Ionized and Atomic Interstellar Medium in the z = 6.003 Quasar SDSS J2310+1855

Jianan Li, Ran Wang, Pierre Cox, Yu Gao, Fabian Walter, Jeff Wagg, Karl M. Menten, Frank Bertoldi, Yali Shao, Bram P. Venemans, Roberto Decarli, Dominik Riechers, Roberto Neri, Xiaohui Fan, Alain Omont, Desika Narayanan

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9 Scopus citations


Observing the interstellar medium (ISM) in the z ⪆ 6 quasar host galaxies is essential for understanding the coevolution between supermassive black holes and their hosts. To probe the gas physical conditions and search for imprints of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) on the ISM, we report ALMA observations of the [N ii]122 μm and [O i]146 μm lines and the underlying continuum from the z = 6.003 quasar SDSS J231038.88+185519.7. Together with previous [C ii]158 μm and [O iii]88 μm observations, we use the ratios of these fine-structure lines to probe the ISM properties. Similar to other high-z systems, this object exhibits a [C ii]158 μm/[O i]146 μm ratio comparable to the lowest values found in local (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies, suggesting a "warmer"and "denser"gas component compared to typical local systems. The [O iii]88 μm/[O i]146 μm ratio is lower than that of other local and high-z systems, indicating a smaller ionized gas fraction in this quasar. The [O iii]88 μm/[N ii]122 μm ratio is comparable to that of local systems and suggests a metallicity of Z/Z o˙ = 1.5-2.1. Based on the [N ii]122 μm detection, we estimate that 17% of the [C ii]158 μm emission is associated with ionized gas. The [N ii]122 μm line shows a "flux deficit"comparable to local systems. The [O i]146 μm line, with an [O i]146 μm/FIR ratio >2× than expected from the local relation, indicates no [O i]146 μm deficit. The low [C ii]158 μm/[O i]146 μm ratio, together with the high [O i]146 μm/FIR ratio in J2310+1855, reveals that the warm and dense gas is likely a result of AGN heating of the ISM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number131
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 10 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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