Motivated by evidences favoring a rapid and late hydrogen reionization process completing at z similar to 5.2-5.5 and mainly driven by rare and luminous sources, we have reassessed the estimate of the space density of ultra-luminous QSOs at z similar to 5 in the framework of the QUBRICS survey. A similar to 90% complete sample of 14 spectroscopically confirmed QSOs at M (1450) <= -28.3 and 4.5 <= z <= 5.0 has been derived in an area of 12,400 deg(2), thanks to multiwavelength selection and Gaia astrometry. The space density of z similar to 5 QSOs within -29.3 <= M-1450 <= -28.3 is three times higher than previous determinations. Our results suggest a steep bright-end slope for the QSO luminosity function at z similar to 5 and a mild redshift evolution of the space density of ultrabright QSOs (M-1450 similar to -28.5) at 3 < z < 5.5, in agreement with the redshift evolution of the much fainter active galactic nucleus (AGN) population at M-1450 similar to -23. These findings are consistent with a pure density evolution for the AGN population at z > 3. Adopting our z similar to 4 QSO luminosity function and applying a mild density evolution in redshift, a photoionization rate of Gamma(HI)=0.46(+0.09)(7-0.0) x 10(-12)s(-1) z = 4.75, assuming an escape fraction of similar to 70% and a steep faint-end slope of the AGN luminosity function. The derived photoionization rate is similar to 50-100% of the ionizing background measured at the end of the reionization epoch, suggesting that AGNs could play an important role in the cosmological reionization process.

The Space Density of Ultra-luminous QSOs at the End of Reionization Epoch by the QUBRICS Survey and the AGN Contribution to the Hydrogen Ionizing Background

Stefano Cristiani;Guido Cupani;Francesco Guarneri;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Motivated by evidences favoring a rapid and late hydrogen reionization process completing at z similar to 5.2-5.5 and mainly driven by rare and luminous sources, we have reassessed the estimate of the space density of ultra-luminous QSOs at z similar to 5 in the framework of the QUBRICS survey. A similar to 90% complete sample of 14 spectroscopically confirmed QSOs at M (1450) <= -28.3 and 4.5 <= z <= 5.0 has been derived in an area of 12,400 deg(2), thanks to multiwavelength selection and Gaia astrometry. The space density of z similar to 5 QSOs within -29.3 <= M-1450 <= -28.3 is three times higher than previous determinations. Our results suggest a steep bright-end slope for the QSO luminosity function at z similar to 5 and a mild redshift evolution of the space density of ultrabright QSOs (M-1450 similar to -28.5) at 3 < z < 5.5, in agreement with the redshift evolution of the much fainter active galactic nucleus (AGN) population at M-1450 similar to -23. These findings are consistent with a pure density evolution for the AGN population at z > 3. Adopting our z similar to 4 QSO luminosity function and applying a mild density evolution in redshift, a photoionization rate of Gamma(HI)=0.46(+0.09)(7-0.0) x 10(-12)s(-1) z = 4.75, assuming an escape fraction of similar to 70% and a steep faint-end slope of the AGN luminosity function. The derived photoionization rate is similar to 50-100% of the ionizing background measured at the end of the reionization epoch, suggesting that AGNs could play an important role in the cosmological reionization process.
2022
Pubblicato
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ac33a4
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3057919
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