We report the discovery of a pair of z = 4.25 quasars with a separation of 33″. The brighter of the two objects was identified as a high-redshift quasar candidate from Sloan Digital Sky Survey multicolor imaging data, and the redshift was measured from a spectrum obtained with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. The slit orientation of this observation by chance included another quasar, approximately 1 mag fainter and having the same redshift as the target. This is the third serendipitous discovery of a z > 4 quasar. The differences in the relative strengths and profiles of the emission lines suggest that this is a quasar pair and not a gravitational lens. The two objects are likely to be physically associated; the projected physical separation is approximately 210 h-150 kpc and the redshifts are identical to ≈0.01, implying a radial physical separation of 950 h-150 kpc or less. The existence of this pair is strong circumstantial evidence that z ∼ 4 quasars are clustered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Early universe
- Quasars: individual