Spatially Resolved Spectroscopic & X-ray Observations to Confirm or Disprove Dual AGN

When galaxies merge, gas accretes onto both central supermassive black holes. Thus, one expects to see close pairs of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), or dual AGNs, in a fraction of galaxy mergers. However, finding them remains a challenge. Candidates for galaxies containing dual AGNs have been identified by the presence of double-peaked narrow [O III] emission lines and by high spatial resolution images of close galaxy pairs. 30% of double-peaked narrow [OIII] emission line SDSS AGNs have two spatial components within a 3" radius. However, spatially resolved spectroscopy is needed to confirm these galaxy pairs as systems with double AGNs. With the Keck 2 Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics system and the OSIRIS near-infrared integral field spectrograph, we obtained spatially resolved spectra for SDSS J095207.62+255257.2, confirming that it contains a Type 1 and a Type 2 AGN separated by 4.8 kpc (=1.0"). We performed similar integral field and long-slit spectroscopy observations of more spatially separated candidat e dual AGNs and will report on the varied results. By assessing what fraction of radio-quiet double-peaked emission line SDSS AGNs are true dual AGNs, we can better constrain the statistics of dual AGNs and characterize physical conditions throughout these interacting AGNs.

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