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Paper: Multiepoch Sky Surveys and the Lifetime of Quasars
Volume: 311, AGN Physics with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Page: 389
Authors: Martini, P.; Schneider, D.P.
Abstract: We present a new method to measure the episodic lifetime of quasars with current and future large-scale sky surveys. Future photometric observations of large samples of confirmed quasars can provide a direct measurement (or interesting lower limit) to the lifetime of an individual episode of quasar activity (tQ) and potentially enable the study of post-quasar host galaxies. Photometric observations of the quasars found by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and 2dF Survey could, with a time baseline of ten years, determine tQ to within a factor of two if tQ < 105 yr or set a lower limit to the quasar lifetime. Application of this technique to the 3814 quasars in the SDSS Early Data Release, combined with the Digitized Sky Survey, finds that tQ must be larger than approximately 20,000 yr.
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