Radio spectra and polarization properties of radio-loud broad absorption-line quasars

F. M. Montenegro-Montes, K. H. Mack, M. Vigotti, C. R. Benn, R. Carballo, J. I. González-Serrano, J. Holt, F. Jiménez-Luján

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46 Citations (Scopus)


We present multifrequency observations of a sample of 15 radio-emitting broad absorption-line quasars (BAL QSOs), covering a spectral range between 74 MHz and 43 GHz. They mostly display convex radio spectra which typically peak at about 1-5 GHz (in the observer's rest frame), flatten at MHz frequencies, probably due to synchrotron self-absorption, and become steeper at high frequencies, i.e. ν ≳ 20 GHz. Very Large Array (VLA) 22-GHz maps (HPBW ∼80 mas) show unresolved or very compact sources, with linear projected sizes of ≤1 kpc. About two-thirds of the sample looks unpolarized or weakly polarized at 8.4 GHz, frequency in which reasonable upper limits could be obtained for polarized intensity. Statistical comparisons have been made between the spectral index distributions of samples of BAL and non-BAL QSOs, both in the observed and in the rest frame, finding steeper spectra among non-BAL QSOs. However, constraining this comparison to compact sources results in no significant differences between both distributions. This comparison is consistent with BAL QSOs not being oriented along a particular line of sight. In addition, our analysis of the spectral shape, variability and polarization properties shows that radio BAL QSOs share several properties common to young radio sources like compact steep spectrum or gigahertz peaked spectrum sources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1853-1868
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


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