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Astron. Astrophys. 356, L9-L12 (2000)

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Letter to the Editor

Spectropolarimetry of the iron low ionization broad absorption line quasar Q 0059-2735 *

H. Lamy and D. Hutsemékers **

Université de Liège, Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, 5, Avenue de Cointe, 4000 Liège, Belgium

Received 27 January 2000 / Accepted 2 March 2000


We present optical (ultraviolet rest-frame) spectropolarimetric observations of the rare iron low ionization broad absorption line (BAL) QSO Q 0059-2735. The continuum polarization increases to the blue with a regular rotation of the polarization position angle, suggesting that at least two mechanisms are at the origin of the polarization. There is also some evidence for dilution by a [FORMULA] pseudo-continuum in emission. In the broad absorption lines, the polarization strongly rises, with the largest values ever reported. On the contrary, the [FORMULA] blends in absorption are not more polarized than the continuum, while they are clearly visible in the polarized flux. These different polarization properties of [FORMULA] absorption lines suggest a different origin and/or geometry. The observed properties of Q 0059-2735 are consistent with a hybrid QSO / starburst model.

Key words: galaxies: quasars: absorption lines – galaxies: quasars: individual: – polarization

* Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile
** Also, Chercheur Qualifié au Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS, Belgium)

Present address: ESO, Casilla 19001, Santiago, Chile

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: March 28, 2000