption Line Quasars

J. W. Petley*, L. K. Morabito*, D. M. Alexander*, A. L. Rankine, V. A. Fawcett, D. J. Rosario, J. H. Matthews, T. M. Shimwell, A. Drabent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Broad absorption line quasars (BALQSOs) show strong signatures of powerful outflows, with the potential to alter the cosmic history of their host galaxies. These signatures are only seen in ∼10 per cent of optically selected quasars, although the fraction significantly increases in IR and radio selected samples. A proven physical explanation for this observed fraction has yet to be found, along with a determination of why this fraction increases at radio wavelengths. We present the largest sample of radio matched BALQSOs using the LOFAR Two-metre Sky Survey Data Release 2 and employ it to investigate radio properties of BALQSOs. Within the DR2 footprint, there are 3537 BALQSOs from Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR12 with continuum signal-to-noise ≥5. We find radio-detections for 1108 BALQSOs, with an important subpopulation of 120 LoBALs, an unprecedented sample size for radio matched BALQSOs given the sky coverage to date. BALQSOs are a radio-quiet population that show an increase of ×1.50 radio-detection fraction compared to non-BALQSOs. LoBALs show an increase of ×2.22 that of non-BALQSO quasars. We show that this detection fraction correlates with wind-strength, reddening, and C iv emission properties of BALQSOs and that these features may be connected, although no single property can fully explain the enhanced radio detection fraction. We create composite spectra for subclasses of BALQSOs based on wind strength and colour, finding differences in the absorption profiles of radio-detected and radio-undetected sources, particularly for LoBALs. Overall, we favour a wind-ISM interaction explanation for the increased radio-detection fraction of BALQSOs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5159-5174
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date23 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • galaxies: active
  • quasars: general
  • radio continuum: galaxies


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