The Galaxy Environment Of A QSO At Z Similar To 5.7

Date

2013-08

Authors

Banados, Eduardo
Venemans, Bram
Walter, Fabian
Kurk, Jaron
Overzier, Roderik
Ouchi, Masami

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Abstract

High-redshift quasars are believed to reside in massive halos in the early universe and should therefore be located in fields with overdensities of galaxies, which are thought to evolve into galaxy clusters seen in the local universe. However, despite many efforts, the relationship between galaxy overdensities and z similar to 6 quasars is ambiguous. This can possibly be attributed to the difficulty of finding galaxies with accurate redshifts in the vicinity of z similar to 6 quasars. So far, overdensity searches around z similar to 6 quasars have been based on studies of Lyman break galaxies (LBGs), which probe a redshift range of Delta z approximate to 1. This range is large enough to select galaxies that may not be physically related to the quasar. We use deep narrow- and broadband imaging to study the environment of the z = 5.72 quasar ULAS J0203+0012. The redshift range probed by our narrow- band selection of Lyman alpha emitters (LAEs) is Delta z approximate to 0.1, which is significantly narrower than the LBG searches. This is the first time that LAEs were searched for near a z similar to 6 quasar, in an effort to provide clues about the environments of quasars at the end of the epoch of reionization. We find no enhancement of LAEs in the surroundings of ULAS J0203+0012 in comparison with blank fields. We explore different explanations and interpretations for this non-detection of a galaxy overdensity, including that (1) the strong ionization from the quasar may prevent galaxy formation in its immediate vicinity and (2) high-redshift quasars may not reside in the center of the most massive dark matter halos.

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Citation

Ba�ados, Eduardo, Bram Venemans, Fabian Walter, Jaron Kurk, Roderik Overzier, and Masami Ouchi. "The galaxy environment of a QSO at z~ 5.7." The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 773, No. 2 (Aug., 2013): 178.