Gemini GNIRS Near-infrared Spectroscopy of 50 Quasars at z ≥ 5.7

Yue Shen, Jin Wu, Linhua Jiang, Eduardo Bañados, Xiaohui Fan, Luis C. Ho, Dominik A. Riechers, Michael A. Strauss, Bram Venemans, Marianne Vestergaard, Fabian Walter, Feige Wang, Chris Willott, Xue Bing Wu, Jinyi Yang

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119 Scopus citations


We report initial results from a large Gemini program to observe z ≥ 5.7 quasars with GNIRS near-IR spectroscopy. Our sample includes 50 quasars with simultaneous ∼0.85-2.5 μm spectra covering the rest-frame ultraviolet and major broad emission lines from Lyα to Mg ii. We present spectral measurements for these quasars and compare with their lower redshift counterparts at z = 1.5-2.3. We find that when quasar luminosity is matched, there are no significant differences between the rest-UV spectra of z ≥ 5.7 quasars and the low-z comparison sample. High-z quasars have similar continuum and emission line properties and occupy the same region in the black hole mass and luminosity space as the comparison sample, accreting at an average Eddington ratio of ∼0.3. There is no evidence for super-Eddington accretion or hypermassive (>10 10 M o ) black holes within our sample. We find a mild excess of quasars with weak C iv lines relative to the control sample. Our results, corroborating earlier studies but with better statistics, demonstrate that these high-z quasars are already mature systems of accreting supermassive black holes operating with the same physical mechanisms as those at lower redshifts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number35
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • black hole physics
  • galaxies: active
  • line: profiles
  • quasars: general
  • surveys


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