Vol 19, No 1

The redshift distribution of BL Lacs and FSRQs

David Garofalo, Chandra B. Singh, Dylan T. Walsh, Damian J. Christian, Andrew M. Jones, Alexa Zack, Brandt Webster, Matt I. Kim


Abstract Flat spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) and BL Lacertae objects (BL Lacs) are powerful jet producing active galactic nuclei associated with supermassive black holes accreting at high and low Eddington rates, respectively. Based on the Millennium Simulation, Gardner & Done have predicted their redshift distribution by appealing to ideas from the spin paradigm in a way that exposes a need for a deeper discussion on three interrelated issues: (1) an overprediction of BL Lacs compared to FSRQs; (2) a difference in FSRQ and BL Lac distributions; (3) a need for powerful but different jets at separated cosmic times. Beginning with Gardner & Done’s determination of Fermi observable FSRQs based on the distribution of thermal accretion across cosmic time from the Millennium Simulation, we connect FSRQs to BL Lacs by way of the gap paradigm for black hole accretion and jet formation to address the above issues in a unified way. We identify a physical constraint in the paradigm for the numbers of BL Lacs that naturally leads to separate peaks in time for different albeit powerful jets. In addition, we both identify as puzzling and ascribe physical significance to a tail end in the BL Lac curve versus redshift that is unseen in the redshift distribution for FSRQs.


Keywords black hole physics — BL Lacertae objects: general — galaxies: jets — gamma-rays: galaxies

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