Euclid preparation: V. Predicted yield of redshift 7<z<9 quasars from the wide survey
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(2019)cite arxiv:1908.04310Comment: Submitted to A&A. This paper has been internally reviewed by the Euclid Consortium.

We provide predictions of the yield of $7<z<9$ quasars from the Euclid wide survey, updating the calculation presented in the Euclid Red Book (Laureijs et al. 2011) in several ways. We account for revisions to the Euclid near-infrared filter wavelengths; we adopt steeper rates of decline of the quasar luminosity function (QLF; $\Phi$) with redshift, $\Phi\propto10^k(z-6)$, $k=-0.72$, consistent with Jiang et al. (2016), and a further steeper rate of decline, $k=-0.92$; we use better models of the contaminating populations (MLT dwarfs and compact early-type galaxies); and we use an improved Bayesian selection method, compared to the colour cuts used for the Red Book calculation, allowing the identification of fainter quasars, down to $J_AB\sim23$. Quasars at $z>8$ may be selected from Euclid $OYJH$ photometry alone, but selection over the redshift interval $7<z<8$ is greatly improved by the addition of $z$-band data from, e.g., Pan-STARRS and LSST. We calculate predicted quasar yields for the assumed values of the rate of decline of the QLF beyond $z=6$. For the case that the decline of the QLF accelerates beyond $z=6$, with $k=-0.92$, Euclid should nevertheless find over 100 quasars with $7.0<z<7.5$, and $\sim25$ quasars beyond the current record of $z=7.5$, including $\sim8$ beyond $z=8.0$. The first Euclid quasars at $z>7.5$ should be found in the DR1 data release, expected in 2024. It will be possible to determine the bright-end slope of the QLF, $7<z<8$, $M_1450<-25$, using 8m class telescopes to confirm candidates, but follow-up with JWST or E-ELT will be required to measure the faint-end slope. Contamination of the candidate lists is predicted to be modest even at $J_AB\sim23$. The precision with which $k$ can be determined over $7<z<8$ depends on the value of $k$, but assuming $k=-0.72$ it can be measured to a 1 sigma uncertainty of 0.07.
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