Volume 556, August 2013
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||02 August 2013|
Towards equation of state of dark energy from quasar monitoring: Reverberation strategy
Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Bartycka 18,
2 Adam Mickiewicz University Observatory, ul. Sloneczna 36, 60-286 Poznan, Poland
3 Astrophysics, Cosmology and Gravity Centre, Department of Astronomy, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, 7701 Rondebosch, Republic of South Africa
Received: 2 December 2012
Accepted: 25 May 2013
Context. High-redshift quasars can be used to constrain the equation of state of dark energy. They can serve as a complementary tool to supernovae Type Ia, especially at z > 1.
Aims. The method is based on the determination of the size of the broad line region (BLR) from the emission line delay, the determination of the absolute monochromatic luminosity either from the observed statistical relation or from a model of the formation of the BLR, and the determination of the observed monochromatic flux from photometry. This allows the luminosity distance to a quasar to be obtained, independently from its redshift. The accuracy of the measurements is, however, a key issue.
Methods. We modeled the expected accuracy of the measurements by creating artificial quasar monochromatic lightcurves and responses from the BLR under various assumptions about the variability of a quasar, BLR extension, distribution of the measurements in time, accuracy of the measurements, and the intrinsic line variability.
Results. We show that the five-year monitoring of a single quasar based on the Mg II line should give an accuracy of 0.06−0.32 mag in the distance modulus which will allow new constraints to be put on the expansion rate of the Universe at high redshifts. Successful monitoring of higher redshift quasars based on C IV lines requires proper selection of the objects to avoid sources with much higher levels of the intrinsic variability of C IV compared to Mg II.
Key words: quasars: emission lines / cosmological parameters / dark energy / accretion, accretion disks / black hole physics
© ESO, 2013
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