Chandra survey of radio-quiet, high-redshift quasars

Jill Bechtold, Aneta Siemiginowska, Joseph Shields, Bozena Czerny, Agnieszka Janiuk, Fred Hamann, Thomas L. Aldcroft, Martin Elvis, Adam Dobrzycki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


We observed 17 optically selected, radio-quiet, high-redshift quasars with the Chandra ACIS and detected 16 of them. The quasars have redshifts between 3.70 and 6.28 and include the highest-redshift quasars known. When compared with low-redshift quasars observed with ROSAT, these high-redshift quasars are significantly more X-ray-quiet. We also find that the X-ray spectral index of the high-redshift objects is flatter than the average at lower redshift. These trends confirm the predictions of models in which the accretion flow is described by a cold, optically thick accretion disk surrounded by a hot, optically thin corona, provided the viscosity parameter α ≥ 0.02. The high-redshift quasars have supermassive black holes, with masses of ∼10 10 M, and are accreting material at ∼0.1 times the Eddington limit. We detect 10 X-ray photons from the z = 6.28 quasar SDSS 1030+0524, which might have a Gunn-Peterson trough and be near the redshift of reionization of the intergalactic medium. The X-ray data place an upper limit on the optical depth of the intergalactic medium, τ(IGM) < 10 6, compared to the lower limit from the spectrum of Lyα and Lyβ, which implies τ(IGM) > 20.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - May 1 2003


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Intergalactic medium
  • Quasars: general
  • X-rays: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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