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Creators/Authors contains: "Li, Jennifer I-Hsiu"

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  1. Abstract

    We present a high-cadence multiepoch analysis of dramatic variability of three broad emission lines (Mgii, Hβ, and Hα) in the spectra of the luminous quasar (λLλ(5100 Å) = 4.7 × 1044erg s−1) SDSS J141041.25+531849.0 atz= 0.359 with 127 spectroscopic epochs over nine years of monitoring (2013–2022). We observe anticorrelations between the broad emission-line widths and flux in all three emission lines, indicating that all three broad emission lines “breathe” in response to stochastic continuum variations. We also observe dramatic radial velocity shifts in all three broad emission lines, ranging from Δv∼ 400 km s−1to ∼800 km s−1, that vary over the course of the monitoring period. Our preferred explanation for the broad-line variability is complex kinematics in the gas in the broad-line region. We suggest a model for the broad-line variability that includes a combination of gas inflow with a radial gradient, an azimuthal asymmetry (e.g., a hot spot), superimposed on the stochastic flux-driven changes to the optimal emission region (“line breathing”). Similar instances of line-profile variability due to complex gas kinematics around quasars are likely to represent an important source of false positives in radial velocity searches for binary black holes, which typically lack the kind of high-cadencemore »data we analyze here. The long-duration, wide-field, and many-epoch spectroscopic monitoring of SDSS-V BHM-RM provides an excellent opportunity for identifying and characterizing broad emission-line variability, and the inferred nature of the inner gas environment, of luminous quasars.

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  2. Abstract We present accretion-disk structure measurements from UV–optical reverberation mapping (RM) observations of a sample of eight quasars at 0.24 < z < 0.85. Ultraviolet photometry comes from two cycles of Hubble Space Telescope monitoring, accompanied by multiband optical monitoring by the Las Cumbres Observatory network and Liverpool Telescopes. The targets were selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping project sample with reliable black hole mass measurements from H β RM results. We measure significant lags between the UV and various optical griz bands using JAVELIN and CREAM methods. We use the significant lag results from both methods to fit the accretion-disk structure using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach. We study the accretion disk as a function of disk normalization, temperature scaling, and efficiency. We find direct evidence for diffuse nebular emission from Balmer and Fe ii lines over discrete wavelength ranges. We also find that our best-fit disk color profile is broadly consistent with the Shakura & Sunyaev disk model. We compare our UV–optical lags to the disk sizes inferred from optical–optical lags of the same quasars and find that our results are consistent with these quasars being drawn from a limited high-lag subset of themore »broader population. Our results are therefore broadly consistent with models that suggest longer disk lags in a subset of quasars, for example, due to a nonzero size of the ionizing corona and/or magnetic heating contributing to the disk response.« less