High-redshift quasars found in sloan digital sky survey commissioning data. IV. Luminosity function from the fall equatorial stripe sample

Xiaohui Fan, Michael A. Strauss, Donald P. Schneider, James E. Gunn, Robert H. Lupton, Robert H. Becker, Marc Davis, Jeffrey A. Newman, Gordon T. Richards, Richard L. White, John E. Anderson, James Annis, Neta A. Bahcall, Robert J. Brunner, István Csabai, G. S. Hennessy, Robert B. Hindsley, Masataka Fukugita, Peter Z. Kunszt, Željko Ivezić & 6 others Gillian R. Knapp, Timothy A. McKay, Jeffrey A. Munn, Jeffrey R. Pier, Alexander S. Szalay, Donald G. York

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

This is the fourth paper in a series aimed at finding high-redshift quasars from five-color (u′g′r′i′z′) imaging data taken along the celestial equator by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey during its commissioning phase. In this paper, we use the color-selected sample of 39 luminous high-redshift quasars presented in Paper III to derive the evolution of the quasar luminosity function over the range 3.6 < z < 5.0 and -27.5 < M1450 < -25.5 (Ω = 1, H0 = 50 km s-1 Mpc-1). We use the selection function derived in Paper III to correct for sample incompleteness. The luminosity function is estimated using three different methods: (1) the 1/Va estimator; (2) a maximum likelihood solution, assuming that the density of quasars depends exponentially on redshift and as a power law in luminosity; and (3) Lynden-Bell's nonparametric C- estimator. All three methods yield consistent results. The luminous quasar density decreases by a factor of ∼6 from z = 3.5 to z = 5.0, consistent with the decline seen from several previous optical surveys at z < 4.5. The luminosity function follows ψ(L) ∝ L-2.5 for z ∼ 4 at the bright end, significantly flatter than the bright-end luminosity function ψ(L) ∝ L-3.5 found in previous studies for z < 3, suggesting that the shape of the quasar luminosity function evolves with redshift as well, and that the quasar evolution from z = 2 to z = 5 cannot be described as pure luminosity evolution. Possible selection biases and the effect of dust extinction on the redshift evolution of the quasar density are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-65
Number of pages12
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume121
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

quasars
luminosity
estimators
color
equators
bells
power law
extinction
dust

Keywords

  • Galaxies: Luminosity function, mass function
  • Quasars: General
  • Surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Fan, X., Strauss, M. A., Schneider, D. P., Gunn, J. E., Lupton, R. H., Becker, R. H., ... York, D. G. (2001). High-redshift quasars found in sloan digital sky survey commissioning data. IV. Luminosity function from the fall equatorial stripe sample. Astronomical Journal, 121(1), 54-65.

High-redshift quasars found in sloan digital sky survey commissioning data. IV. Luminosity function from the fall equatorial stripe sample. / Fan, Xiaohui; Strauss, Michael A.; Schneider, Donald P.; Gunn, James E.; Lupton, Robert H.; Becker, Robert H.; Davis, Marc; Newman, Jeffrey A.; Richards, Gordon T.; White, Richard L.; Anderson, John E.; Annis, James; Bahcall, Neta A.; Brunner, Robert J.; Csabai, István; Hennessy, G. S.; Hindsley, Robert B.; Fukugita, Masataka; Kunszt, Peter Z.; Ivezić, Željko; Knapp, Gillian R.; McKay, Timothy A.; Munn, Jeffrey A.; Pier, Jeffrey R.; Szalay, Alexander S.; York, Donald G.

In: Astronomical Journal, Vol. 121, No. 1, 2001, p. 54-65.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fan, X, Strauss, MA, Schneider, DP, Gunn, JE, Lupton, RH, Becker, RH, Davis, M, Newman, JA, Richards, GT, White, RL, Anderson, JE, Annis, J, Bahcall, NA, Brunner, RJ, Csabai, I, Hennessy, GS, Hindsley, RB, Fukugita, M, Kunszt, PZ, Ivezić, Ž, Knapp, GR, McKay, TA, Munn, JA, Pier, JR, Szalay, AS & York, DG 2001, 'High-redshift quasars found in sloan digital sky survey commissioning data. IV. Luminosity function from the fall equatorial stripe sample', Astronomical Journal, vol. 121, no. 1, pp. 54-65.
Fan, Xiaohui ; Strauss, Michael A. ; Schneider, Donald P. ; Gunn, James E. ; Lupton, Robert H. ; Becker, Robert H. ; Davis, Marc ; Newman, Jeffrey A. ; Richards, Gordon T. ; White, Richard L. ; Anderson, John E. ; Annis, James ; Bahcall, Neta A. ; Brunner, Robert J. ; Csabai, István ; Hennessy, G. S. ; Hindsley, Robert B. ; Fukugita, Masataka ; Kunszt, Peter Z. ; Ivezić, Željko ; Knapp, Gillian R. ; McKay, Timothy A. ; Munn, Jeffrey A. ; Pier, Jeffrey R. ; Szalay, Alexander S. ; York, Donald G. / High-redshift quasars found in sloan digital sky survey commissioning data. IV. Luminosity function from the fall equatorial stripe sample. In: Astronomical Journal. 2001 ; Vol. 121, No. 1. pp. 54-65.
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abstract = "This is the fourth paper in a series aimed at finding high-redshift quasars from five-color (u′g′r′i′z′) imaging data taken along the celestial equator by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey during its commissioning phase. In this paper, we use the color-selected sample of 39 luminous high-redshift quasars presented in Paper III to derive the evolution of the quasar luminosity function over the range 3.6 < z < 5.0 and -27.5 < M1450 < -25.5 (Ω = 1, H0 = 50 km s-1 Mpc-1). We use the selection function derived in Paper III to correct for sample incompleteness. The luminosity function is estimated using three different methods: (1) the 1/Va estimator; (2) a maximum likelihood solution, assuming that the density of quasars depends exponentially on redshift and as a power law in luminosity; and (3) Lynden-Bell's nonparametric C- estimator. All three methods yield consistent results. The luminous quasar density decreases by a factor of ∼6 from z = 3.5 to z = 5.0, consistent with the decline seen from several previous optical surveys at z < 4.5. The luminosity function follows ψ(L) ∝ L-2.5 for z ∼ 4 at the bright end, significantly flatter than the bright-end luminosity function ψ(L) ∝ L-3.5 found in previous studies for z < 3, suggesting that the shape of the quasar luminosity function evolves with redshift as well, and that the quasar evolution from z = 2 to z = 5 cannot be described as pure luminosity evolution. Possible selection biases and the effect of dust extinction on the redshift evolution of the quasar density are also discussed.",
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AU - Fan, Xiaohui

AU - Strauss, Michael A.

AU - Schneider, Donald P.

AU - Gunn, James E.

AU - Lupton, Robert H.

AU - Becker, Robert H.

AU - Davis, Marc

AU - Newman, Jeffrey A.

AU - Richards, Gordon T.

AU - White, Richard L.

AU - Anderson, John E.

AU - Annis, James

AU - Bahcall, Neta A.

AU - Brunner, Robert J.

AU - Csabai, István

AU - Hennessy, G. S.

AU - Hindsley, Robert B.

AU - Fukugita, Masataka

AU - Kunszt, Peter Z.

AU - Ivezić, Željko

AU - Knapp, Gillian R.

AU - McKay, Timothy A.

AU - Munn, Jeffrey A.

AU - Pier, Jeffrey R.

AU - Szalay, Alexander S.

AU - York, Donald G.

PY - 2001

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