VLT optical and near-infrared observations of the z = 6.28 quasar SDSS J1030+0524

Laura Pentericci, Xiaohui Fan, Han Walter Rix, Michael A. Strauss, Vijay K. Narayanan, Gordon T. Richards, Donald P. Schneider, Julian Krolik, Tim Heckman, Jonathan Brinkmann, Don Q. Lamb, G. Szokoly

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Abstract

We present new VLT spectroscopic observations of the most distant quasar known, SDSS J1030+0524 at z = 6.28, which was recently discovered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We confirm the presence of a complete Gunn-Peterson trough caused by neutral hydrogen in the intergalactic medium. There is no detectable flux over the wavelength range from 8450 to 8710 Å. We set a stronger limit on the drop of the flux level blue-ward of the Lyα line: a factor of more than 200. Below 8450 Å the spectrum shows a rise in flux, with a large fraction (>60%) of the total emission produced by a few narrow features of transmitted flux. We discuss the proximity effect around this quasar, with the presence of transmitted flux with many absorption features in a region of about 23 h-1 comoving Mpc. If we assume that the surrounding medium is completely neutral, the size of this region would imply a quasar lifetime of ∼1.3 × 107 yr. We also present near-IR spectroscopy of both SDSS J1030+0524 and SDSS J1306+05, the second most distant quasar known, at redshift 6.0. We combine measurements of the C IV line and limits on the He II emission from the near-IR spectra with the N v line measurements from the optical spectra to derive the metal abundances of these early quasar environments. The results are indistinguishable from those of lower redshift quasars and indicate little or no evolution in the metal abundances from z ∼ 6 to 2. The line ratios suggest supersolar metallicities, implying that the first stars around the quasars must have formed at least a few hundreds of megayears prior to the observation, i.e., at redshifts higher than 8.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2151-2158
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume123
Issue number5 1757
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2002

Fingerprint

quasars
near infrared
metal
trough
spectroscopy
hydrogen
wavelength
intergalactic media
troughs
metals
metallicity
optical spectrum
stars
life (durability)
wavelengths
effect

Keywords

  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Quasars: absorption lines
  • Quasars: individual (SDSS J103027.10+052455.0, SDSS J130608.26+035626.3)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Pentericci, L., Fan, X., Rix, H. W., Strauss, M. A., Narayanan, V. K., Richards, G. T., ... Szokoly, G. (2002). VLT optical and near-infrared observations of the z = 6.28 quasar SDSS J1030+0524. Astronomical Journal, 123(5 1757), 2151-2158. https://doi.org/10.1086/340077

VLT optical and near-infrared observations of the z = 6.28 quasar SDSS J1030+0524. / Pentericci, Laura; Fan, Xiaohui; Rix, Han Walter; Strauss, Michael A.; Narayanan, Vijay K.; Richards, Gordon T.; Schneider, Donald P.; Krolik, Julian; Heckman, Tim; Brinkmann, Jonathan; Lamb, Don Q.; Szokoly, G.

In: Astronomical Journal, Vol. 123, No. 5 1757, 05.2002, p. 2151-2158.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pentericci, L, Fan, X, Rix, HW, Strauss, MA, Narayanan, VK, Richards, GT, Schneider, DP, Krolik, J, Heckman, T, Brinkmann, J, Lamb, DQ & Szokoly, G 2002, 'VLT optical and near-infrared observations of the z = 6.28 quasar SDSS J1030+0524', Astronomical Journal, vol. 123, no. 5 1757, pp. 2151-2158. https://doi.org/10.1086/340077
Pentericci L, Fan X, Rix HW, Strauss MA, Narayanan VK, Richards GT et al. VLT optical and near-infrared observations of the z = 6.28 quasar SDSS J1030+0524. Astronomical Journal. 2002 May;123(5 1757):2151-2158. https://doi.org/10.1086/340077
Pentericci, Laura ; Fan, Xiaohui ; Rix, Han Walter ; Strauss, Michael A. ; Narayanan, Vijay K. ; Richards, Gordon T. ; Schneider, Donald P. ; Krolik, Julian ; Heckman, Tim ; Brinkmann, Jonathan ; Lamb, Don Q. ; Szokoly, G. / VLT optical and near-infrared observations of the z = 6.28 quasar SDSS J1030+0524. In: Astronomical Journal. 2002 ; Vol. 123, No. 5 1757. pp. 2151-2158.
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AU - Fan, Xiaohui

AU - Rix, Han Walter

AU - Strauss, Michael A.

AU - Narayanan, Vijay K.

AU - Richards, Gordon T.

AU - Schneider, Donald P.

AU - Krolik, Julian

AU - Heckman, Tim

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AU - Lamb, Don Q.

AU - Szokoly, G.

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