Discovery of six high-redshift quasars with the Lijiang 2.4 m telescope and the Multiple Mirror Telescope

Xue-Bing Wu, Wen-Wen Zuo, Qian Yang, Wei-Min Yi, Chen-Wei Yang, Wen-Juan Liu, Peng Jiang, Xin-Wen Shu, Hong-Yan Zhou


Abstract Quasars with redshifts greater than 4 are rare, and can be used to probe the structure and evolution of the early universe. Here we report the discovery of six new quasars with i-band magnitudes brighter than 19.5 and redshifts between 2.4 and 4.6 from spectroscopy with the Yunnan Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (YFOSC) at the Lijiang 2.4 m telescope in February, 2012. These quasars are in the list of z > 3.6 quasar candidates selected by using our proposed J − K/i − Y criterion and the photometric redshift estimations from the SDSS optical and UKIDSS near-IR photometric data. Nine candidates were observed by YFOSC, and five among six new quasars were identified as z > 3.6 quasars. One of the other three objects was identified as a star and the other two were unidentified due to the lower signal-to-noise ratio of their spectra. This is the first time that z > 4 quasars have been discovered using a telescope in China. Thanks to the Chinese Telescope Access Program (TAP), the redshift of 4.6 for one of these quasars was confirmed by the Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) Red Channel spectroscopy. The continuum and emission line properties of these six quasars, as well as their central black hole masses and Eddington ratios, were obtained.


Keywords quasars: general — quasars: emission lines — galaxies: active — galax- ies: high-redshift

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