PI: Tingting Liu, U. of Maryland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Department of Astronomy, 1113 Physical Sciences Complex, College Park, MD 20742
CoI: Suvi Gezari, U. of Maryland
Title: Monitoring Variability-Selected Supermassive Black Hole Binary Candidates from Pan-STARRS1
Abstract: Periodic variability in quasars has been predicted as an observational signature of supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs), which should be a common product of the hierarchy growth of galaxies. We have performed a systematic search in the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey and identified $26$ periodic quasar candidates with variations over $> 1.5$ cycles. Since a long baseline is essential in order to break a false positive signal due to normal, stochastic quasar variability, we have been monitoring them with the Discovery Channel Telescope and, more recently, the LCO network telescopes during the 2017AB Semester. $5$ candidates are considered significant after our re- analysis using the extended data and a more rigorous, maximum likelihood method, but continued monitoring of their variability behavior is still needed in order identify robust candidates. Here we propose to continue our imaging campaign with LCO. The proposed observations will be able to verify strong SMBHB candidates that are in the gravitational wave regime of orbital decay and prepare for the upcoming era of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.
Program Type: Standard/Extragalactic
Run 1 (2018A): LCO-2m/Spectral -- 36hrs
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360