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Title: Eight New Luminous z > 6 Quasars Selected via SED Model Fitting of VISTA, WISE and Dark Energy Survey Year 1 Observations

Abstract

We present the discovery and spectroscopic confirmation with the ESO NTT and Gemini South telescopes of eight new 6.0 < z < 6.5 quasars with z$$_{AB}$$ < 21.0. These quasars were photometrically selected without any star-galaxy morphological criteria from 1533 deg$$^{2}$$ using SED model fitting to photometric data from the Dark Energy Survey (g, r, i, z, Y), the VISTA Hemisphere Survey (J, H, K) and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (W1, W2). The photometric data was fitted with a grid of quasar model SEDs with redshift dependent Lyman-{\alpha} forest absorption and a range of intrinsic reddening as well as a series of low mass cool star models. Candidates were ranked using on a SED-model based $$\chi^{2}$$-statistic, which is extendable to other future imaging surveys (e.g. LSST, Euclid). Our spectral confirmation success rate is 100% without the need for follow-up photometric observations as used in other studies of this type. Combined with automatic removal of the main types of non-astrophysical contaminants the method allows large data sets to be processed without human intervention and without being over run by spurious false candidates. We also present a robust parametric redshift estimating technique that gives comparable accuracy to MgII and CO based redshift estimators. We find two z $$\sim$$ 6.2 quasars with HII near zone sizes < 3 proper Mpc which could indicate that these quasars may be young with ages < 10$^6$ - 10$^7$ years or lie in over dense regions of the IGM. The z = 6.5 quasar VDESJ0224-4711 has J$$_{AB}$$ = 19.75 is the second most luminous quasar known with z > 6.5.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Contributing Org.:
DES; WISE; VISTA
OSTI Identifier:
1343963
Report Number(s):
arXiv:1701.04852; FERMILAB-PUB-16-570-AE-PPD
1509489
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: TBD
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS

Citation Formats

Reed, S.L., and et al. Eight New Luminous z > 6 Quasars Selected via SED Model Fitting of VISTA, WISE and Dark Energy Survey Year 1 Observations. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Reed, S.L., & et al. Eight New Luminous z > 6 Quasars Selected via SED Model Fitting of VISTA, WISE and Dark Energy Survey Year 1 Observations. United States.
Reed, S.L., and et al. Tue . "Eight New Luminous z > 6 Quasars Selected via SED Model Fitting of VISTA, WISE and Dark Energy Survey Year 1 Observations". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1343963.
@article{osti_1343963,
title = {Eight New Luminous z > 6 Quasars Selected via SED Model Fitting of VISTA, WISE and Dark Energy Survey Year 1 Observations},
author = {Reed, S.L. and et al.},
abstractNote = {We present the discovery and spectroscopic confirmation with the ESO NTT and Gemini South telescopes of eight new 6.0 < z < 6.5 quasars with z$_{AB}$ < 21.0. These quasars were photometrically selected without any star-galaxy morphological criteria from 1533 deg$^{2}$ using SED model fitting to photometric data from the Dark Energy Survey (g, r, i, z, Y), the VISTA Hemisphere Survey (J, H, K) and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (W1, W2). The photometric data was fitted with a grid of quasar model SEDs with redshift dependent Lyman-{\alpha} forest absorption and a range of intrinsic reddening as well as a series of low mass cool star models. Candidates were ranked using on a SED-model based $\chi^{2}$-statistic, which is extendable to other future imaging surveys (e.g. LSST, Euclid). Our spectral confirmation success rate is 100% without the need for follow-up photometric observations as used in other studies of this type. Combined with automatic removal of the main types of non-astrophysical contaminants the method allows large data sets to be processed without human intervention and without being over run by spurious false candidates. We also present a robust parametric redshift estimating technique that gives comparable accuracy to MgII and CO based redshift estimators. We find two z $\sim$ 6.2 quasars with HII near zone sizes < 3 proper Mpc which could indicate that these quasars may be young with ages < 10$^6$ - 10$^7$ years or lie in over dense regions of the IGM. The z = 6.5 quasar VDESJ0224-4711 has J$_{AB}$ = 19.75 is the second most luminous quasar known with z > 6.5.},
doi = {},
journal = {TBD},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 17 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Tue Jan 17 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}
  • Here, we present the discovery and spectroscopic confirmation with the European Southern Observatory New Technology Telescope (NTT) and Gemini South telescopes of eight new, and the rediscovery of two previously known, 6.0 < z < 6.5 quasars with zAB < 21.0. These quasars were photometrically selected without any morphological criteria from 1533 deg2 using spectral energy distribution (SED) model fitting to photometric data from Dark Energy Survey (g, r, i, z, Y), VISTA Hemisphere Survey (J, H, K) and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (W1, W2). The photometric data were fitted with a grid of quasar model SEDs with redshift-dependent Lymore » α forest absorption and a range of intrinsic reddening as well as a series of low-mass cool star models. Candidates were ranked using an SED-model-based χ2-statistic, which is extendable to other future imaging surveys (e.g. LSST and Euclid). Our spectral confirmation success rate is 100 per cent without the need for follow-up photometric observations as used in other studies of this type. Combined with automatic removal of the main types of non-astrophysical contaminants, the method allows large data sets to be processed without human intervention and without being overrun by spurious false candidates. We also present a robust parametric redshift estimator that gives comparable accuracy to Mg ii and CO-based redshift estimators. We find two z ~6.2 quasars with H ii near zone sizes ≤3 proper Mpc that could indicate that these quasars may be young with ages ≲ 10 6-10 7 years or lie in over dense regions of the IGM. The z = 6.5 quasar VDES J0224–4711 has JAB = 19.75 and is the second most luminous quasar known with z ≥ 6.5.« less
  • We report on a NuSTAR and XMM-Newton program that has observed a sample of three extremely luminous, heavily obscured WISE-selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at z ∼ 2 across a broad X-ray band (0.1 – 79 keV). The parent sample, selected to be faint or undetected in the WISE 3.4 μm (W1) and 4.6 μm (W2) bands but bright at 12 μm (W3) and 22 μm (W4), are extremely rare, with only ∼1000 so-called 'W1W2-dropouts' across the extragalactic sky. Optical spectroscopy reveals typical redshifts of z ∼ 2 for this population, implying rest-frame mid-IR luminosities of νL {sub ν}(6 μm)more » ∼ 6 × 10{sup 46} erg s{sup –1} and bolometric luminosities that can exceed L {sub bol} ∼ 10{sup 14} L {sub ☉}. The corresponding intrinsic, unobscured hard X-ray luminosities are L(2-10 keV) ∼ 4 × 10{sup 45} erg s{sup –1} for typical quasar templates. These are among the most AGNs known, though the optical spectra rarely show evidence of a broad-line region and the selection criteria imply heavy obscuration even at rest-frame 1.5 μm. We designed our X-ray observations to obtain robust detections for gas column densities N {sub H} ≤ 10{sup 24} cm{sup –2}. In fact, the sources prove to be fainter than these predictions. Two of the sources were observed by both NuSTAR and XMM-Newton, with neither being detected by NuSTAR (f {sub 3-24} {sub keV} ≲ 10{sup –13} erg cm{sup –2} s{sup –1}), and one being faintly detected by XMM-Newton (f {sub 0.5-10} {sub keV} ∼ 5 × 10{sup –15} erg cm{sup –2} s{sup –1}). A third source was observed only with XMM-Newton, yielding a faint detection (f {sub 0.5-10} {sub keV} ∼ 7 × 10{sup –15} erg cm{sup –2} s{sup –1}). The X-ray data imply these sources are either X-ray weak, or are heavily obscured by column densities N {sub H} ≳ 10{sup 24} cm{sup –2}. The combined X-ray and mid-IR analysis seems to favor this second possibility, implying the sources are extremely obscured, consistent with Compton-thick, luminous quasars. The discovery of a significant population of heavily obscured, extremely luminous AGNs would not conform to the standard paradigm of a receding torus, in which more luminous quasars are less likely to be obscured, and instead suggests that an additional source of obscuration is present in these extreme sources.« less
  • We present the first rest-frame UV population study of 17 heavily reddened, high-luminosity (E(B-V)more » $$_{\rm{QSO}}\gtrsim$$ 0.5; L$$_{\rm{bol}}>$$ 10$$^{46}$$ergs$$^{-1}$$) broad-line quasars at $1.5 < z < 2.7$. We combine the first year of deep, optical, ground-based observations from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) with the near infrared VISTA Hemisphere Survey (VHS) and UKIDSS Large Area Survey (ULAS) data, from which the reddened quasars were initially identified. We demonstrate that the significant dust reddening towards the quasar in our sample allows host galaxy emission to be detected at the rest-frame UV wavelengths probed by the DES photometry. By exploiting this reddening effect, we disentangle the quasar emission from that of the host galaxy via spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting. We find evidence for a relatively unobscured, star-forming host galaxy in at least ten quasars, with a further three quasars exhibiting emission consistent with either star formation or scattered light. From the rest-frame UV emission, we derive instantaneous, dust-corrected star formation rates (SFRs) in the range 25 < SFR$$_{\rm{UV}}$$ < 365 M$$_{\odot}$$yr$$^{-1}$$, with an average SFR$$_{\rm{UV}}$$ = 130 $$\pm$$ 95 M$$_{\odot}$$yr$$^{-1}$$. In conclusion, we find a broad correlation between SFR$$_{\rm{UV}}$$ and the bolometric quasar luminosity. Overall, our results show evidence for coeval star formation and black hole accretion occurring in luminous, reddened quasars at the peak epoch of galaxy formation.« less
  • We present the first rest-frame UV population study of 17 heavily reddened, high-luminosity (E(B-V)more » $$_{\rm{QSO}}\gtrsim$$ 0.5; L$$_{\rm{bol}}>$$ 10$$^{46}$$ergs$$^{-1}$$) broad-line quasars at $1.5 < z < 2.7$. We combine the first year of deep, optical, ground-based observations from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) with the near infrared VISTA Hemisphere Survey (VHS) and UKIDSS Large Area Survey (ULAS) data, from which the reddened quasars were initially identified. We demonstrate that the significant dust reddening towards the quasar in our sample allows host galaxy emission to be detected at the rest-frame UV wavelengths probed by the DES photometry. By exploiting this reddening effect, we disentangle the quasar emission from that of the host galaxy via spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting. We find evidence for a relatively unobscured, star-forming host galaxy in at least ten quasars, with a further three quasars exhibiting emission consistent with either star formation or scattered light. From the rest-frame UV emission, we derive instantaneous, dust-corrected star formation rates (SFRs) in the range 25 < SFR$$_{\rm{UV}}$$ < 365 M$$_{\odot}$$yr$$^{-1}$$, with an average SFR$$_{\rm{UV}}$$ = 130 $$\pm$$ 95 M$$_{\odot}$$yr$$^{-1}$$. In conclusion, we find a broad correlation between SFR$$_{\rm{UV}}$$ and the bolometric quasar luminosity. Overall, our results show evidence for coeval star formation and black hole accretion occurring in luminous, reddened quasars at the peak epoch of galaxy formation.« less
  • We present the discovery of six new quasars at z {approx} 6 selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) southern survey, a deep imaging survey obtained by repeatedly scanning a stripe along the celestial equator. The six quasars are about 2 mag fainter than the luminous z {approx} 6 quasars found in the SDSS main survey and 1 mag fainter than the quasars reported in Paper I. Four of them comprise a complete flux-limited sample at 21 < z {sub AB} < 21.8 over an effective area of 195 deg{sup 2}. The other two quasars are fainter than zmore » {sub AB} = 22 and are not part of the complete sample. The quasar luminosity function at z {approx} 6 is well described as a single power law {phi}(L {sub 1450}) {proportional_to} L {sup {beta}} {sub 1450} over the luminosity range -28 < M {sub 1450} < -25. The best-fitting slope {beta} varies from -2.6 to -3.1, depending on the quasar samples used, with a statistical error of 0.3-0.4. About 40% of the quasars discovered in the SDSS southern survey have very narrow Ly{alpha} emission lines, which may indicate small black hole masses and high Eddington luminosity ratios, and therefore short black hole growth timescales for these faint quasars at early epochs.« less