Radio emission from the first quasars at z = 6-15

Muhammad A. Latif, Daniel J. Whalen, Mar Mezcua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Nearly 300 quasars have now been found at z > 6, including nine at z > 7. They are thought to form from the collapse of supermassive primordial stars to 10 4 -10 5 M ⊙black holes at z ∼20-25, which then rapidly grow in the low-shear environments of rare, massive haloes fed by strong accretion flows. Sensitive new radio telescopes such as the Next-Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) could probe the evolution of these objects at much earlier times. Here, we estimate radio flux from the first quasars at z ∼6-15 at 0.5-12.5 GHz. We find that SKA and ngVLA could detect a quasar like ULAS J1120 + 0641, a 1.35 ×10 9 M ⊙black hole at z = 7.1, at much earlier stages of evolution, z ∼14-16, with 100 h integration times in targeted searches. The advent of these new observatories, together with the JWST , Euclid , and the Roman Space Telescope , will inaugurate the era of z ≲ 15 quasar astronomy in the coming decade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L37-L41
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2024


  • black hole physics
  • dark ages, reionization, first stars
  • early Universe
  • galaxies: formation
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • quasars: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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