publication . Article . Preprint . 2018

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

Mudd, D.; Martini, P.; Zu, Y.; Kochanek, C.; Peterson, B. M.; Kessler, R.; Davis, T. M.; Hoormann, J. K.; King, A.; Lidman, C.; ...
Open Access English
  • Published: 30 Jul 2018
Abstract
We present accretion disk size measurements for 15 luminous quasars at $0.7 \leq z \leq 1.9$ 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 2$\sigma$ 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 0.3-1 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 ($\sim$3) larger than predictions.
Comment: Accepted by ApJ, comments still welcome!
Subjects
arXiv: Astrophysics::Cosmology and Extragalactic AstrophysicsAstrophysics::Galaxy AstrophysicsAstrophysics::Earth and Planetary AstrophysicsAstrophysics::High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
free text keywords: accretion, accretion disks, active [galaxies], general [quasars], RCUK, STFC, /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3100/3103, Astronomy and Astrophysics, /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1912, Space and Planetary Science, Space and Planetary Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics, QB, Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies, quasars: general, galaxies: active, accretion disks, accretion, [PHYS.ASTR]Physics [physics]/Astrophysics [astro-ph], Wavelength, Accretion (astrophysics), Quasar, Thin disk, Physics, Dark energy, Gravitational microlensing, Reverberation mapping, Astrophysics, Light curve
Funded by
EC| COGS
Project
COGS
Capitalizing on Gravitational Shear
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 240672
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP2 | ERC
,
EC| COSMICDAWN
Project
COSMICDAWN
Understanding the Origin of Cosmic Structure
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 306478
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP2 | ERC
,
NSF| Collaborative Research: The Dark Energy Survey Data Management Operations
Project
  • Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Project Code: 1138766
  • Funding stream: Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences | Division of Astronomical Sciences
,
EC| TESTDE
Project
TESTDE
Testing the Dark Energy Paradigm and Measuring Neutrino Mass with the Dark Energy Survey
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 291329
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP2 | ERC
55 references, page 1 of 4

R = Baldwin J. A., 1977, ApJ, 214, 679

Banerji M. et al., 2015, MNRAS, 446, 2523

Blandford R. D., McKee C. F., 1982, ApJ, 255, 419 Cackett E. M., Horne K., Winkler H., 2007, MNRAS, 380, 669 Childress M. J. et al., 2017, MNRAS, 472, 273

Collier S. J. et al., 1998, ApJ, 500, 162

Dark Energy Survey Collaboration et al., 2016, MNRAS, 460, 1270 De Rosa G. et al., 2015, ApJ, 806, 128

Diehl H. T. et al., 2016, in Proc. SPIE, Vol. 9910, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI, p. 99101D Edelson R. et al., 2015, ApJ, 806, 129

Edelson R., Vaughan S., Malkan M., Kelly B. C., Smith K. L., Boyd P. T., Mushotzky R., 2014, ApJ, 795, 2

Fausnaugh M. M. et al., 2016, ApJ, 821, 56

Flaugher B., 2005, International Journal of Modern Physics A, 20, 3121 Flaugher B. et al., 2015, AJ, 150, 150

Goldstein D. A. et al., 2015, AJ, 150, 82

Grier C. J. et al., 2012a, ApJ, 755, 60

Grier C. J. et al., 2012b, ApJ, 744, L4

Hall P., Sarrouh G., Horne K., 2017, ArXiv e-prints: 1705.05467 Jiang Y.-F. et al., 2017, ApJ, 836, 186

Kasliwal V. P., Vogeley M. S., Richards G. T., 2015, MNRAS, 451, 4328 Kessler R. et al., 2015, AJ, 150, 172

King A. L. et al., 2015, MNRAS, 453, 1701

55 references, page 1 of 4
Abstract
We present accretion disk size measurements for 15 luminous quasars at $0.7 \leq z \leq 1.9$ 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 2$\sigma$ 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 0.3-1 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 ($\sim$3) larger than predictions.
Comment: Accepted by ApJ, comments still welcome!
Subjects
arXiv: Astrophysics::Cosmology and Extragalactic AstrophysicsAstrophysics::Galaxy AstrophysicsAstrophysics::Earth and Planetary AstrophysicsAstrophysics::High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
free text keywords: accretion, accretion disks, active [galaxies], general [quasars], RCUK, STFC, /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3100/3103, Astronomy and Astrophysics, /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1912, Space and Planetary Science, Space and Planetary Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics, QB, Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies, quasars: general, galaxies: active, accretion disks, accretion, [PHYS.ASTR]Physics [physics]/Astrophysics [astro-ph], Wavelength, Accretion (astrophysics), Quasar, Thin disk, Physics, Dark energy, Gravitational microlensing, Reverberation mapping, Astrophysics, Light curve
Funded by
EC| COGS
Project
COGS
Capitalizing on Gravitational Shear
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 240672
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP2 | ERC
,
EC| COSMICDAWN
Project
COSMICDAWN
Understanding the Origin of Cosmic Structure
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 306478
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP2 | ERC
,
NSF| Collaborative Research: The Dark Energy Survey Data Management Operations
Project
  • Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Project Code: 1138766
  • Funding stream: Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences | Division of Astronomical Sciences
,
EC| TESTDE
Project
TESTDE
Testing the Dark Energy Paradigm and Measuring Neutrino Mass with the Dark Energy Survey
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 291329
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP2 | ERC
55 references, page 1 of 4

R = Baldwin J. A., 1977, ApJ, 214, 679

Banerji M. et al., 2015, MNRAS, 446, 2523

Blandford R. D., McKee C. F., 1982, ApJ, 255, 419 Cackett E. M., Horne K., Winkler H., 2007, MNRAS, 380, 669 Childress M. J. et al., 2017, MNRAS, 472, 273

Collier S. J. et al., 1998, ApJ, 500, 162

Dark Energy Survey Collaboration et al., 2016, MNRAS, 460, 1270 De Rosa G. et al., 2015, ApJ, 806, 128

Diehl H. T. et al., 2016, in Proc. SPIE, Vol. 9910, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI, p. 99101D Edelson R. et al., 2015, ApJ, 806, 129

Edelson R., Vaughan S., Malkan M., Kelly B. C., Smith K. L., Boyd P. T., Mushotzky R., 2014, ApJ, 795, 2

Fausnaugh M. M. et al., 2016, ApJ, 821, 56

Flaugher B., 2005, International Journal of Modern Physics A, 20, 3121 Flaugher B. et al., 2015, AJ, 150, 150

Goldstein D. A. et al., 2015, AJ, 150, 82

Grier C. J. et al., 2012a, ApJ, 755, 60

Grier C. J. et al., 2012b, ApJ, 744, L4

Hall P., Sarrouh G., Horne K., 2017, ArXiv e-prints: 1705.05467 Jiang Y.-F. et al., 2017, ApJ, 836, 186

Kasliwal V. P., Vogeley M. S., Richards G. T., 2015, MNRAS, 451, 4328 Kessler R. et al., 2015, AJ, 150, 172

King A. L. et al., 2015, MNRAS, 453, 1701

55 references, page 1 of 4
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