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Session 55 - New Digital Sky Surveys.
Display session, Wednesday, June 10
High--redshift quasars provide some of the earliest glimpses we have of the Universe, constrain models of structure formation, and are valuable probes of the intervening intergalactic medium. We are pursuing a program to find high--redshift, radio--loud quasars. The search technique relies upon two new large--area surveys of unprecedented depth and accuracy: the FIRST survey (Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty Centimeters) --- a VLA effort mapping the Northern sky with 1.0\arcsec\ positional uncertainty to a limiting flux of S_1.4 GHz = 1 mJy, and the DPOSS (digitized Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey) --- a photographic montage of the northern sky in three pass bands: blue (g; \lambda_eff \sim 4800 Åred (r; \lambda_eff \sim 6500 Åand infrared (i; \lambda_eff \sim 8500 ÅTypical limiting magnitudes are 22.5^m, 20.8^m and 19.5^ m, respectively; i.e., \sim 1 -- 1.5 magnitudes deeper than the POSS--I and with an additional redder plate. Correlating these large radio and optical catalogs, we find optical identifications for the radio sources and select red objects which are classified as stars by DPOSS for spectroscopic observation. We have found the two most distant quasars selected from the FIRST survey to date: FIRST 1410+3409 (z=4.36) and FIRST 0100-0128 (z=3.85).
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