Jessica A. Kirkpatrick

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States

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Publications (8)

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] 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.
    Article · Feb 2013
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the measurement of the two-point cross-correlation function (CCF) of 8198 Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 quasars and 349,608 Data Release 10 CMASS galaxies from the Baryonic Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey at 0.3 < z < 0.9. The CCF can be reasonably well fit by a power-law model ξQG(r) = (r/r 0)–γ on projected scales of rp = 2-25 h –1 Mpc with r 0 = 6.61 ± 0.25 h –1 Mpc and γ = 1.69 ± 0.07. We estimate a quasar linear bias of bQ = 1.38 ± 0.10 at z = 0.53 from the CCF measurements, which corresponds to a characteristic host halo mass of ~4 × 1012h –1M ☉, compared with a ~1013h –1M ☉ characteristic host halo mass for CMASS galaxies. Based on the clustering measurements, most quasars at are not the descendants of their higher luminosity counterparts at higher redshift, which would have evolved into more massive and more biased systems at low redshift. We divide the quasar sample in luminosity and constrain the luminosity dependence of quasar bias to be dbQ/dlog L = 0.20 ± 0.34 or 0.11 ± 0.32 (depending on different luminosity divisions) for quasar luminosities –23.5 > Mi(z = 2) > –25.5, implying a weak luminosity dependence of clustering for luminous quasars at . We compare our measurements with theoretical predictions, halo occupation distribution (HOD) models, and mock catalogs. These comparisons suggest that quasars reside in a broad range of host halos. 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 satellite fractions and host halo mass distributions. These results highlight the limitations and ambiguities in modeling the distribution of quasars with the standard HOD approach.
    Full-text Article · Dec 2012 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] 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 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 APOGEE along with another year of data from BOSS, followed by the final SDSS-III data release in 2014 December.
    Full-text Article · Dec 2012 · The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the Data Release 9 Quasar (DR9Q) catalog from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III. The catalog includes all BOSS objects that were targeted as quasar candidates during the survey, are spectrocopically confirmed as quasars via visual inspection, have luminosities Mi[z=2]<-20.5 (in a $\Lambda$CDM cosmology with H0 = 70 km/s/Mpc, $\Omega_{\rm M}$ = 0.3, and $\Omega_{\Lambda}$ = 0.7) and either display at least one emission line with full width at half maximum (FWHM) larger than 500 km/s or, if not, have interesting/complex absorption features. It includes as well, known quasars (mostly from SDSS-I and II) that were reobserved by BOSS. This catalog contains 87,822 quasars (78,086 are new discoveries) detected over 3,275 deg$^{2}$ with robust identification and redshift measured by a combination of principal component eigenspectra newly derived from a training set of 8,632 spectra from SDSS-DR7. The number of quasars with $z>2.15$ (61,931) is ~2.8 times larger than the number of z>2.15 quasars previously known. Redshifts and FWHMs are provided for the strongest emission lines (CIV, CIII], MgII). The catalog identifies 7,533 broad absorption line quasars and gives their characteristics. For each object the catalog presents five-band (u,g,r,i,z) CCD-based photometry with typical accuracy of 0.03 mag, and information on the morphology and selection method. The catalog also contains X-ray, ultraviolet, near-infrared, and radio emission properties of the quasars, when available, from other large-area surveys.
    Full-text Article · Dec 2012 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] 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.
    Full-text Article · Jul 2012 · The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
  • Jessica A. Kirkpatrick · David J. Schlegel · Nicholas P. Ross · [...] · and Benjamin A. Weaver
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] 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 is 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 9th SDSS data release. When targeting at a density of 40 objects per sq-deg (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
    Article · Nov 2011 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] 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]
    Full-text Article · May 2011 · The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] 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.
    Article · Feb 2011 · The Astrophysical Journal