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Eight new luminous z >= 6 quasars discovered via SED model fitting of VISTA, WISE and Dark Energy Survey Year 1 observations

Author(s): Reed, SL; McMahon, RG; Martini, P; Banerji, M; Auger, M; et al

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Abstract: 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 z(AB) < 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 Ly a 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 chi(2)-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 similar to 6.2 quasars with HII near zone sizes <= 3 proper Mpc that could indicate that these quasars may be young with ages less than or similar to 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.
Publication Date: Jul-2017
Electronic Publication Date: 24-Mar-2017
Citation: Reed, SL, McMahon, RG, Martini, P, Banerji, M, Auger, M, Hewett, PC, Koposov, SE, Gibbons, SLJ, Gonzalez-Solares, E, Ostrovski, F, Tie, SS, Abdalla, FB, Allam, S, Benoit-Levy, A, Bertin, E, Brooks, D, Buckley-Geer, E, Burke, DL, Carnero Rosell, A, Kind, M Carrasco, Carretero, J, da Costa, LN, DePoy, DL, Desai, S, Diehl, HT, Doel, P, Evrard, AE, Finley, DA, Flaugher, B, Fosalba, P, Frieman, J, Garcia-Bellido, J, Gaztanaga, E, Goldstein, DA, Gruen, D, Gruendl, RA, Gutierrez, G, James, DJ, Kuehn, K, Kuropatkin, N, Lahav, O, Lima, M, Maia, MAG, Marshall, JL, Melchior, P, Miller, CJ, Miquel, R, Nord, B, Ogando, R, Plazas, AA, Romer, AK, Sanchez, E, Scarpine, V, Schubnell, M, Sevilla-Noarbe, I, Smith, RC, Sobreira, F, Suchyta, E, Swanson, MEC, Tarle, G, Tucker, DL, Walker, AR, Wester, W. (2017). Eight new luminous z >= 6 quasars discovered via SED model fitting of VISTA, WISE and Dark Energy Survey Year 1 observations. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 468 (4702 - 4718. doi:10.1093/mnras/stx728
DOI: doi:10.1093/mnras/stx728
ISSN: 0035-8711
EISSN: 1365-2966
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Pages: 4702 - 4718
Type of Material: Journal Article
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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