Hot-dust-poor Quasars in Mid-infrared and Optically Selected Samples

Heng Hao, Martin Elvis, Francesca Civano, Andy Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show that the hot-dust-poor (HDP) quasars, originally found in the X-ray-selected XMM-COSMOS type 1 active galactic nucleus (AGN) sample, are just as common in two samples selected at optical/infrared wavelengths: the Richards et al. Spitzer/SDSS sample (8.7% ± 2.2%) and the Palomar-Green-quasar-dominated sample of Elvis et al. (9.5% ± 5.0%). The properties of the HDP quasars in these two samples are consistent with the XMM-COSMOS sample, except that, at the 99% (~ 2.5σ) significance, a larger proportion of the HDP quasars in the Spitzer/SDSS sample have weak host galaxy contributions, probably due to the selection criteria used. Either the host dust is destroyed (dynamically or by radiation) or is offset from the central black hole due to recoiling. Alternatively, the universality of HDP quasars in samples with different selection methods and the continuous distribution of dust covering factor in type 1 AGNs suggest that the range of spectral energy distributions could be related to the range of tilts in warped fueling disks, as in the model of Lawrence & Elvis, with HDP quasars having relatively small warps.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • quasars: general
  • surveys
  • galaxies: evolution


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