The identification of quasars in the redshift range 2.2 < z < 3 is known to be very inefficient because the optical colors of such quasars are indistinguishable from those of stars. Recent studies have proposed using optical variability or near-infrared (near-IR) colors to improve the identification of the missing quasars in this redshift range. Here we present a case study combining both methods. We select a sample of 70 quasar candidates from variables in Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Stripe 82, which are non-ultraviolet excess sources and have UKIDSS near-IR public data. They are clearly separated into two parts on the Y - K/g - z color-color diagram, and 59 of them meet or lie close to a newly proposed Y - K/g - z selection criterion for z < 4 quasars. Of these 59 sources, 44 were previously identified as quasars in SDSS DR7, and 35 of them are quasars at 2.2 < z < 3. We present spectroscopic observations of 14 of 15 remaining quasar candidates using the Bok 2.3m telescope and the MMT 6.5m telescope, and successfully identify all of them as new quasars at z= 2.36-2.88. We also apply this method to a sample of 643 variable quasar candidates with SDSS-UKIDSS nine-band photometric data selected from 1875 new quasar candidates in SDSS Stripe 82 given by Butler & Bloom based on the time-series selections, and find that 188 of them are probably new quasars with photometric redshifts at 2.2 < z < 3. Our results indicate that the combination of optical variability and optical/near-IR colors is probably the most efficient way to find 2.2 < z < 3 quasars and is very helpful for constructing a complete quasar sample. We discuss its implications for ongoing and upcoming large optical and near-IR sky surveys.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Sep 2011|
- galaxies: active
- quasars: emission lines
- quasars: general
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
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Wu, X. (Creator), Wang, R. (Creator), Schmidt, K. B. (Creator), Bian, F. (Creator), Jiang, L. (Creator) & Fan, X. (Creator), Centre de Donnees Strasbourg (CDS), 2013
DOI: 10.26093/cds/vizier.51420078, https://cdsarc.cds.unistra.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/AJ/142/78