A new cosmological distance measure using active galactic nuclei

Watson, D., Denney, K. D., Vestergaard, M. and Davis, T. M. (2011) A new cosmological distance measure using active galactic nuclei. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 740 2: L49.1-L49.5. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/740/2/L49

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Author Watson, D.
Denney, K. D.
Vestergaard, M.
Davis, T. M.
Title A new cosmological distance measure using active galactic nuclei
Journal name Astrophysical Journal Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2041-8205
2041-8213
Publication date 2011-10-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1088/2041-8205/740/2/L49
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 740
Issue 2
Start page L49.1
End page L49.5
Total pages 5
Place of publication Bristol, United Kingdom
Publisher Institute of Physics Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Accurate distances to celestial objects are key to establishing the age and energy density of the universe and the nature of dark energy. A distance measure using active galactic nuclei (AGNs) has been sought for more than 40 years, as they are extremely luminous and can be observed at very large distances. We report here the discovery of an accurate luminosity distance measure using AGNs. We use the tight relationship between the luminosity of an AGN and the radius of its broad-line region established via reverberation mapping to determine the luminosity distances to a sample of 38 AGNs. All reliable distance measures up to now have been limited to moderate redshift-AGNs will, for the first time, allow distances to be estimated to z similar to 4, where variations of dark energy and alternate gravity theories can be probed.
Formatted abstract
Accurate distances to celestial objects are key to establishing the age and energy density of the universe and the nature of dark energy. A distance measure using active galactic nuclei (AGNs) has been sought for more than 40 years, as they are extremely luminous and can be observed at very large distances. We report here the discovery of an accurate luminosity distance measure using AGNs. We use the tight relationship between the luminosity of an AGN and the radius of its broad-line region established via reverberation mapping to determine the luminosity distances to a sample of 38 AGNs. All reliable distance measures up to now have been limited to moderate redshift—AGNs will, for the first time, allow distances to be estimated to z ~ 4, where variations of dark energy and alternate gravity theories can be probed.
Keyword Cosmological parameters
Cosmology: observations
Distance scale
Galaxies: Seyfert
Quasars: general
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published 2011 October 3

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
Official 2012 Collection
 
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