NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0377

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Proposal Information for 2010A-0377


PI: Brian F. Gerke, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, bgerke@slac.stanford.edu
Address: KIPAC, M/S 29, 2575 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA

CoI: Julie Comerford, University of California-Berkeley
CoI: Roger Griffith, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
CoI: Dan Stern, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
CoI: Michael Cooper, University of Arizona
CoI: Jeffrey Newman, University of Pittsburgh
CoI: Marc Davis, University of California-Berkeley

Title: Follow-up of candidate dual-SMBH galaxies with long-slit spectroscopy

Abstract: Observations have established that some galaxies harbor two supermassive black holes separated by ~ 1 kpc (so-called \emphdual SMBHs), as a result of a recent merger. A statistical study of such systems would have important implications for galaxy evolution, SMBH growth, and future gravitational wave experiments; but identifying dual SMBHs in large numbers is challenging. A promising spectroscopic detection technique has recently been suggested, which searches for double-peaked narrow emission lines indicating two widely separated active nuclei orbiting in a single galaxy. More study is needed, however, to differentiate between the spectroscopic signature of dual SMBHs and that of ionized outflowing gas. We propose observations that aim to test and refine the spectroscopic technique for dual-SMBH detection by comparing the two-dimensional spectra of several double- peaked AGN sources to each other and to AGN that are known to have double nuclei. Our goal is to develop and establish a spectroscopic signature for dual SMBHs that can be used to identify a statistically interesting sample.


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-0377

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