Detection of the Low-stellar-mass Host Galaxy of a z ∼ 6.25 Quasar with JWST

Meredith A. Stone, Jianwei Lyu, George H. Rieke, Stacey Alberts

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5 Scopus citations


We characterize the stellar mass of J2239+0207, a z ∼ 6.25 sub-Eddington quasar (M 1450 = −24.6), using dedicated JWST/NIRCam medium-band observations of a nearby point-spread function star to remove the central point source and reveal the underlying galaxy emission. We detect the host galaxy in two bands longward of the Balmer break, obtaining a stellar mass of ∼1010 M , more than an order of magnitude less than this quasar’s existing measured [C ii] dynamical mass. We additionally calculate the mass of J2239+0207's central supermassive black hole using JWST/NIRSpec integral field unit observations, and determine that the black hole is ∼15 times more massive than predicted by the local M BH-M * relation, similar to many high-redshift quasars with dynamical masses determined via millimeter-wave line widths. We carefully consider potential selection effects at play, and find that even when z ∼ 6 quasars are compared to a local sample with similarly determined dynamical masses, many of the high-redshift quasars appear to possess overmassive black holes. We conclude z ∼ 6 quasars are likely to have a larger spread about the M BH-M * relation than observed in the local Universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number180
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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