NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0181

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Proposal Information for 2010A-0181


PI: Todd Boroson, NOAO, tyb@noao.edu
Address: KPNO, Box 26732, Tucson, AZ 85718-6732, USA

CoI: Michael Eracleous, The Pennsylvania State University

Title: A Systematic Search for the Dynamical Signature of Close Supermassive Binary Black Holes

Abstract: A sample of 87 low-redshift quasars, systematically extracted from the SDSS archive, show substantial (>1000 km s^-1) shifts of the peak of the H(beta) line from the systemic redshift. Theory predicts that up to one-fourth of these may be sub-parsec binary supermassive black holes in which the emission line gas is associated with the less massive black hole. We propose to obtain new spectra of this sample to search for changes in the velocity offset that would be indicative of this explanation. Given a distribution of orbital parameters, such changes are predicted to be easily detectable in the majority of the objects that are attributable to this effect. The results of our survey will provide immediate constraints on models for black hole growth and will identify objects for further study. The observations will be split between the Mayall 4m telescope and the Hale 5m telescope. Additional observations for this project of the faintest objects will be made with the HET, using the Co-I's institutional access.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0181

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