Clustering of intermediate redshift quasars using the final SDSS III-BOSS sample

Sarah Eftekharzadeh, Adam D. Myers, Martin White, David H. Weinberg, Donald P. Schneider, Yue Shen, Andreu Font-Ribera, Nicholas P. Ross, Isabelle Paris, Alina Streblyanska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We measure the two-point clustering of spectroscopically confirmed quasars from the final sample of the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) on comoving scales of 4 ≲ s ≲ 22 h-1 Mpc. The sample covers 6950 deg2 [~19 (h-1Gpc)3] and, over the redshift range 2.2 ≲ z ≲ 2.8, contains 55 826 homogeneously selected quasars, which is twice as many as in any similar work. We deduce bQ = 3.54 ± 0.10; the most precise measurement of quasar bias to date at these redshifts. This corresponds to a host halo mass of ~2 × 1012 h-1M⊙ with an implied quasar duty cycle of ~1 per cent. The real-space projected correlation function is well fitted by a power law of index 2 and correlation length r0 = (8.12 ± 0.22) h-1 Mpc over scales of 4 ≲ rp ≲ 25 h-1 Mpc. To better study the evolution of quasar clustering at moderate redshift, we extend the redshift range of our study to z ~ 3.4 and measure the bias and correlation length of three subsamples over 2.2 ≲ z ≲ 3.4. We find no significant evolution of r0 or bias over this range, implying that the host halo mass of quasars decreases somewhat with increasing redshift. We find quasar clustering remains similar over a decade in luminosity, contradicting a scenario in which quasar luminosity is monotonically related to halo mass at z ≈ 2.5. Our results are broadly consistent with previous BOSS measurements, but they yield more precise constraints based upon a larger and more uniform data set.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2779-2798
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Dark matter
  • Galaxies: quasars: general
  • Large-scale structure of Universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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