Mining the Herschel-Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey: submillimetre-selected blazars in equatorial fields
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The Herschel-Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) provides an unprecedented opportunity to search for blazars at sub-mm wavelengths. We cross-matched the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty-cm (FIRST) radio source catalogue with the 11 655 sources brighter than 35 mJy at 500 μm in the ∼135 deg2 of the sky covered by the H-ATLAS equatorial fields at 9h and 15h, plus half of the field at 12h.We found that 379 of the H-ATLAS sources have a FIRST counterpart within 10 arcsec, including eight catalogued blazars (plus one known blazar that was found at the edge of one of the H-ATLAS maps). To search for additional blazar candidates we have devised new diagnostic diagrams and found that known blazars occupy a region of the log(S500μm/S350μm) versus log(S500μm/S1.4 GHz) plane separated from that of sub-mm sources with radio emission powered by star formation, but shared with radio galaxies and steep-spectrum radio quasars. Using this diagnostic we have selected 12 further possible candidates that turn out to be scattered in the (r − z) versus (u − r) plane or in the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer colour–colour diagram, where known blazars are concentrated in well defined strips.