Although large surveys aiming at the detection of bright QSOs have been undertaken such as the photographic Palomar-Green survey (Green et al. 1986), which was carried out in the early seventies, and the more recent Hamburg/ESO survey (e.g., Wisotzki et al. 1996) and the Calán-Tololo survey (e.g., Maza et al. 1996), serendipitous discoveries are being reported from time to time. The recent discovery of a bright and nearby QSO less than away from 3C273, one of the best studied quasars (Read et al. 1998) is such a case.
Here we present the spectra of three new quasars from the Calán-Tololo Survey. Somewhat ironically, these objects were initially selected as candidate cataclysmic variables on the basis of their visual appearance on the objective prism plates (Augusteijn et al., in preparation). Their blue fluxes and a strong emission line near the H rest wavelength led to such misidentifications. The follow-up observations, however, revealed their true nature.
© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999
Online publication: October 4, 1999