The Faint End of the z = 5 Quasar Luminosity Function from the CFHTLS

Ian D. McGreer, Xiaohui Fan, Linhua Jiang, Zheng Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


We present results from a spectroscopic survey of z ∼ 5 quasars in the CFHT Legacy Survey. Using both optical color selection and a likelihood method, we select 97 candidates over an area of 105 deg2 to a limit of i AB < 23.2, and 7 candidates in the range 23.2 < i AB < 23.7 over an area of 18.5 deg2. Spectroscopic observations for 43 candidates were obtained with Gemini, MMT, and Large Binocular Telescope, of which 37 are z > 4 quasars. This sample extends measurements of the quasar luminosity function ∼1.5 mag fainter than our previous work in Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82. The resulting luminosity function is in good agreement with our previous results, and suggests that the faint end slope is not steep. We perform a detailed examination of our survey completeness, particularly the impact of the Lyα emission assumed in our quasar spectral models, and find hints that the observed Lyα emission from faint z ∼ 5 quasars is weaker than for z ∼ 3 quasars at a similar luminosity. Our results strongly disfavor a significant contribution of faint quasars to the hydrogen-ionizing background at z = 5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number131
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • galaxies: high redshift
  • quasars: emission lines
  • quasars: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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