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Performance of the Quasar Spectral Templates for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Vicky FawcettORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.Millions of quasar spectra will be collected by the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), leading to a fourfold increase in the number of known quasars. High-accuracy quasar classification is essential to tighten constraints on cosmological parameters measured at the highest redshifts DESI observes (z > 2.0). We present spectral templates for identification and redshift estimation of quasars in the DESI Year 1 data release. The quasar templates are comprised of two quasar eigenspectra sets, trained on spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The sets are specialized to reconstruct quasar spectral variation observed over separate yet overlapping redshift ranges and, together, are capable of identifying DESI quasars from 0.05 < z < 7.0. The new quasar templates show significant improvement over the previous DESI quasar templates regarding catastrophic failure rates, redshift precision and accuracy, quasar completeness, and the contamination fraction in the final quasar sample.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brodzeller A, Dawson K, Bailey S, Yu J, Ross AJ, Bault A, Filbert S, Aguilar J, Ahlen S, Alexander DM, Armengaud E, Berti A, Brooks D, Chaussidon E, de la Macorra A, Doel P, Fanning K, Fawcett VA, Font-Ribera A, Gontcho A Gontcho S, Guy J, Honscheid K, Juneau S, Kehoe R, Kisner T, Kremin A, Lan T-W, Landriau M, Levi ME, Magneville C, Martini P, Meisner AM, Miquel R, Moustakas J, Palanque-Delabrouille N, Percival WJ, Prada F, Ravoux C, Rossi G, Saulder C, Siudek M, Tarle G, Weaver BA, Youles S, Zheng Z, Zhou R, Zhou Z

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Astronomical Journal

Year: 2023

Volume: 166

Issue: 2

Print publication date: 01/08/2023

Online publication date: 18/07/2023

Acceptance date: 01/07/2023

Date deposited: 10/08/2023

ISSN (print): 0004-6256

ISSN (electronic): 1538-3881

Publisher: American Astronomical Society


DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/ace35d


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Funder referenceFunder name
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
DESI Member Institutions
French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Heising-Simons Foundation
National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT)
National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center
Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain (MICINN)
National Science Foundation, Division of Astronomical Sciences
Office of High Energy Physics of the U.S. Department of Energy
Science and Technologies Facilities Council of the United Kingdom
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science