Do broad absorption line quasars live in different environments from ordinary quasars?

Yue Shen, Michael A. Strauss, Patrick B. Hall, Donald P. Schneider, Donald G. York, Neta A. Bahcall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We select a sample of ∼4200 traditionally defined broad absorption line quasars (BALQs) from the Fifth Data Release quasar catalog of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. For a statistically homogeneous quasar sample with 1.7 < z < 4.2, the BAL quasar fraction is ∼14% and is almost constant with redshift. We measure the autocorrelation of non-BAL quasars (non-BALQs) and the cross-correlation of BALQs with non-BALQs using this statistically homogeneous sample, both in redshift space and using the projected correlation function. We find no significant difference between the clustering strengths of BALQs and non-BALQs. Assuming a power-law model for the real space correlation function ξ(r) = (r/r0)-1.8, the correlation length for non-BALQs is r0 = 7.6 ± 0.8 h-1 Mpc; for BALQs the cross-correlation length is r0 = 7.4 ±1.1 h-1 Mpc. Our clustering results suggest that BALQs live in similar large-scale environments to non-BALQs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)858-862
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 20 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Galaxies: active
  • Quasars: absorption lines
  • Quasars: emission lines
  • Quasars: general


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