The Optical variability of SDSS quasars from multi-epoch spectroscopy. III. A sudden UV cutoff in quasar SDSS J2317+0005

Hengxiao Guo, Matthew A. Malkan, Minfeng Gu, Linlin Li, J. Xavier Prochaska, Jingzhe Ma, Bei You, T. Zafar, Mai Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We have collected near-infrared to X-ray data of 20 multi-epoch heavily reddened SDSS quasars to investigate the physical mechanism of reddening. Of these, J2317+0005 is found to be a UV cutoff quasar. Its continuum, which usually appears normal, decreases by a factor 3.5 at 3000 Å, compared to its more typical bright state during an interval of 23 days. During this sudden continuum cut-off the broad emission line fluxes do not change, perhaps due to the large size of the broad-line region (BLR), r $\gt $ 23/(1+z) days. The UV continuum may have suffered a dramatic drop out. However, there are some difficulties with this explanation. Another possibility is that the intrinsic continuum did not change but was temporarily blocked out, at least toward our line of sight. As indicated by X-ray observations, the continuum rapidly recovers after 42 days. A comparison of the bright state and dim states would imply an eclipse by a dusty cloud with a reddening curve having a remarkably sharp rise shortward of 3500 Å. Under the assumption of being eclipsed by a Keplerian dusty cloud, we characterized the cloud size with our observations, however, which is a little smaller than the 3000 Å continuum-emitting size inferred from accretion disk models. Therefore, we speculate that this is due to a rapid outflow or inflow with a dusty cloud passing through our line of sight to the center.
Original languageEnglish
Article number186
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • dust, extinction
  • galaxies: active
  • quasars: individual (SDSS J2317+0005)


Dive into the research topics of 'The Optical variability of SDSS quasars from multi-epoch spectroscopy. III. A sudden UV cutoff in quasar SDSS J2317+0005'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this