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Astron. Astrophys. 317, 656-660 (1997)

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Sub-arcsecond imaging and spectroscopy of the radio-loud highly polarized quasar PKS 1610-771 *

F. Courbin 1, 2, 3, D. Hutsemékers ** 2, G. Meylan 1, P. Magain 2 and S.G. Djorgovski 4

1 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, D-85748 Garching bei München, Germany
2 Institut d'Astrophysique, Université de Liège, Avenue de Cointe 5, B-4000 Liège, Belgium
3 URA 173 CNRS-DAEC, Observatoire de Paris, F-92195 Meudon Principal Cédex, France
4 Palomar Observatory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Received 22 March 1996 / Accepted 11 June 1996


We report on imaging and spectroscopic observations of the radio-loud, highly polarized quasar PKS 1610-771 (z = 1.71). Our long-slit spectroscopy of the companion [FORMULA] NW of the quasar confirms the stellar nature of this object, so ruling out the previously suspected gravitationally lensed nature of this system.

PKS 1610-771 looks fuzzy on our sub-arcsecond R and I images and appears located in a rich environment of faint galaxies. Possible magnification, without image splitting of the quasar itself, by some of these maybe foreground galaxies cannot be excluded. The continuum fuzz (made of the closest two objects, viz. A and D) is elongated in a direction orthogonal to the E vector of the optical polarization, as in high-redshift radio-galaxies. The spectrum of PKS 1610-771 appears strongly curved, in a convex way, with a maximum of intensity at [FORMULA] 7,600 Å (2,800 Å rest frame), possibly indicating a strong ultraviolet absorption by dust.

Key words: quasars: general; PKS 1610 – 771

* Based on observations obtained with the New Technology Telescope at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile
** Also: chercheur qualifié FNRS, Belgium

Send offprint requests to: F. Courbin (Liège address)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: July 8, 1998