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Studying Merger Driven Black Hole Growth with Observations of Dual AGN

by Mike Koss (ETH, Zurich, CH)

Apr 02, 2014 from 02:00 PM to 03:30 PM

Where Seminars' room, floor -1, via Ranzani 1

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One of the most important problems in modern astronomy is determining what triggers the growth of supermassive black holes. One of the leading theories is that disruptive events like galaxy mergers trigger active galactic nuclei (AGN) by sending large amounts of gas toward the black hole. If the process of merging triggers the AGN, then there should be time when AGN can be detected in both of the merging galaxies as a dual AGN. However, initial dual AGN surveys found they are exceedingly rare, with studies based on quasars predicting that the dual AGN frequency was only 0.1% among AGN samples. I will discuss current efforts and their limitations to measure the dual AGN fraction of nearby AGN to the smallest physical separations use the highest resolutions in the NIR and the X-ray. Finally, as observations become increasingly focused on measuring dual or binary AGN in galaxy mergers at the smallest separations, we are also beginning to place important constraints on recoiling black holes.

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