DES J0454$-$4448: iscovery of the first luminous z $\ge$ 6 quasar from the Dark Energy Survey

S. L. Reed, R. G. McMahon, M. Banerji, G. D. Becker, E. Gonzalez-Solares, P. Martini, F. Ostrovski, M. Rauch, T. Abbott, F. B. Abdalla, S. Allam, A. Benoit-Levy, E. Bertin, E. Buckley-Geer, D. Burke, A. Carnero Rosell, L. N. da Costa, C. D'Andrea, D. L. DePoy, S. DesaiH. T. Diehl, P. Doel, C. E Cunha, J. Estrada, A. E. Evrard, A. Fausti Neto, D. A. Finley, P. Fosalba, J. Frieman, D. Gruen, K. Honscheid, D. James, S. Kent, K. Kuehn, N. Kuropatkin, O. Lahav, M. A. G. Maia, M. Makler, J. Marshall, K. Merritt, R. Miquel, J. Mohr, B. Nord, R. Ogando, A. Plazas, K. Romer, A. Roodman, E. Rykoff, M. Sako, E. Sanchez, B. Santiago, M. Schubnell, I. Sevilla, C. Smith, M. Soares-Santos, E. Suchyta, M. E. C. Swanson, G. Tarle, D. Thomas, D. Tucker, A. Walker, R. H. Wechsler

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We present the first results of a survey for high redshift, z $\ge$ 6, quasars using izY multi-colour photometric observations from the Dark Energy Survey (DES). Here we report the discovery and spectroscopic confirmation of the $\rm z_{AB}, Y_{AB}$ = 20.2, 20.2 (M$_{1450}$ = $-$26.5) quasar DES J0454$-$4448 with an emission line redshift of z = 6.10$\pm$0.03 and a HI near zone size of 4.6 $\pm$ 1.7 Mpc.The quasar was selected as an i-band drop out with i$-$z = 2.46 and z$_{AB} $$ $ 50-100 new quasars with z $>$ 6 including 3-10 with z $>$ 7 dramatically increasing the numbers of quasars currently known that are suitable for detailed studies including determination of the neutral HI fraction of the intergalactic medium (IGM) during the epoch of Hydrogen reionization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3952-3961
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date28 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2015


  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.CO
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: formation
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • quasars: individual: DES J0454-4448
  • dark ages, reionization, first stars
  • RCUK
  • STFC


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