Extreme quasars at high redshift
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Context:Quasars radiating at extreme Eddington ratios (xA) are likely a prime mover of galactic evolution and have been hailed as potential distance indicators. Their properties are still scarcely known. Aims:We test the effectiveness of the selection criteria defined on the 4D Eigenvector 1 (4DE1) for identifying xA sources. We provide a quantitative description of their UV spectra in the redshift range 20.5 and CIII]1909/SiIII]1892<1. The emission line spectra was studied using multicomponent
... fits of deep spectroscopic observations obtained with the OSIRIS-GTC. Results:Spectra confirm that almost all of these quasars are xA sources with very similar properties. We provide spectrophotometric and line profile measurements for the SiIV1397+OIV]1402, CIV1549+HeII1640, and the 1900A blend composed by AlIII1860, SiIII]1892, FeIII and a weak CIII]1909. The spectra can be characterized as very low ionization (logU~-3), a condition that explains the significant FeIII emission. CIV1549 shows low equivalent width (<30 A for the most sources), and high or extreme blueshift amplitudes (-5000<c(1/2)<-1000 kms-1). Weak-lined quasars appear as extreme xA quasars and not as an independent class. The CIV1549 high amplitude blueshifts coexists in all cases save one with symmetric and narrower AlIII and SiIII] profiles. Estimates of the Eddington ratio using the AlIII FWHM as a virial broadening estimator are consistent with the ones of a previous xA sample. Conclusions:It is now feasible to assemble large samples of xA quasars from the latest data releases of the SDSS. We provide evidence that AlIII1860 could be associated with a low-ionization virialized sub-system, supporting previous suggestions that AlIII is a reliable virial broadening estimator.