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  1. Abstract

    We present the first results from a new survey for high-redshift (z≳ 5) gravitationally lensed quasars and close quasar pairs. We carry out candidate selection based on the colors and shapes of objects in public imaging surveys, then conduct follow-up observations to confirm the nature of high-priority candidates. In this paper, we report the discoveries of J0025–0145 (z= 5.07), which we identify as an intermediately lensed quasar, and J2329–0522 (z= 4.85), which is a kiloparsec-scale close quasar pair. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of J0025–0145 shows a foreground lensing galaxy located 0.″6 away from the quasar. However, J0025–0145 does not exhibit multiple lensed images of the quasar, and we identify J0025–0145 as an intermediate lensing system (a lensing system that is not multiply imaged but has a significant magnification). The spectrum of J0025–0145 implies an extreme Eddington ratio if the quasar luminosity is intrinsic, which could be explained by a large lensing magnification. The HST image of J0025–0145 also indicates a tentative detection of the quasar host galaxy in the rest-frame UV, illustrating the power of lensing magnification and distortion in studies of high-redshift quasar host galaxies. Object J2329–0522 consists of two resolved components with significantly different spectralmore »properties and a lack of lensing galaxy detection under subarcsecond seeing. We identify it as a close quasar pair, which is the highest confirmed kiloparsec-scale quasar pair to date. We also report four lensed quasars and quasar pairs at 2 <z< 4 and discuss possible improvements to our survey strategy.

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  2. Abstract

    We present a mock catalog of gravitationally-lensed quasars atzqso< 7.5 with simulated images for the Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). We adopt recent measurements of quasar-luminosity functions to model the quasar population, and use the CosmoDC2 mock galaxy catalog to model the deflector galaxies, which successfully reproduces the observed galaxy-velocity dispersion functions up tozd∼ 1.5. The mock catalog is highly complete for lensed quasars with Einstein radiusθE> 0.″07 and quasar absolute magnitudeMi< − 20. We estimate that there are ∼103lensed quasars discoverable in current imaging surveys, and LSST will increase this number to ∼ 2.4 × 103. Most of the lensed quasars have image separation Δθ> 0.″5, which will at least be marginally resolved in LSST images with seeing of ∼0.″7. There will be ∼200 quadruply-lensed quasars discoverable in the LSST. The fraction of quad lenses among all discoverable lensed quasars is about ∼10%–15%, and this fraction decreases with survey depth. This mock catalog shows a large diversity in the observational features of lensed quasars, in terms of lensing separation and quasar-to-deflector flux ratio. We discuss possible strategies for a complete search of lensed quasars in the LSST era.

  3. Abstract

    The observed lensed fraction of high-redshift quasars (∼0.2%) is significantly lower than previous theoretical predictions (≳4%). We revisit the lensed fraction of high-redshift quasars predicted by theoretical models, where we adopt recent measurements of galaxy velocity dispersion functions (VDFs) and explore a wide range of quasar luminosity function (QLF) parameters. We use both analytical methods and mock catalogs, which give consistent results. For ordinary QLF parameters and the depth of current high-redshift quasar surveys (mz≲ 22), our model suggests a multiply imaged fraction ofFmulti∼ 0.4%–0.8%. The predicted lensed fraction is ∼1%–6% for the brightestzs∼ 6 quasars (mz≲ 19), depending on the QLF. The systematic uncertainties of the predicted lensed fraction in previous models can be as large as 2–4 times and are dominated by the VDF. Applying VDFs from recent measurements decreases the predicted lensed fraction and relieves the tension between observations and theoretical models. Given the depth of current imaging surveys, there are ∼15 lensed quasars atzs> 5.5 detectable over the sky. Upcoming sky surveys like the Legacy Survey of Space and Time survey and the Euclid survey will find several tens of lensed quasars at this redshift range.

  4. Abstract We report X-ray observations of the most distant known gravitationally lensed quasar, J0439+1634 at z = 6.52, which is also a broad absorption line (BAL) quasar, using the XMM-Newton Observatory. With a 130 ks exposure, the quasar is significantly detected as a point source at the optical position with a total of 358 − 19 + 19 net counts using the EPIC instrument. By fitting a power law plus Galactic absorption model to the observed spectra, we obtain a spectral slope of Γ = 1.45 − 0.09 + 0.10 . The derived optical-to-X-ray spectral slope α ox is − 2.07 − 0.01 + 0.01 , suggesting that the X-ray emission of J0439+1634 is weaker by a factor of 18 than the expectation based on its 2500 Å luminosity and the average α ox versus luminosity relationship. This is the first time that an X-ray weak BAL quasar at z > 6 has been observed spectroscopically. Its X-ray weakness is consistent with the properties of BAL quasars at lower redshift. By fitting a model including an intrinsic absorption component, we obtain intrinsic column densities of N H = 2.8 − 0.6 + 0.7 × 10 23 cm − 2 andmore »N H = 4.3 − 1.5 + 1.8 × 10 23 cm − 2 , assuming a fixed Γ of 1.9 and a free Γ, respectively. The intrinsic rest-frame 2–10 keV luminosity is derived as (9.4–15.1) × 10 43 erg s −1 , after correcting for lensing magnification ( μ = 51.3). The absorbed power-law model fitting indicates that J0439+1634 is the highest redshift obscured quasar with a direct measurement of the absorbing column density. The intrinsic high column density absorption can reduce the X-ray luminosity by a factor of 3–7, which also indicates that this quasar could be a candidate intrinsically X-ray weak quasar.« less
  5. Abstract We report the results of near-infrared spectroscopic observations of 37 quasars in the redshift range 6.3 < z ≤ 7.64, including 32 quasars at z > 6.5, forming the largest quasar near-infrared spectral sample at this redshift. The spectra, taken with Keck, Gemini, VLT, and Magellan, allow investigations of central black hole mass and quasar rest-frame ultraviolet spectral properties. The black hole masses derived from the Mg ii emission lines are in the range (0.3–3.6) × 10 9 M ⊙ , which requires massive seed black holes with masses ≳10 3 –10 4 M ⊙ , assuming Eddington accretion since z = 30. The Eddington ratio distribution peaks at λ Edd ∼ 0.8 and has a mean of 1.08, suggesting high accretion rates for these quasars. The C iv –Mg ii emission-line velocity differences in our sample show an increase of C iv blueshift toward higher redshift, but the evolutionary trend observed from this sample is weaker than the previous results from smaller samples at similar redshift. The Fe ii /Mg ii flux ratios derived for these quasars up to z = 7.6, compared with previous measurements at different redshifts, do not show any evidence of strong redshift evolution,more »suggesting metal-enriched environments in these quasars. Using this quasar sample, we create a quasar composite spectrum for z > 6.5 quasars and find no significant redshift evolution of quasar broad emission lines and continuum slope, except for a blueshift of the C iv line. Our sample yields a strong broad absorption line quasar fraction of ∼24%, higher than the fractions in lower-redshift quasar samples, although this could be affected by small sample statistics and selection effects.« less