Volume 654, October 2021
|Number of page(s)||18|
|Published online||15 October 2021|
Quasar clustering at redshift 6
Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstr. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
2 Max-Planck Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschildstr. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
3 University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK
4 Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
5 Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, ITA, Albert-Ueberle-Str. 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
6 American River College, Physics & Astronomy Dpt., 4700 College Oak Drive, Sacramento, CA 95841, USA
7 Department of Physics, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
Accepted: 20 July 2021
Context. Large-scale surveys over the last years have revealed about 300 quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) at redshifts above 6. Follow-up observations have identified surprising properties, such as the very high black hole (BH) masses, spatial correlations with surrounding cold gas of the host galaxy, and high CIV-MgII Velocity shifts. In particular, the discovery of luminous high-redshift quasars suggests that at least some BHs likely have high masses at birth and grow efficiently.
Aims. Our aim is to quantify quasar pairs at high redshift for a large sample of objects. This provides a new key constraint on a combination of parameters related to the origin and assembly for the most massive BHs: formation efficiency and clustering, growth efficiency, and the relative contribution of BH mergers.
Methods. We observed 116 spectroscopically confirmed QSOs around redshift 6 with the simultaneous seven-channel imager Gamma-ray Burst Optical/Near-infrared Detector in order to search for companions. Applying colour-colour cuts identical to those which led to the spectroscopically confirmed QSOs, we performed Le PHARE fits to the 26 best QSO pair candidates, and obtained spectroscopic observations for 11 of them.
Results. We do not find any QSO pair with a companion brighter than M1450(AB) < −26 mag within our 0.1–3.3 h−1 cMpc search radius, in contrast to the serendipitous findings in the redshift range 4–5. However, a small fraction of such pairs at this luminosity and redshift is consistent with indications from present-day cosmological-scale galaxy evolution models. In turn, the incidence of L- and T-type brown dwarfs, which occupy a similar colour space to z ∼ 6 QSOs, is higher than expected, by a factor of 5 and 20, respectively.
Key words: early Universe / galaxies: active / quasars: general / stars: low-mass / brown dwarfs
© J. Greiner et al. 2021
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Open Access funding provided by Max Planck Society.
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