AAS 197, January 2001
Session 90. Multiwavelength Surveys for AGN
Oral, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 10:30am-12:00noon, San Diego

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[90.08] Discovery of a 2 Kpc Binary Quasar

G. A. Shields (U. Texas), V. Junkkarinen, E. M. Burbidge, R. D. Cohen (UCSD), F. Hamann (U. Florida)

Imaging and spectroscopy with HST show that LBQS 0103-2753 (V = 17.8, z = 0.848) is a binary quasar with a separation of 0.3 arcsec or 2.3 kpc. The two components have very different spectra, including the presence of strong broad absorption lines (BALs) in component A only. The emission-line redshifts, based on the broad C IV lines, are z(A) = 0.838 and z(B) = 0.856, which amounts to a velocity difference of 2900 km/s . The C IV lines, however, are probably not a good indicator of systemic redshift. If the systemic redshift differences are small, then LBQS 0103-2753 most likely is a galaxy merger with a small physical separation between the two supermassive black holes. The existence of such objects may provide important constraints on the evolution of binary black holes and the fueling of AGN. LBQS 0103-2753 is by far the smallest separation binary quasar reported to date.

This material is based in part on work supported by the Space Telescope Science Institute under grant GO-07359.

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