2024 journal article

EIGER. V. Characterizing the Host Galaxies of Luminous Quasars at <i>z</i> ≳ 6


Source: Web Of Science
Added: May 13, 2024

Abstract We report JWST/NIRCam measurements of quasar host galaxy emissions and supermassive black hole (SMBH) masses for six quasars at 5.9 &lt; z &lt; 7.1 in the Emission-line galaxies and Intergalactic Gas in the Epoch of Reionization (EIGER) project. We obtain deep NIRCam imaging in the F115W, F200W, and F356W bands, as well as F356W grism spectroscopy of the quasars. We use bright unsaturated stars to construct models of the point-spread functions (PSFs) and estimate the errors of these PSFs. We then measure or constrain the fluxes and morphology of the quasar host galaxies by fitting the quasar images as a point source plus an exponential disk. We successfully detect the host galaxies of three quasars, which have host-to-quasar-flux ratios of ∼1%–5%. Spectral energy distribution fitting suggests that these quasar host galaxies have stellar masses of M * ≳ 10 10 M ⊙ . For quasars with host galaxy nondetections, we estimate the upper limits of their stellar masses. We use the grism spectra to measure the H β line profile and the continuum luminosity, then estimate the SMBH masses for the quasars. Our results indicate that the positive relation between SMBH masses and host galaxy stellar masses already exists at redshift z ≳ 6. The quasars in our sample show a high BH-to-stellar-mass ratio of M BH / M * ∼ 0.15, which is about ∼2 dex higher than local relations. We find that selection effects only contribute partially to the high M BH / M * ratios of high-redshift quasars. This result hints at a possible redshift evolution of the M BH – M * relation.