A Candidate Dual QSO at Cosmic Noon

Glikman, Eilat and Langgin, Rachel and Johnstone, Makoto A. and Yoon, Ilsang and Comerford, Julia M. and Simmons, Brooke D. and Stacey, Hannah and Lacy, Mark and O’Meara, John M. (2023) A Candidate Dual QSO at Cosmic Noon. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 951 (1): L18. ISSN 2041-8205

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We report the discovery of a candidate dual QSO at z = 1.889, a redshift that is in the era known as “cosmic noon” where most of the universe’s black hole and stellar mass growth occurred. The source was identified in Hubble Space Telescope WFC3/IR images of a dust-reddened QSO that showed two closely separated point sources at a projected distance of 0.″26, or 2.2 kpc. This red QSO was targeted for imaging to explore whether red QSOs are hosted by merging galaxies. We subsequently obtained a spatially resolved Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph spectrum of the system, covering the visible spectral range, and verifying the presence of two distinct QSO components. We also obtained high-resolution radio continuum observations with the Very Long Baseline Array at 1.4 GHz (21 cm L band) and found two sources coincident with the optical positions. The sources have similar black hole masses, bolometric luminosities, and radio-loudness parameters. However, their colors and reddenings differ significantly. The redder QSO has a higher Eddington ratio, consistent with previous findings. We consider the possibility of gravitational lensing and find that it would require extreme and unlikely conditions. If confirmed as a bona fide dual QSO, this system would link dust reddening to galaxy and supermassive black hole mergers, opening up a new population in which to search for samples of dual active galactic nuclei.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? quasarsdouble quasarsspace and planetary scienceastronomy and astrophysics ??
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Deposited On:
11 Jul 2023 13:55
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 23:56