NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0115

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0115


PI: Xin Liu, Princeton University, xinliu@astro.princeton.edu
Address: Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall - Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

CoI: Jenny Greene, Princeton University
CoI: Yue Shen, SAO
CoI: Michael Strauss, Princeton University

Title: Unveiling Binary Supermassive Black Holes in Double-Peaked Narrow-line AGNs

Abstract: Despite decades of searching, and strong theoretical reasons to believe they exist, merging active supermassive black holes remain difficult to find. We have developed a feasible and effective strategy to identify kpc-scale binary SMBHs in optically selected AGNs from the SDSS that show double-peaked [O III] 4959,5007 emission lines. Our pilot program with the Magellan 6.5 m telescopes has discovered four kpc- scale binary AGNs from 43 double-peaked objects. Here we propose to obtain deep K_s-band imaging with WHIRC on the WIYN 3.5 m telescope of 60 northern objects in our double-peaked AGN sample. With the superb image quality and sensitivity offered by WHIRC, we aim to reveal closely separated double stellar bulges and to detect low surface brightness tidal features indicative of mergers. Combined with follow-up slit spectroscopy, the results will likely double the number of known kpc- scale binary AGNs.


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



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