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Performance of the Quasar Spectral Templates for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument

Brodzeller, Allyson; Dawson, Kyle; Bailey, Stephen; Yu, Jiaxi; Ross, A. J.; Bault, A.; Filbert, S.; Aguilar, J.; Ahlen, S.; Alexander, David M.; Armengaud, E.; Berti, A.; Brooks, D.; Chaussidon, E.; de la Macorra, A.; Doel, P.; Fanning, K.; Fawcett, V. A.; Font-Ribera, A.; A Gontcho, S. Gontcho; Guy, J.; Honscheid, K.; Juneau, S.; Kehoe, R.; Kisner, T.; Kremin, Anthony; Lan, Ting-Wen; Landriau, M.; Levi, Michael E.; Magneville, C.; Martini, Paul; Meisner, Aaron M.; Miquel, R.; Moustakas, J.; Palanque-Delabrouille, N.; Percival, W. J.; Prada, F.; Ravoux, C.; Rossi, Graziano; Saulder, C.; Siudek, M.; Tarlé, Gregory; Weaver, B. A.; Youles, S.; Zheng, Zheng; Zhou, Rongpu; Zhou, Zhimin

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Allyson Brodzeller

Kyle Dawson

Stephen Bailey

Jiaxi Yu

A. J. Ross

A. Bault

S. Filbert

J. Aguilar

S. Ahlen

E. Armengaud

A. Berti

D. Brooks

E. Chaussidon

A. de la Macorra

P. Doel

K. Fanning

V. A. Fawcett

A. Font-Ribera

S. Gontcho A Gontcho

J. Guy

K. Honscheid

S. Juneau

R. Kehoe

T. Kisner

Anthony Kremin

Ting-Wen Lan

M. Landriau

Michael E. Levi

C. Magneville

Paul Martini

Aaron M. Meisner

R. Miquel

J. Moustakas

N. Palanque-Delabrouille

W. J. Percival

F. Prada

C. Ravoux

Graziano Rossi

C. Saulder

M. Siudek

Gregory Tarlé

B. A. Weaver

S. Youles

Zheng Zheng

Rongpu Zhou

Zhimin Zhou


Millions of quasar spectra will be collected by the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), leading to a fourfold increase in the number of known quasars. High-accuracy quasar classification is essential to tighten constraints on cosmological parameters measured at the highest redshifts DESI observes (z > 2.0). We present spectral templates for identification and redshift estimation of quasars in the DESI Year 1 data release. The quasar templates are comprised of two quasar eigenspectra sets, trained on spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The sets are specialized to reconstruct quasar spectral variation observed over separate yet overlapping redshift ranges and, together, are capable of identifying DESI quasars from 0.05 < z < 7.0. The new quasar templates show significant improvement over the previous DESI quasar templates regarding catastrophic failure rates, redshift precision and accuracy, quasar completeness, and the contamination fraction in the final quasar sample.


Brodzeller, A., Dawson, K., Bailey, S., Yu, J., Ross, A. J., Bault, A., …Zhou, Z. (2023). Performance of the Quasar Spectral Templates for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument. Astronomical Journal, 166(2), Article 66.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 1, 2023
Online Publication Date Jul 18, 2023
Publication Date Aug 1, 2023
Deposit Date Nov 1, 2023
Publicly Available Date Nov 1, 2023
Journal The Astronomical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-6256
Electronic ISSN 1538-3881
Publisher IOP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 166
Issue 2
Article Number 66
Keywords Space and Planetary Science; Astronomy and Astrophysics
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Copyright Statement
© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.
Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

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