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

15 Citations (Scopus)

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

Fingerprint

quasars
radio
autocorrelation
spectral energy distribution
extremely high frequencies
mass ratios
light curve
gas
simulation
time measurement
energy
orbitals
radii
estimates
profiles
gases
distribution
analysis
code

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

SDSS J0159+0105 : A RADIO-QUIET QUASAR with A CENTI-PARSEC SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARY CANDIDATE. / Zheng, Zhen Ya; Butler, Nathaniel; Shen, Yue; Jiang, Linhua; Wang, Jun Xian; Chen, Xian; Cuadra, Jorge.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 827, No. 1, 56, 10.08.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zheng, Zhen Ya ; Butler, Nathaniel ; Shen, Yue ; Jiang, Linhua ; Wang, Jun Xian ; Chen, Xian ; Cuadra, Jorge. / SDSS J0159+0105 : A RADIO-QUIET QUASAR with A CENTI-PARSEC SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARY CANDIDATE. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2016 ; Vol. 827, No. 1.
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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.",
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AU - Wang, Jun Xian

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AU - Cuadra, Jorge

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