First constraints on the AGN X-ray luminosity function at z∼6 from an eROSITA-detected quasar

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Julien Wolf, Kirpal Nandra, Mara Salvato, Teng Liu, Johannes Buchner, Marcella Brusa, Duy N. Hoang, Vanessa Moss, Riccardo Arcodia, Marcus Brüggen, Johan Comparat, Francesco de Gasperin, Antonis Georgakakis, Aidan Hotan, Georg Lamer, Andrea Merloni, Arne Rau, Huub J. A. Rottgering, Timothy W. Shimwell, Tanya Urrutia, Matthew Whiting, Wendy L. Williams

We searched for high-z quasars within the X-ray source population detected in the contiguous ∼1402 eFEDS field observed by eROSITA during the performance verification phase. We collected the available spectroscopic information in the field, including the sample of all currently known optically selected z>5.5 quasars and cross-matched secure Legacy DR8 counterparts of eROSITA-detected X-ray point-like sources with this spectroscopic sample. We report the X-ray detection of an eROSITA source securely matched to the well-known quasar SDSS J083643.85+005453.3 (z=5.81). The soft X-ray flux of the source derived from eROSITA is consistent with previous Chandra observations. In addition, we report the detection of the quasar with LOFAR at 145 MHz and ASKAP at 888 MHz. The reported flux densities confirm a spectral flattening at lower frequencies in the emission of the radio core, indicating that the quasar could be a (sub-) gigahertz peaked spectrum source. The inferred spectral shape and the parsec-scale radio morphology of SDSS J083643.85+005453.3 suggest that it is in an early stage of its evolution into a large-scale radio source or confined in a dense environment. We find no indications for a strong jet contribution to the X-ray emission of the quasar, which is therefore likely to be linked to accretion processes. The detection of this source allows us to place the first constraints on the XLF at z>5.5 based on a secure spectroscopic redshift. Compared to extrapolations from lower-redshift observations, this favours a relatively flat slope for the XLF at z∼6 beyond L∗. The population of X-ray luminous AGNs at high redshift may be larger than previously thought. From our XLF constraints, we make the conservative prediction that eROSITA will detect ∼90 X-ray luminous AGNs at redshifts 5.7<z<6.4 in the full-sky survey (De+RU).

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