The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Quasar Catalog: Twelfth data release

Isabelle Pâris, Patrick Petitjean, Nicholas P. Ross, Adam D. Myers, Éric Aubourg, Alina Streblyanska, Stephen Bailey, Éric Armengaud, Nathalie Palanque-Delabrouille, Christophe Yèche, Fred Hamann, Michael A. Strauss, Franco D. Albareti, Jo Bovy, Dmitry Bizyaev, W. Niel Brandt, Marcella Brusa, Johannes Buchner, Johan Comparat, Rupert A.C. CroftTom Dwelly, Xiaohui Fan, Andreu Font-Ribera, Jian Ge, Antonis Georgakakis, Patrick B. Hall, Linhua Jiang, Karen Kinemuchi, Elena Malanushenko, Viktor Malanushenko, Richard G. McMahon, Marie Luise Menzel, Andrea Merloni, Kirpal Nandra, Pasquier Noterdaeme, Daniel Oravetz, Kaike Pan, Matthew M. Pieri, Francisco Prada, Mara Salvato, David J. Schlegel, Donald P. Schneider, Audrey Simmons, Matteo Viel, David H. Weinberg, Liu Zhu

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360 Scopus citations


We present the Data Release 12 Quasar catalog (DR12Q) from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III. This catalog includes all SDSS-III/BOSS objects that were spectroscopically targeted as quasar candidates during the full survey and that are confirmed as quasars via visual inspection of the spectra, have luminosities Mi [z = 2] <-20.5 (in a ΛCDM cosmology with H0 = 70 km s-1 Mpc-1, ΩM = 0.3, and ΩΛ = 0.7), and either display at least one emission line with a full width at half maximum (FWHM) larger than 500 km s-1 or, if not, have interesting/complex absorption features. The catalog also includes previously known quasars (mostly from SDSS-I and II) that were reobserved by BOSS. The catalog contains 297 301 quasars (272 026 are new discoveries since the beginning of SDSS-III) detected over 9376 deg2 with robust identification and redshift measured by a combination of principal component eigenspectra. The number of quasars with z > 2.15 (184 101, of which 167 742 are new discoveries) is about an order of magnitude greater than the number of z > 2.15 quasars known prior to BOSS. Redshifts and FWHMs are provided for the strongest emission lines (C iv, C iii], Mg ii). The catalog identifies 29 580 broad absorption line quasars and lists their characteristics. For each object, the catalog presents five-band (u, g, r, i, z) CCD-based photometry with typical accuracy of 0.03 mag together with some information on the optical morphology and the selection criteria. When available, the catalog also provides information on the optical variability of quasars using SDSS and Palomar Transient Factory multi-epoch photometry. The catalog also contains X-ray, ultraviolet, near-infrared, and radio emission properties of the quasars, when available, from other large-area surveys. The calibrated digital spectra, covering the wavelength region 3600-10 500 Å at a spectral resolution in the range 1300 < R < 2500, can be retrieved from the SDSS Catalog Archive Server. We also provide a supplemental list of an additional 4841 quasars that have been identified serendipitously outside of the superset defined to derive the main quasar catalog.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA79
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Catalogs
  • Quasars: general
  • Surveys


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