1 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Universitá degli Studi di Firenze, via G. Sansone 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
2 INAF–Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo Enrico Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
3 Research Center for Space and Cosmic Evolution, Ehime University, 2–5 Bunkyo-cho, 790-8577 Matsuyama, Japan
4 Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, 19 J. J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK
5 Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
6 Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, 776 Daedeok-daero, Yuseong-gu, 34055 Daejeon, Republic of Korea
7 The Open University of Japan, 2–11 Wakaba, Mihama-ku, 261-8586 Chiba, Japan
Received: 11 October 2016
Accepted: 18 September 2017
We present rest-frame optical spectra of 12 “nitrogen-loud” quasars at z ~ 2.2, whose rest-frame ultraviolet (UV) spectra show strong nitrogen broad emission lines. To investigate their narrow-line region (NLR) metallicities, we measure the equivalent width (EW) of the [O iii]λ5007 emission line: if the NLR metallicity is remarkably high, as suggested by the strong UV nitrogen lines, the [O iii]λ5007 line flux should be very weak due to the low equilibrium temperature of the ionized gas owing to significant metal cooling. In the result we found that our spectra show moderate EW of the [O iii]λ5007 line similar to general quasars. This indicates that nitrogen-loud quasars do not have extremely metal-rich gas clouds in NLRs. This suggests that strong nitrogen lines from broad-line regions (BLRs) originate from exceptionally high abundances of nitrogen relative to oxygen without very high BLR metallicities. This result indicates that broad emission lines of nitrogen are not good indicators of the BLR metallicity in some cases. On the other hand, we also investigate virial black hole masses and Eddington ratios by using the Hβ and C ivλ1549 lines for our sample. As a result, we found that black hole masses and Eddington ratios of nitrogen-loud quasars tend to be low and high relative to normal quasars, suggesting that nitrogen-loud quasars seem to be in a rapidly accreting phase. This can be explained in terms of a positive correlation between Eddington ratios and nitrogen abundances of quasars, which is probably caused by the connection between the mass accretion onto black holes and nuclear star formation.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: nuclei / quasars: emission lines / quasars: general
Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programme 088.B-0191(A), and at the Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.
Reduced spectra (FITS files) are available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/608/A90
© ESO, 2017