We present a sample of 221 new quasar pairs with proper transverse separations R prop < 1 h -1 Mpc over the redshift range 0.5 < z < 3.0, discovered from an extensive follow-up campaign to find companions around the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and 2dF QSO Redshift Survey quasars. This sample includes 26 new binary quasars with separations R prop < 50 h -1 kpc (θ < 10″), more than doubling the number of such systems known. We define a statistical sample of binaries selected with homogeneous criteria and compute its selection function, taking into account sources of incompleteness. The first measurement of the quasar correlation function on scales 10 h -1 kpc < R prop < 400 h -1 kpc is presented. For R prop ≲ 40 h -1 kpc, we detect an order of magnitude excess clustering over the expectation from the large-scale (R prop ≳ 3 h -1 Mpc) quasar correlation function, extrapolated down as a power law (γ = 1.53) to the separations probed by our binaries. The excess grows to ∼30 at R prop 10 h -1 kpc and provides compelling evidence that the quasar autocorrelation function gets progressively steeper on submegaparsec scales. This small-scale excess can likely be attributed to dissipative interaction events that trigger quasar activity in rich environments. Recent small-scale measurements of galaxy clustering and quasar-galaxy clustering are reviewed and discussed in relation to our measurement of small-scale quasar clustering.
- Cosmology: observations
- Large-scale structure of universe
- Quasars: general
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
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Hennawi, J. F. (Creator), Strauss, M. A. (Creator), Oguri, M. (Creator), Inada, N. (Creator), Richards, G. T. (Creator), Pindor, B. (Creator), Schneider, D. P. (Creator), Becker, R. H. (Creator), Gregg, M. D. (Creator), Hall, P. B. (Creator), Johnston, D. E. (Creator), Fan, X. (Creator), Burles, S. (Creator), Schlegel, D. J. (Creator), Gunn, J. E. (Creator), Lupton, R. H. (Creator), Bahcall, N. A. (Creator), Brunner, R. J. (Creator), Brinkmann, J. (Creator) & Richards, G. T. (Creator), Centre de Donnees Strasbourg (CDS), 2006