The Discovery of a Luminous Broad Absorption Line Quasar at a Redshift of 7.02

Feige Wang, Jinyi Yang, Xiaohui Fan, Minghao Yue, Xue Bing Wu, Jan Torge Schindler, Fuyan Bian, Jiang Tao Li, Emanuele P. Farina, Eduardo Bañados, Frederick B. Davies, Roberto Decarli, Richard Green, Linhua Jiang, Joseph F. Hennawi, Yun Hsin Huang, Chiara Mazzucchelli, Ian D. McGreer, Bram Venemans, Fabian WalterYuri Beletsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Despite extensive efforts, to date only two quasars have been found at z > 7, due to a combination of low spatial density and high contamination from more ubiquitous Galactic cool dwarfs in quasar selection. This limits our current knowledge of the super-massive black hole growth mechanism and reionization history. In this Letter, we report the discovery of a luminous quasar at z = 7.021, DELS J003836.10-152723.6 (hereafter J0038-1527), selected using photometric data from Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument Legacy Imaging Survey, Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) imaging Survey, as well as Wide-field Infrared Survey Explore mid-infrared all-sky survey. With an absolute magnitude of M 1450 = -27.1 and bolometric luminosity of L Bol = 5.6 - 1013 L o, J0038-1527 is the most luminous quasar known at z > 7. Deep optical to near-infrared spectroscopic observations suggest that J0038-1527 hosts a 1.3 billion solar mass black hole accreting at the Eddington limit, with an Eddington ratio of 1.25 - 0.19. The C iv broad emission line of J0038-1527 is blueshifted by more than 3000 km s-1 relative to the quasar systemic redshift. More detailed investigations of the high-quality spectra reveal three extremely high-velocity C iv broad absorption lines with velocity from 0.08 to 0.14 times the speed of light and total "balnicity" index of more than 5000 km s-1, suggesting the presence of relativistic outflows. J0038-1527 is the first quasar found at the epoch of reionization with such strong outflows, and therefore provides a unique laboratory to investigate active galactic nuclei feedback on the formation and growth of the most massive galaxies in the early universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL9
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2018


  • cosmology: observations
  • early universe
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • quasars: individual (J0038-1527)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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