Discovery of the most luminous quasar of the last 9 Gyr

Christopher A. Onken, Samuel Lai, Christian Wolf, Adrian B. Lucy, Wei Jeat Hon, Patrick Tisserand, Jennifer L. Sokoloski, Gerardo J.M. Luna, Rajeev Manick, Xiaohui Fan, Fuyan Bian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We report the discovery of a bright (mag (AB), mag (Vega)) quasar at redshift-the optically brightest (unbeamed) quasar at 0.4$[]>. SMSS J114447.77-430859.3, at a Galactic latitude of, was identified by its optical colours from the SkyMapper Southern Survey (SMSS) during a search for symbiotic binary stars. Optical and near-infrared spectroscopy reveals broad Mg ii, H, H, and Pa emission lines, from which we measure a black hole mass of. With its high luminosity, or mag (AB), we estimate an Eddington ratio of. As the most luminous quasar known over the last 9 Gyr of cosmic history, having a luminosity greater than 3C 273, the source offers a range of potential follow-up opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere037
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
StatePublished - Sep 12 2022


  • active galactic nuclei: Quasars
  • supermassive black holes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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