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Astron. Astrophys. 343, 407-419 (1999)

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Spectroscopic mapping of the quasar 3C 48 at sub-arcsec resolution *

Eleni T. Chatzichristou 1, Christian Vanderriest 2 and Walter Jaffe 1

1 Leiden Observatory, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2 DAEC, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, 5 place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon Principal Cedex, France

Received 30 July 1998 / Accepted 10 December 1998


The quasar 3C 48, an unusual CSS radio source with excess far-IR emission, is known to present morphological evidence for a recent merger. We present here new data on the two-dimensional kinematics and emission line properties of the extended ionized gas, obtained with an integral field spectrograph. We find that the emission lines are split in two components: (i) a fast moving ([FORMULA]580 km s-1) blue-shifted broad ([FORMULA]1000 km s-1) component and (ii) a narrow ([FORMULA]400 km s-1) component at the systemic redshift, spatially resolved at the [FORMULA] level. We detect a faint red continuum knot that is spatially coinciding with the putative second nucleus 3C 48A (Stockton & Ridgway 1991). We discuss the possible origins of the observed alignment between the radio jet [FORMULA] NE from the nucleus, the extended ionized emission and the position of 3C 48A.

Key words: galaxies: active – galaxies: interactions – galaxies: kinematics and dynamics – galaxies: quasars: individual: 3C 48 – techniques: spectroscopic

* Based on observations collected with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope at Mauna Kea (Hawaii, USA)

Send offprint requests to: E. Chatzichristou (chatzich@strw.leidenuniv.nl)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: March 1, 1999