The Ensemble Photometric Variability of Over 10(5) Quasars in the Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
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PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationZefeng Li et al 2018 ApJ 861 6
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AbstractWe present the ensemble variability analysis results of quasars using the Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey (DECaLS) and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) quasar catalogs. Our data set includes 119,305 quasars with redshifts up to 4.89. Combining the two data sets provides a 15 year baseline and permits the analysis of the long timescale variability. Adopting a power-law form for the variability structure function, V = A(t/1years)(gamma), we use the multidimensional parametric fitting to explore the relationships between the quasar variability amplitude and a wide variety of quasar properties, including redshift (positive), bolometric luminosity (negative), rest-frame wavelength (negative), and black hole mass (uncertain). We also find that gamma can be also expressed as a function of redshift (negative), bolometric luminosity (positive), rest-frame wavelength (positive), and black hole mass (positive). Tests of the fitting significance with the bootstrap method show that, even with such a large quasar sample, some correlations are marginally significant. The typical value of gamma for the entire data set is greater than or similar to 0.25, consistent with the results in previous studies on both the quasar ensemble variability and the structure function. A significantly negative correlation between the variability amplitude and the Eddington ratio is found, which may be explained as an effect of accretion disk instability.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNSFC [11373008, 11533001]; National Key Basic Research Program of China [2014CB845700]; Ministry of Science and Technology of China [2016YFA0400703]