The sdss-iii baryon oscillation spectroscopic survey: The quasar luminosity function from data release nine

Nicholas P. Ross, Ian D. McGreer, Martin White, Gordon T. Richards, Adam D. Myers, Nathalie Palanque-Delabrouille, Michael A. Strauss, Scott F. Anderson, Yue Shen, W. N. Brandt, Christophe Yèche, Molly E C Swanson, Éric Aubourg, Stephen Bailey, Dmitry Bizyaev, Jo Bovy, Howard Brewington, J. Brinkmann, Colin Degraf, Tiziana Di MatteoGarrett Ebelke, Xiaohui Fan, Jian Ge, Elena Malanushenko, Viktor Malanushenko, Rachel Mandelbaum, Claudia Maraston, Demitri Muna, Daniel Oravetz, Kaike Pan, Isabelle Pâris, Patrick Petitjean, Kevin Schawinski, David J. Schlegel, Donald P. Schneider, John D. Silverman, Audrey Simmons, Stephanie Snedden, Alina Streblyanska, Nao Suzuki, David H. Weinberg, Donald York

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a new measurement of the optical quasar luminosity function (QLF), using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III: Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (SDSS-III: BOSS). From the SDSS-III Data Release Nine, a uniform sample of 22,301 i ≲ 21.8 quasars are selected over an area of 2236 deg2, with confirmed spectroscopic redshifts between 2.2 < z < 3.5, filling in a key part of the luminosity-redshift plane for optical quasar studies. The completeness of the survey is derived through simulated quasar photometry, and this completeness estimate is checked using a sample of quasars selected by their photometric variability within the BOSS footprint. We investigate the level of systematics associated with our quasar sample using the simulations, in the process generating color-redshift relations and a new quasar K-correction. We probe the faint end of the QLF to Mi (z = 2.2) ≈ -24.5 and see a clear break in the QLF at all redshifts up to z = 3.5. A log-linear relation (in log Φ*-M*) for a luminosity evolution and density evolution model is found to adequately describe our data within the range 2.2 < z < 3.5; across this interval the break luminosity increases by a factor of ∼2.6 while Φ* declines by a factor of ∼8. At z ≲ 2.2 our data are reasonably well fit by a pure luminosity evolution model, and only a weak signature of "AGN downsizing" is seen, in line with recent studies of the hard X-ray luminosity function. We compare our measured QLF to a number of theoretical models and find that models making a variety of assumptions about quasar triggering and halo occupation can fit our data over a wide range of redshifts and luminosities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume773
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 10 2013

Fingerprint

quasars
baryons
oscillation
luminosity
oscillations
completeness
footprints
footprint
occupation
photometry
halos
probe
signatures
intervals
color
probes
estimates

Keywords

  • cosmology: observations
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
  • quasars: general
  • surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Ross, N. P., McGreer, I. D., White, M., Richards, G. T., Myers, A. D., Palanque-Delabrouille, N., ... York, D. (2013). The sdss-iii baryon oscillation spectroscopic survey: The quasar luminosity function from data release nine. Astrophysical Journal, 773(1), [14]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/773/1/14

The sdss-iii baryon oscillation spectroscopic survey : The quasar luminosity function from data release nine. / Ross, Nicholas P.; McGreer, Ian D.; White, Martin; Richards, Gordon T.; Myers, Adam D.; Palanque-Delabrouille, Nathalie; Strauss, Michael A.; Anderson, Scott F.; Shen, Yue; Brandt, W. N.; Yèche, Christophe; Swanson, Molly E C; Aubourg, Éric; Bailey, Stephen; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Bovy, Jo; Brewington, Howard; Brinkmann, J.; Degraf, Colin; Di Matteo, Tiziana; Ebelke, Garrett; Fan, Xiaohui; Ge, Jian; Malanushenko, Elena; Malanushenko, Viktor; Mandelbaum, Rachel; Maraston, Claudia; Muna, Demitri; Oravetz, Daniel; Pan, Kaike; Pâris, Isabelle; Petitjean, Patrick; Schawinski, Kevin; Schlegel, David J.; Schneider, Donald P.; Silverman, John D.; Simmons, Audrey; Snedden, Stephanie; Streblyanska, Alina; Suzuki, Nao; Weinberg, David H.; York, Donald.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 773, No. 1, 14, 10.08.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ross, NP, McGreer, ID, White, M, Richards, GT, Myers, AD, Palanque-Delabrouille, N, Strauss, MA, Anderson, SF, Shen, Y, Brandt, WN, Yèche, C, Swanson, MEC, Aubourg, É, Bailey, S, Bizyaev, D, Bovy, J, Brewington, H, Brinkmann, J, Degraf, C, Di Matteo, T, Ebelke, G, Fan, X, Ge, J, Malanushenko, E, Malanushenko, V, Mandelbaum, R, Maraston, C, Muna, D, Oravetz, D, Pan, K, Pâris, I, Petitjean, P, Schawinski, K, Schlegel, DJ, Schneider, DP, Silverman, JD, Simmons, A, Snedden, S, Streblyanska, A, Suzuki, N, Weinberg, DH & York, D 2013, 'The sdss-iii baryon oscillation spectroscopic survey: The quasar luminosity function from data release nine', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 773, no. 1, 14. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/773/1/14
Ross, Nicholas P. ; McGreer, Ian D. ; White, Martin ; Richards, Gordon T. ; Myers, Adam D. ; Palanque-Delabrouille, Nathalie ; Strauss, Michael A. ; Anderson, Scott F. ; Shen, Yue ; Brandt, W. N. ; Yèche, Christophe ; Swanson, Molly E C ; Aubourg, Éric ; Bailey, Stephen ; Bizyaev, Dmitry ; Bovy, Jo ; Brewington, Howard ; Brinkmann, J. ; Degraf, Colin ; Di Matteo, Tiziana ; Ebelke, Garrett ; Fan, Xiaohui ; Ge, Jian ; Malanushenko, Elena ; Malanushenko, Viktor ; Mandelbaum, Rachel ; Maraston, Claudia ; Muna, Demitri ; Oravetz, Daniel ; Pan, Kaike ; Pâris, Isabelle ; Petitjean, Patrick ; Schawinski, Kevin ; Schlegel, David J. ; Schneider, Donald P. ; Silverman, John D. ; Simmons, Audrey ; Snedden, Stephanie ; Streblyanska, Alina ; Suzuki, Nao ; Weinberg, David H. ; York, Donald. / The sdss-iii baryon oscillation spectroscopic survey : The quasar luminosity function from data release nine. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2013 ; Vol. 773, No. 1.
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abstract = "We present a new measurement of the optical quasar luminosity function (QLF), using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III: Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (SDSS-III: BOSS). From the SDSS-III Data Release Nine, a uniform sample of 22,301 i ≲ 21.8 quasars are selected over an area of 2236 deg2, with confirmed spectroscopic redshifts between 2.2 < z < 3.5, filling in a key part of the luminosity-redshift plane for optical quasar studies. The completeness of the survey is derived through simulated quasar photometry, and this completeness estimate is checked using a sample of quasars selected by their photometric variability within the BOSS footprint. We investigate the level of systematics associated with our quasar sample using the simulations, in the process generating color-redshift relations and a new quasar K-correction. We probe the faint end of the QLF to Mi (z = 2.2) ≈ -24.5 and see a clear break in the QLF at all redshifts up to z = 3.5. A log-linear relation (in log Φ*-M*) for a luminosity evolution and density evolution model is found to adequately describe our data within the range 2.2 < z < 3.5; across this interval the break luminosity increases by a factor of ∼2.6 while Φ* declines by a factor of ∼8. At z ≲ 2.2 our data are reasonably well fit by a pure luminosity evolution model, and only a weak signature of {"}AGN downsizing{"} is seen, in line with recent studies of the hard X-ray luminosity function. We compare our measured QLF to a number of theoretical models and find that models making a variety of assumptions about quasar triggering and halo occupation can fit our data over a wide range of redshifts and luminosities.",
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AU - Ross, Nicholas P.

AU - McGreer, Ian D.

AU - White, Martin

AU - Richards, Gordon T.

AU - Myers, Adam D.

AU - Palanque-Delabrouille, Nathalie

AU - Strauss, Michael A.

AU - Anderson, Scott F.

AU - Shen, Yue

AU - Brandt, W. N.

AU - Yèche, Christophe

AU - Swanson, Molly E C

AU - Aubourg, Éric

AU - Bailey, Stephen

AU - Bizyaev, Dmitry

AU - Bovy, Jo

AU - Brewington, Howard

AU - Brinkmann, J.

AU - Degraf, Colin

AU - Di Matteo, Tiziana

AU - Ebelke, Garrett

AU - Fan, Xiaohui

AU - Ge, Jian

AU - Malanushenko, Elena

AU - Malanushenko, Viktor

AU - Mandelbaum, Rachel

AU - Maraston, Claudia

AU - Muna, Demitri

AU - Oravetz, Daniel

AU - Pan, Kaike

AU - Pâris, Isabelle

AU - Petitjean, Patrick

AU - Schawinski, Kevin

AU - Schlegel, David J.

AU - Schneider, Donald P.

AU - Silverman, John D.

AU - Simmons, Audrey

AU - Snedden, Stephanie

AU - Streblyanska, Alina

AU - Suzuki, Nao

AU - Weinberg, David H.

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AB - We present a new measurement of the optical quasar luminosity function (QLF), using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III: Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (SDSS-III: BOSS). From the SDSS-III Data Release Nine, a uniform sample of 22,301 i ≲ 21.8 quasars are selected over an area of 2236 deg2, with confirmed spectroscopic redshifts between 2.2 < z < 3.5, filling in a key part of the luminosity-redshift plane for optical quasar studies. The completeness of the survey is derived through simulated quasar photometry, and this completeness estimate is checked using a sample of quasars selected by their photometric variability within the BOSS footprint. We investigate the level of systematics associated with our quasar sample using the simulations, in the process generating color-redshift relations and a new quasar K-correction. We probe the faint end of the QLF to Mi (z = 2.2) ≈ -24.5 and see a clear break in the QLF at all redshifts up to z = 3.5. A log-linear relation (in log Φ*-M*) for a luminosity evolution and density evolution model is found to adequately describe our data within the range 2.2 < z < 3.5; across this interval the break luminosity increases by a factor of ∼2.6 while Φ* declines by a factor of ∼8. At z ≲ 2.2 our data are reasonably well fit by a pure luminosity evolution model, and only a weak signature of "AGN downsizing" is seen, in line with recent studies of the hard X-ray luminosity function. We compare our measured QLF to a number of theoretical models and find that models making a variety of assumptions about quasar triggering and halo occupation can fit our data over a wide range of redshifts and luminosities.

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KW - galaxies: active

KW - galaxies: luminosity function, mass function

KW - quasars: general

KW - surveys

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