The near and mid-infrared photometric properties of known redshift z ≥ 5 quasars

Nicholas P. Ross, Nicholas J. G. Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We assemble a catalogue of 488 spectroscopically confirmed very high (z ≥ 5.00) redshift quasars (VHzQ) and report their near- (ZYJHKs/K) and mid- (WISE W1234) infrared properties. 97 per cent of the VHzQ sample is detected in one or more near-infrared (NIR) band, with lack of coverage rather than lack of depth being the reason for the non-detections. 389 (80 per cent) of the very high redshift quasars are detected at 3.4 μm in the W1 band from the unWISE catalogue and all of the z ≥ 7 quasars are detected in both unWISE W1 and W2. Using archival Wide Field Camera (WFCAM)/United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) and VISTA Infrared Camera (VIRCAM)/Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) data we check for photometric variability that might be expected from super-Eddington accretion. We find 28 of the quasars have sufficient NIR measurements and signal-to-noise ratio to look for variability. Weak variability was detected in multiple bands of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) J0959+0227, and very marginally in the Y-band of MMT J0215-0529. Only one quasar, SDSS J0349+0034, shows significant differences between WFCAM and VISTA magnitudes in one band. With supermassive black hole accretion likely to be redshift invariant up to very high redshift, further monitoring of these sources is warranted. All the data, analysis codes and plots used and generated here can be found at: github.com/d80b2t/VHzQ.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-803
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume494
Issue number1
Early online date13 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

Keywords

  • astro-ph.GA

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