The WISE/SDSS-selected hyper-luminous quasar (WISSH) survey is an extensive multi-band observing program (from millimeter wavelengths to hard X-rays) to investigate the role of nuclear activity in SMBH-galaxy self-regulated growth via extended outflows. Our ongoing project is designed to accurately probe the relationship between nuclear and host galaxy ISM properties in a unique sample of ~ 90 quasars at the brightest end of the AGN luminosity function (i.e., bolometric luminosity > 8e13 Lsun), and at the peak of their number density (z~2.5-3.5). This OAR-led project involves more than twenty researchers from Italy and foreign institutions.

The most relevant results obtained to date by WISSH are:

– the  discovery of highly accreting (i.e., Eddington ratios of ~0.3-3), ten billion solar masses SMBHs producing extremely powerful (up to ~ 4% of the bolometric luminosity) ionized outflows;

– the co-existence of very intense star formation rates (SFR up to few thousands solar masses per year) and prodigious AGN luminosities;

– the relative X-ray weakness of WISSH quasars when compared to IR and optical properties, with respect to less powerful, well-studied AGN typically sampled in medium/deep survey fields. 

The WISSH project is based on ALMA, Herschel/SPIRE, WISE, ESO/SINFONI, ESO/X-Shooter, LBT/LUCI, 2MASS, SDSS, Chandra and XMM-Newton data. 

A first series of WISSH papers is planned for completion in 2017, i.e.,

M. Bischetti et al.  “Paper I. Powerful ionized outflows in hyper-luminous quasars”

(2017, A&A, 598, A122)…598A.122B

F. Duras et al. “Paper II. Giant star nurseries in hyper-luminous quasars

(2017, A&A, 604, A67)…604A..67D

S. Martocchia et al.  “Paper III. X-ray properties of hyper-luminous quasars”

(2017, A&A, in press)

G. Vietri et al. “Paper IV. Accretion and disk winds properties in the most luminous quasars“

M. Bischetti et al.  “Paper V. molecular gas content in  hyper-luminous quasars”

L. Zappacosta et al. “Paper VI. Variable broad emission line shifts” 

WISSH people at OAR: M. Bischetti,  A. Bongiorno, F. Duras, F. Fiore, S. Martocchia, E. Piconcelli, V. Testa, G. Vietri, L. Zappacosta.

Contact: Enrico Piconcelli (