Jessica A. Kirkpatrick

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States

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Publications (6)47.11 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: XDQSO, written in IDL, calculates photometric quasar probabilities to mimick SDSS-III's BOSS quasar target selection or photometric redshifts for quasars, whether in three redshift ranges (z < 2.2; 2.2 ≤ z ≤ 3.5; z > 3.5) or arbitrary redshift ranges.
    Astrophysics Source Code Library. 02/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the measurement of the two-point cross-correlation function (CCF) of 8,198 Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7 (DR7) quasars and 349,608 DR10 CMASS galaxies from the Baryonic Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) at redshift ~0.5 (0.3<z<0.9). The cross-correlation function can be reasonably well fit by a power-law model xi_QG(r)=(r/r_0)^(-gamma) on projected scales of r_p=2-25 Mpc/h with r_0=6.61+-0.25 Mpc/h and gamma=1.69+-0.07. We estimate a quasar linear bias of b_Q=1.38+-0.10 at =0.53 from the CCF measurements. This linear bias corresponds to a characteristic host halo mass of ~4x10^12 M_sun/h, compared to ~10^13 M_sun/h characteristic host halo mass for CMASS galaxies. We divide the quasar sample in luminosity and constrain the luminosity dependence of quasar bias to be db_Q/dlogL=0.20+-0.34 or 0.11+-0.32 (depending on different luminosity divisions) for quasar luminosities -23.5>M_i(z=2)>-25.5, implying a weak luminosity dependence of quasar clustering for the bright end of the quasar population at ~0.5. We compare our measurements with theoretical predictions, Halo Occupation Distribution (HOD) models and mock catalogs. These comparisons suggest quasars reside in a broad range of host halos, and the host halo mass distributions significantly overlap with each other for quasars at different luminosities, implying a poor correlation between halo mass and instantaneous quasar luminosity. We also find that the quasar HOD parameterization is largely degenerate such that different HODs can reproduce the CCF equally well, but with different outcomes such as the satellite fraction and host halo mass distribution. These results highlight the limitations and ambiguities in modeling the distribution of quasars with the standard HOD approach and the need for additional information in populating quasars in dark matter halos with HOD. [Abridged]
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2012; · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) presents the first spectroscopic data from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). This ninth data release (DR9) of the SDSS project includes 535,995 new galaxy spectra (median z=0.52), 102,100 new quasar spectra (median z=2.32), and 90,897 new stellar spectra, along with the data presented in previous data releases. These spectra were obtained with the new BOSS spectrograph and were taken between 2009 December and 2011 July. In addition, the stellar parameters pipeline, which determines radial velocities, surface temperatures, surface gravities, and metallicities of stars, has been updated and refined with improvements in temperature estimates for stars with T_eff<5000 K and in metallicity estimates for stars with [Fe/H]>-0.5. DR9 includes new stellar parameters for all stars presented in DR8, including stars from SDSS-I and II, as well as those observed as part of the SDSS-III Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration-2 (SEGUE-2). The astrometry error introduced in the DR8 imaging catalogs has been corrected in the DR9 data products. The next data release for SDSS-III will be in Summer 2013, which will present the first data from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) along with another year of data from BOSS, followed by the final SDSS-III data release in December 2014.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 07/2012; 203(2). · 14.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new method for quasar target selection using photometric fluxes and a Bayesian probabilistic approach. For our purposes, we target quasars using Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) photometry to a magnitude limit of g = 22. The efficiency and completeness of this technique are measured using the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) data taken in 2010. This technique was used for the uniformly selected (CORE) sample of targets in BOSS year-one spectroscopy to be realized in the ninth SDSS data release. When targeting at a density of 40 objects deg–2 (the BOSS quasar targeting density), the efficiency of this technique in recovering z > 2.2 quasars is 40%. The completeness compared to all quasars identified in BOSS data is 65%. This paper also describes possible extensions and improvements for this technique.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2011; 743(2):125. · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The SDSS-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), a five-year spectroscopic survey of 10,000 deg^2, achieved first light in late 2009. One of the key goals of BOSS is to measure the signature of baryon acoustic oscillations in the distribution of Ly-alpha absorption from the spectra of a sample of ~150,000 z>2.2 quasars. Along with measuring the angular diameter distance at z\approx2.5, BOSS will provide the first direct measurement of the expansion rate of the Universe at z > 2. One of the biggest challenges in achieving this goal is an efficient target selection algorithm for quasars over 2.2 < z < 3.5, where their colors overlap those of stars. During the first year of the BOSS survey, quasar target selection methods were developed and tested to meet the requirement of delivering at least 15 quasars deg^-2 in this redshift range, out of 40 targets deg^-2. To achieve these surface densities, the magnitude limit of the quasar targets was set at g <= 22.0 or r<=21.85. While detection of the BAO signature in the Ly-alpha absorption in quasar spectra does not require a uniform target selection, many other astrophysical studies do. We therefore defined a uniformly-selected subsample of 20 targets deg^-2, for which the selection efficiency is just over 50%. This "CORE" subsample will be fixed for Years Two through Five of the survey. In this paper we describe the evolution and implementation of the BOSS quasar target selection algorithms during the first two years of BOSS operations. We analyze the spectra obtained during the first year. 11,263 new z>2.2 quasars were spectroscopically confirmed by BOSS. Our current algorithms select an average of 15 z > 2.2 quasars deg^-2 from 40 targets deg^-2 using single-epoch SDSS imaging. Multi-epoch optical data and data at other wavelengths can further improve the efficiency and completeness of BOSS quasar target selection. [Abridged]
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 05/2011; · 14.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the SDSS-XDQSO quasar targeting catalog for efficient flux-based quasar target selection down to the faint limit of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) catalog, even at medium redshifts (2.5 z 3) where the stellar contamination is significant. We build models of the distributions of stars and quasars in flux space down to the flux limit by applying the extreme-deconvolution method to estimate the underlying density. We convolve this density with the flux uncertainties when evaluating the probability that an object is a quasar. This approach results in a targeting algorithm that is more principled, more efficient, and faster than other similar methods. We apply the algorithm to derive low-redshift (z < 2.2), medium-redshift (2.2 ≤ z ≤ 3.5), and high-redshift (z>3.5) quasar probabilities for all 160,904,060 point sources with dereddened i-band magnitude between 17.75 and 22.45 mag in the 14,555 deg2 of imaging from SDSS Data Release 8. The catalog can be used to define a uniformly selected and efficient low- or medium-redshift quasar survey, such as that needed for the SDSS-III's Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey project. We show that the XDQSO technique performs as well as the current best photometric quasar-selection technique at low redshift, and outperforms all other flux-based methods for selecting the medium-redshift quasars of our primary interest. We make code to reproduce the XDQSO quasar target selection publicly available.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2011; 729(2):141. · 6.28 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

302 Citations
47.11 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • University of Florida
      • Department of Astronomy
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 2011
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Physics
      Berkeley, California, United States
    • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
      • Physics Division
      Berkeley, California, United States