Presentation #101.07 in the session AGN & Quasars — iPoster Session.
We present a review and further development of the current methodology for measuring the near zone sizes of high redshift quasars. We assess the near zone measurement methods used by three key papers in the field: Fan et al. (2006), Eilers et. al (2017), and Ishimoto et al. (2020) and discuss their derived results. The work of these three papers has greatly progressed our knowledge of near zones and the Epoch of Reionization, but the robustness of these methods in the low signal-to-noise regime needs further work. Here we present an improved methodology for measuring near zone sizes, one that appears to offer a more robust and stable measurement when dealing with low signal-to-noise ratio data. We have measured the near zone sizes of ~300 high redshift (5.68 ≤ z ≤ 7.07) quasars with our new methodology using spectra from the SDSS, PanStarrs, SHELLQs, VHS-DES, and other surveys. With this large sample of quasars, we constrain the evolution of the near zone size with redshift and compare our results to those of prior papers. We test our methodology on both artificially degraded spectra and on spectra observed at different signal to noise levels.