John Bahcall and Sofia Kirhakos (Institute for Advanced Study)
Schneider, Bahcall, and Kirhakos have obtained Hubble Space Telescope images of 20 nearby, luminous quasars. The observations, through a very broad-band red filter, were designed to investigate the properties of the host galaxies of the quasar sample. There were a number of indications from ground-based work that radio-loud quasars resided in luminous elliptical galaxies and that radio-quiet quasars had luminous spiral hosts. The HST data reveal that luminous quasars live in a wide variety of environments: luminous ellipticals and spirals (but there is clearly not a one-to-one correspondence between quasar radio properties and host morphology), interacting galaxies, and a number of quasars who do not show any evidence of a host (detection limits for the hosts are L* or fainter).