Spectroscopy of broad absorption line quasars at 3 ≲ Z ≲ 5. I. evidence for quasar winds shaping broad/narrow emission line regions

Weimin Yi, Wenwen Zuo, Jinyi Yang, Feige Wang, John Timlin, Catherine Grier, Xue Bing Wu, Xiaohui Fan, Jin Ming Bai

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Abstract

We present an observational study of 22 broad absorption line quasars (BAL QSOs) at 3 ≲ z ≲ 5 based on optical/near-IR spectroscopy, aiming to investigate quasar winds and their effects. The near-IR spectroscopy covers the Hβ and/or Mg ii broad emission lines (BELs) for these quasars, allowing us to estimate their central black hole (BH) masses in a robust way. We found that our BAL QSOs, on average, do not have a higher Eddington ratio than that from non-BAL QSOs matched in redshift and/or luminosity. In a subset consisting of seven strong BAL QSOs possessing subrelativistic BAL outflows, we see the prevalence of large C iv BEL blueshift (∼3100 km s-1) and weak [O iii] emission (particularly the narrow [O iii] λ5007 component), indicative of nuclear outflows affecting the narrow emission line (NEL) regions. In another subset consisting of 13 BAL QSOs having simultaneous observations of Mg ii and Hβ, we found a strong correlation between 3000 and 5000 Å monochromatic luminosity, consistent with that from non-BAL QSOs matched in redshift and luminosity; however, there is no correlation between Mg ii and Hβ in FWHM, likely due to nuclear outflows influencing the BEL regions. Our spectroscopic investigations offer strong evidence that the presence of nuclear outflows plays an important role in shaping the BEL/NEL regions of these quasars and, possibly, regulating the growth of central supermassive BHs. We propose that BEL blueshift and BALs could be different manifestations of the same outflow system viewed at different sight lines and/or phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number95
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume893
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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