NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0559

Small NOAO Logo

Proposal Information for 2011B-0559


PI: Michael Koss, University of Maryland / NASA GSFC, mkoss@astro.umd.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, Astronomy Department Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA

CoI: Richard Mushotzky, University of Maryland
CoI: Sylvain Veilleux, University of Maryland
CoI: Margaret Trippe, University of Maryland
CoI: Ezequiel Treister, University of Hawaii
CoI: Neil Gehrels, NASA GSFC

Title: Searching for Compton-Thick Dual AGN In Extremely Close Mergers

Abstract: Since the discovery 10 years ago that almost all massive galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centers, one of the great mysteries has been why some supermassive black holes emit tremendous amount of energy and others appear to be inactive. While there are many theoretical studies, the best proposed mechanism has been that mergers send gas into the central regions to ignite the AGN. If mergers trigger AGN, theoretical studies suggest that multiple AGN can be activated in a single merger. However, detections of dual AGN are rare with only a few recent discoveries like NGC 6240. We propose optical spectroscopy of a sample of 7 local AGN in extremely close mergers (<3\arcsec or <1 kpc) to search for dual AGN. These galaxies have been surveyed for dual AGN with Chandra, but merging galaxies are sometimes obscured by large amounts of circumnuclear gas and dust making them invisible to X-rays. \bf This data will allow us to investigate obscured black hole growth and determine the incidence of multiple accreting nuclei in the low redshift Universe for the first time.


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 >   2011B-0559

noaoprop-help@noao.edu

Small NOAO Logo