Towards a fundamental astrometric reference system behind the Magellanic Clouds: spectroscopic confirmation of new quasar candidates selected in the near-infrared

Valentin D. Ivanov*, Maria-Rosa L. Cioni, Kenji Bekki, Richard de Grijs, Jim Emerson, Brad K. Gibson, Devika Kotachery, Jacco Th. van Loon, Andrés E. Piatti, Bi-Qing For

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Quasi-stellar objects (quasars) located behind nearby galaxies provide an excellent absolute reference system for astrometric studies, but they are difficult to identify because of fore- and background contamination. We have embarked on a programme to expand the quasar reference system behind the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the Magellanic Bridge and Magellanic Stream. Hundreds of quasar candidates were selected, based on their near-infrared colours and variability properties from the ESO VISTA Magellanic Clouds (VMC) Public Survey. A subset of 49 objects was followed up with optical spectroscopy with FORS2. We confirmed the quasar nature of 37 objects (34 new identifications) that span a redshift range from z ~ 0.5 to 4.1.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-34
Number of pages3
JournalThe Messenger
Volume163
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

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