DES J0454-4448: discovery of the first luminous z >= 6 quasar from the Dark Energy Survey

Romer, Kathy, The DES Collaboration, et al and D'Andrea, C. (2015) DES J0454-4448: discovery of the first luminous z >= 6 quasar from the Dark Energy Survey. Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society, 454. pp. 3952-3961. ISSN 0035-8711

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We present the first results of a survey for high-redshift, z >= 6, quasars using izY multicolour photometric observations from the Dark Energy Survey (DES). Here we report the discovery and spectroscopic confirmation of the zAB, YAB = 20.2, 20.2 (M1450 = -26.5) quasar DES J0454-4448 with a redshift of z = 6.09±0.02 based on the onset of the Ly alpha forest and an H I near zone size of 4.1_{-1.2}^{+1.1} proper Mpc. The quasar was selected as an i-band drop out with i-z = 2.46 and zAB < 21.5 from an area of ˜300 deg2. It is the brightest of our 43 candidates and was identified for spectroscopic follow-up solely based on the DES i-z and z-Y colours. The quasar is detected by WISE and has W1AB = 19.68. The discovery of one spectroscopically confirmed quasar with 5.7 < z < 6.5 and zAB <= 20.2 is consistent with recent determinations of the luminosity function at z ˜ 6. DES when completed will have imaged ˜5000 deg2 to YAB = 23.0 (5sigma point source) and we expect to discover 50-100 new quasars with z > 6 including 3-10 with z > 7 dramatically increasing the numbers of quasars currently known that are suitable for detailed studies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Galaxies: active, Galaxies: formation, Galaxies: high-redshift, Quasars: individual: DES J0454-4448, Dark ages, Reionization, First stars
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Depositing User: Richard Chambers
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2016 11:43
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 22:55

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Astrophysics and Cosmology - Sussex Consolidated GrantG1291STFC-SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FACILITIES COUNCILST/L000652/1