SDSS J0159+0105: A RADIO-QUIET QUASAR with A CENTI-PARSEC SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARY CANDIDATE

Zhen Ya Zheng, Nathaniel Butler, Yue Shen, Linhua Jiang, Jun Xian Wang, Xian Chen, Jorge Cuadra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report a candidate centi-parsec supermassive black hole binary (SMBHB) in the radio-quiet quasar SDSS J0159+0105 at z = 0.217. With a modified Lomb-Scargle code (GLSdeDRW) and auto-correlation analysis, we detect two significant (at P > 99%) periodic signals at ∼741 day and ∼1500 day from the 8.1 yr Catalina V-band light curve of this quasar. The period ratio, which is close to 1:2, is typical of a black hole binary system with a mass ratio of 0.05 < q < 0.8 according to recent numerical simulations. SDSS J0159+0105 has two SDSS spectroscopic observations separated by ∼10 yr. There is a significant change in the broad Hβ profile between the two epochs, which can be explained by a single broad-line region (BLR) around the binary system illuminated by the aforementioned mini-disks, or a stream of gas flowing from the circumbinary disk to one of the SMBHs. From the single BLR assumption and the orbital period t orb ∼ 1500 day, we estimate the total virial masses of M SMBHB ∼ 1.3x108 M o, the average distances of BLR of ∼0.04 pc (∼50 lt-day, with ±0.3 dex uncertainty), and an SMBHB separation of d = (0.01 pc) (T rest/3.3 yr)2/3 ∼ 0.013 pc (15 lt-day). Based on analytical work, the postulated circumbinary disk has an inner radius of 2d = 0.026 pc (30 lt-day). SDSS J0159+0105 also displays unusual spectral energy distribution. The unique properties of SDSS J0159+0105 are consistent with it being a centi-parsec SMBHB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number56
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume827
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 10 2016

Keywords

  • binaries: close
  • quasars: individual (SDSS J0159+0105)
  • quasars: supermassive black holes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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