The Clustering of High-redshift (2.9 ≤z ≤5.1) Quasars in SDSS Stripe 82

John D. Timlin, Nicholas P. Ross, Gordon T. Richards, Adam D. Myers, Andrew Pellegrino, Franz E. Bauer, Mark Lacy, Donald P. Schneider, Edward J. Wollack, Nadia L. Zakamska

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32 Scopus citations


We present a measurement of the two-point autocorrelation function of photometrically selected high-z quasars over ∼100 deg2 on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82 field. Selection is performed using three machine-learning algorithms in a six-dimensional optical/mid-infrared color space. Optical data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey are combined with overlapping deep mid-infrared data from the Spitzer IRAC Equatorial Survey and the Spitzer-HETDEX Exploratory Large-Area survey. Our selection algorithms are trained on the colors of known high-z quasars. The selected quasar sample consists of 1378 objects and contains both spectroscopically confirmed quasars and photometrically selected quasar candidates. These objects span a redshift range of 2.9 ≤z ≤5.1 and are generally fainter than i =20.2, a regime that has lacked sufficient number density to perform autocorrelation function measurements of photometrically classified quasars. We compute the angular correlation function of these data, marginally detecting quasar clustering. We fit a single power law with an index of δ =1.39 ±0.618 and amplitude of θ 0 =0.′71 ±0.′546 . A dark matter model is fit to the angular correlation function to estimate the linear bias. At the average redshift of our survey (), the bias is b =6.78 ±1.79. Using this bias, we calculate a characteristic dark matter halo mass of 1.70-9.83. Our bias estimate suggests that quasar feedback intermittently shuts down the accretion of gas onto the central supermassive black hole at early times. If confirmed, these results hint at a level of luminosity dependence in the clustering of quasars at high-z.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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