Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal


Department of Physics and Astronomy


Some reddened quasars appear to be transitional objects in the merger-induced black hole growth/galaxy evolution paradigm, where a heavily obscured nucleus starts to be unveiled by powerful quasar winds evacuating the surrounding cocoon of dust and gas. Hard X-ray observations are able to peer through this gas and dust, revealing the properties of circumnuclear obscuration. Here, we present NuSTAR and XMM-Newton/Chandra observations of FIRST-2MASS selected red quasars F2M 0830+3759 and F2M 1227+3214. We find that though F2M 0830+3759 is moderately obscured (NH,Z=2.1±0.2×1022 cm−2) and F2M 1227+3214 is mildly absorbed (NH,Z=3.4+0.8−0.7×1021 cm−2) along the line-of-sight, heavier global obscuration may be present in both sources, with NH,S=3.7+4.1−2.6×1023 cm−2 and <5.5×1023 cm−2, for F2M 0830+3759 and F2M 1227+3214, respectively. F2M 0830+3759 also has an excess of soft X-ray emission below 1 keV which is well accommodated by a model where 7% of the intrinsic AGN X-ray emission is scattered into the line-of-sight. While F2M 1227+3214 has a dust-to-gas ratio (E(B−V)/NH) consistent with the Galactic value, the E(B−V)/NH value for F2M 0830+3759 is lower than the Galactic standard, consistent with the paradigm that the dust resides on galactic scales while the X-ray reprocessing gas originates within the dust-sublimation zone of the broad-line-region. The X-ray and 6.1μm luminosities of these red quasars are consistent with the empirical relations derived for high-luminosity, unobscured quasars, extending the parameter space of obscured AGN previously observed by NuSTAR to higher luminosities.