Variability-selected quasars in MACHO project Magellanic Cloud fields

M. Geha, C. Alcock, R.A. Allsman, D.R. Alves, T.S. Axelrod, A.C. Becker, D.P. Bennett, K.H. Cook, A.J. Drake, K.C. Freeman, K. Griest, S.C. Keller, M.J. Lehner, S.L. Marshall, D. Minniti, C.A. Nelson, B.A. Peterson, P. Popowski, M.R. Pratt, Peter QuinnC.W. Stubbs, W. Sutherland, A.B. Tomaney, T. Vandehei, D.L. Welch

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    82 Citations (Web of Science)


    We present 47 spectroscopically confirmed quasars discovered behind the Magellanic Clouds identified via photometric variability in the MACHO database. Thirty-eight quasars lie behind the Large Magellanic Cloud and nine behind the Small Magellanic Cloud, more than tripling the number of quasars previously known in this region. The quasars cover the redshift interval 0.2 < z < 2.8 and have apparent mean magnitudes 16.6 less than or equal to (V) over bar less than or equal to 20.1. We discuss the details of quasar candidate selection based on time variability in the MACHO database and present results of spectroscopic follow-up observations. Our follow-up detection efficiency was 20%; the primary contaminants were emission-line Be stars in Magellanic Clouds. For the 47 quasars discovered behind the Magellanic Clouds, plus an additional 12 objects previously identified in this region, we present 7.5 yr MACHO V- and R-band light curves with average sampling times of 2 10 days.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    JournalAstronomical Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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