Unusual double-peaked emission in the SDSS quasar J093201.60 + 031858.7

R. S. Barrows, C. H.S. Lacy, D. Kennefick, J. Kennefick, M. S. Seigar

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18 Scopus citations


We examine spectral properties of the SDSS quasar J093201.60 + 031858.7, in particular the presence of strong blue peaks in the Balmer emission lines offset from the narrow lines by approximately 4200 km s-1. Asymmetry in the broad central component of the Hβ line indicates the presence of a double-peaked emitter. However, the strength and sharpness of the blue Hβ and blue Hγ peaks make this quasar spectrum unique among double-peaked emitters identified from SDSS spectra. We fit a disk model to the Hβ line and compare this object with other unusual double-peaked quasar spectra, particularly candidate binary supermassive black holes (SMBHs). Under the binary SMBH scenario, we test the applicability of a model in which a second SMBH may produce the strong blue peak in the Balmer lines of a double-peaked emitter. If there were only one SMBH, a circular, Keplerian disk model fit would be insufficient, indicating some sort of asymmetry is required to produce the strength of the blue peak. In either case, understanding the nature of the complex line emission in this object will aid in further discrimination between a single SMBH with a complex accretion disk and the actual case of a binary SMBH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-127
Number of pages6
JournalNew Astronomy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this work was provided by the Arkansas NASA EPSCoR program (Grant No. NNX08AW03A).

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Accretion disks
  • Black holes
  • Galaxies: active
  • Quasars: emission lines


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