Environments of strong/ultrastrong, ultraviolet Fe II emitting quasars

Clowes, Roger G orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8370-465X (2013) Environments of strong/ultrastrong, ultraviolet Fe II emitting quasars. Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society, 433 (3). pp. 2467-2475. ISSN 0035-8711

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt915


We have investigated the strength of ultraviolet (UV) Fe ii emission from quasars within the environments of large quasar groups (LQGs) in comparison with quasars elsewhere, for 1.1 ≤ z̅LQG ≤ 1.7, using the DR7QSO catalogue of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We use the Weymann et al. W2400 equivalent width, defined between the rest-frame continuum windows 2240–2255 and 2665–2695 Å, as the measure of the UV Fe ii emission. We find a significant shift of the W2400 distribution to higher values for quasars within LQGs, predominantly for those LQGs with 1.1 ≤ z̅LQG ≤ 1.5. There is a tentative indication that the shift to higher values increases with the quasar i magnitude. We find evidence that within LQGs the ultrastrong emitters with W2400 ≥ 45 Å (more precisely, ultrastrong plus with W2400 ≥ 44 Å) have preferred nearest-neighbour separations of ∼30–50 Mpc to the adjacent quasar of any W2400 strength. No such effect is seen for the ultrastrong emitters that are not in LQGs. The possibilities for increasing the strength of the Fe ii emission appear to be iron abundance, Lyα fluorescence and microturbulence, and probably all of these operate. The dense environment of the LQGs may have led to an increased rate of star formation and an enhanced abundance of iron in the nuclei of galaxies. Similarly, the dense environment may have led to more active blackholes and increased Lyα fluorescence. The preferred nearest-neighbour separation for the stronger emitters would appear to suggest a dynamical component, such as microturbulence. In one particular LQG, the Huge-LQG (the largest structure known in the early Universe), six of the seven strongest emitters very obviously form three pairings within the total of 73 members.

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