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Quasar accretion disk sizes from continuum reverberation mapping from the Dark Energy Survey

Quasar accretion disk sizes from continuum reverberation mapping from the Dark Energy Survey
Quasar accretion disk sizes from continuum reverberation mapping from the Dark Energy Survey

We present accretion disk size measurements for 15 luminous quasars at 0.7 ≤ z ≤ 1.9 derived from griz light curves from the Dark Energy Survey. We measure the disk sizes with continuum reverberation mapping using two methods, both of which are derived from the expectation that accretion disks have a radial temperature gradient and the continuum emission at a given radius is well described by a single blackbody. In the first method we measure the relative lags between the multiband light curves, which provides the relative time lag between shorter and longer wavelength variations. From this, we are only able to constrain upper limits on disk sizes, as many are consistent with no lag the 2σ level. The second method fits the model parameters for the canonical thin disk directly rather than solving for the individual time lags between the light curves. Our measurements demonstrate good agreement with the sizes predicted by this model for accretion rates between 0.3 and 1 times the Eddington rate. Given our large uncertainties, our measurements are also consistent with disk size measurements from gravitational microlensing studies of strongly lensed quasars, as well as other photometric reverberation mapping results, that find disk sizes that are a factor of a few (∼3) larger than predictions.

accretion, accretion disks, galaxies: active, quasars: general
0004-637X
Mudd, D.
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Mudd, D.
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Mudd, D., Martini, P., Zu, Y., Kochanek, C., Peterson, B.M., Kessler, R., Davis, T.M., Hoormann, J.K., King, A., Lidman, C., Sommer, N.E., Tucker, B.E., Asorey, J., Hinton, S., Glazebrook, K., Kuehn, K., Lewis, G., Macaulay, E., Moeller, A., O'Neill, C., Zhang, B., Abbott, T.M.C., Abdalla, F.B., Allam, S., Banerji, M., Benoit-Lévy, A., Bertin, E., Brooks, D., Rosell, A. Carnero, Carollo, D., Kind, M. Carrasco, Carretero, J., Cunha, C.E., D'Andrea, C.B., Da Costa, L.N., Davis, C., Desai, S., Doel, P., Fosalba, P., García-Bellido, J., Gaztanaga, E., Gerdes, D.W., Gruen, D., Gruendl, R.A., Gschwend, J., Gutierrez, G., Hartley, W.G., Honscheid, K., James, D.J., Kuhlmann, S., Kuropatkin, N., Lima, M., Maia, M.A.G., Marshall, J.L., McMahon, R.G., Menanteau, F., Miquel, R., Plazas, A.A., Romer, A.K., Sanchez, E., Schindler, R., Schubnell, M., Smith, M., Smith, R.C., Soares-Santos, M., Sobreira, F., Suchyta, E., Swanson, M.E.C., Tarle, G., Thomas, D., Tucker, D.L. and Walker, A.R. (2018) Quasar accretion disk sizes from continuum reverberation mapping from the Dark Energy Survey. The Astrophysical Journal, 862 (2). (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aac9bb).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present accretion disk size measurements for 15 luminous quasars at 0.7 ≤ z ≤ 1.9 derived from griz light curves from the Dark Energy Survey. We measure the disk sizes with continuum reverberation mapping using two methods, both of which are derived from the expectation that accretion disks have a radial temperature gradient and the continuum emission at a given radius is well described by a single blackbody. In the first method we measure the relative lags between the multiband light curves, which provides the relative time lag between shorter and longer wavelength variations. From this, we are only able to constrain upper limits on disk sizes, as many are consistent with no lag the 2σ level. The second method fits the model parameters for the canonical thin disk directly rather than solving for the individual time lags between the light curves. Our measurements demonstrate good agreement with the sizes predicted by this model for accretion rates between 0.3 and 1 times the Eddington rate. Given our large uncertainties, our measurements are also consistent with disk size measurements from gravitational microlensing studies of strongly lensed quasars, as well as other photometric reverberation mapping results, that find disk sizes that are a factor of a few (∼3) larger than predictions.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 May 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 July 2018
Published date: 1 August 2018
Keywords: accretion, accretion disks, galaxies: active, quasars: general

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 423345
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/423345
ISSN: 0004-637X
PURE UUID: 243f3dc8-e55e-4887-996b-53904657043e
ORCID for M. Smith: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3321-1432

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Sep 2018 16:30
Last modified: 17 Jul 2019 00:35

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Contributors

Author: D. Mudd
Author: P. Martini
Author: Y. Zu
Author: C. Kochanek
Author: B.M. Peterson
Author: R. Kessler
Author: T.M. Davis
Author: J.K. Hoormann
Author: A. King
Author: C. Lidman
Author: N.E. Sommer
Author: B.E. Tucker
Author: J. Asorey
Author: S. Hinton
Author: K. Glazebrook
Author: K. Kuehn
Author: G. Lewis
Author: E. Macaulay
Author: A. Moeller
Author: C. O'Neill
Author: B. Zhang
Author: T.M.C. Abbott
Author: F.B. Abdalla
Author: S. Allam
Author: M. Banerji
Author: A. Benoit-Lévy
Author: E. Bertin
Author: D. Brooks
Author: A. Carnero Rosell
Author: D. Carollo
Author: M. Carrasco Kind
Author: J. Carretero
Author: C.E. Cunha
Author: C.B. D'Andrea
Author: L.N. Da Costa
Author: C. Davis
Author: S. Desai
Author: P. Doel
Author: P. Fosalba
Author: J. García-Bellido
Author: E. Gaztanaga
Author: D.W. Gerdes
Author: D. Gruen
Author: R.A. Gruendl
Author: J. Gschwend
Author: G. Gutierrez
Author: W.G. Hartley
Author: K. Honscheid
Author: D.J. James
Author: S. Kuhlmann
Author: N. Kuropatkin
Author: M. Lima
Author: M.A.G. Maia
Author: J.L. Marshall
Author: R.G. McMahon
Author: F. Menanteau
Author: R. Miquel
Author: A.A. Plazas
Author: A.K. Romer
Author: E. Sanchez
Author: R. Schindler
Author: M. Schubnell
Author: M. Smith ORCID iD
Author: R.C. Smith
Author: M. Soares-Santos
Author: F. Sobreira
Author: E. Suchyta
Author: M.E.C. Swanson
Author: G. Tarle
Author: D. Thomas
Author: D.L. Tucker
Author: A.R. Walker

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