Context. X-ray emission from quasars (QSOs) has been used to assess supermassive black hole accretion properties up to z ≈ 6. However, at z > 6 only ≈15 QSOs are covered by sensitive X-ray observations, preventing a statistically significant investigation of the X-ray properties of the QSO population in the first Gyr of the Universe. Aims: We present new Chandra observations of a sample of 10 z > 6 QSOs, selected to have virial black-hole mass estimates from Mg II line spectroscopy (log {MBH}/{M_☉}=8.5-9.6) . Adding archival X-ray data for an additional 15 z > 6 QSOs, we investigate the X-ray properties of the QSO population in the first Gyr of the Universe. In particular, we focus on the LUV - LX relation, which is traced by the αox parameter, and the shape of their X-ray spectra. Methods: We performed photometric analyses to derive estimates of the X-ray luminosities of our z > 6 QSOs, and thus their αox values and bolometric corrections (Kbol = Lbol/LX). We compared the resulting αox and Kbol distributions with the results found for QSO samples at lower redshift, and ran several statistical tests to check for a possible evolution of the LUV - LX relation. Finally, we performed a basic X-ray spectral analysis of the brightest z > 6 QSOs to derive their individual photon indices, and joint spectral analysis of the whole sample to estimate the average photon index. Results: We detect seven of the new Chandra targets in at least one standard energy band, while two more are detected discarding energies E > 5 keV, where background dominates. We confirm a lack of significant evolution of αox with redshift, which extends the results from previous works up to z > 6 with a statistically significant QSO sample. Furthermore, we confirm the trend of an increasing bolometric correction with increasing luminosity found for QSOs at lower redshifts. The average power-law photon index of our sample (⟨Γ⟩ = 2.20-0.34+0.39 and ⟨Γ⟩ = 2.13-0.13+0.13 for sources with < 30 and > 30 net counts, respectively) is slightly steeper than, but still consistent with, typical QSOs at z = 1 - 6. Conclusions: All of these results indicate a lack of substantial evolution of the inner accretion-disk and hot-corona structure in QSOs from low redshift to z > 6. Our data hint at generally high Eddington ratios at z > 6.

The X-ray properties of z > 6 quasars: no evident evolution of accretion physics in the first Gyr of the Universe

Vignali C.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Brusa M.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Nanni R.
2019

Abstract

Context. X-ray emission from quasars (QSOs) has been used to assess supermassive black hole accretion properties up to z ≈ 6. However, at z > 6 only ≈15 QSOs are covered by sensitive X-ray observations, preventing a statistically significant investigation of the X-ray properties of the QSO population in the first Gyr of the Universe. Aims: We present new Chandra observations of a sample of 10 z > 6 QSOs, selected to have virial black-hole mass estimates from Mg II line spectroscopy (log {MBH}/{M_☉}=8.5-9.6) . Adding archival X-ray data for an additional 15 z > 6 QSOs, we investigate the X-ray properties of the QSO population in the first Gyr of the Universe. In particular, we focus on the LUV - LX relation, which is traced by the αox parameter, and the shape of their X-ray spectra. Methods: We performed photometric analyses to derive estimates of the X-ray luminosities of our z > 6 QSOs, and thus their αox values and bolometric corrections (Kbol = Lbol/LX). We compared the resulting αox and Kbol distributions with the results found for QSO samples at lower redshift, and ran several statistical tests to check for a possible evolution of the LUV - LX relation. Finally, we performed a basic X-ray spectral analysis of the brightest z > 6 QSOs to derive their individual photon indices, and joint spectral analysis of the whole sample to estimate the average photon index. Results: We detect seven of the new Chandra targets in at least one standard energy band, while two more are detected discarding energies E > 5 keV, where background dominates. We confirm a lack of significant evolution of αox with redshift, which extends the results from previous works up to z > 6 with a statistically significant QSO sample. Furthermore, we confirm the trend of an increasing bolometric correction with increasing luminosity found for QSOs at lower redshifts. The average power-law photon index of our sample (⟨Γ⟩ = 2.20-0.34+0.39 and ⟨Γ⟩ = 2.13-0.13+0.13 for sources with < 30 and > 30 net counts, respectively) is slightly steeper than, but still consistent with, typical QSOs at z = 1 - 6. Conclusions: All of these results indicate a lack of substantial evolution of the inner accretion-disk and hot-corona structure in QSOs from low redshift to z > 6. Our data hint at generally high Eddington ratios at z > 6.
Vito F., Brandt W.~N., Bauer F.~E., Calura F., Gilli R., Luo B., Shemmer O., Vignali C., Zamorani G., Brusa M., Civano F., Comastri A., Nanni R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/734681
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