MUNA Lunch Talk:

Roger Deane

University of Cape Town

A triple supermassive black hole system at a cosmologically significant distance

May 12

12:10PM, Room 230, NRAO, Edgemont Road


Multiple supermassive black hole (SMBH) systems have long been predicted to play an important role in galaxy evolution and dominate the stochastic gravitational wave background spectrum in the nHz-microHz frequency range. However, observational constraints on these impacts are limited since very few low separation binary (or multiple) SMBH systems are known. I will present our recent discovery of a triple SMBH system at z~0.4. This includes a ~140 parsec (26 milli-arcsecond) separation inner binary, which is roughly an order of magnitude lower separation than known binary/dual SMBH systems at comparable redshifts (with direct imaging confirmation). This discovery suggests that close-pair binary SMBHs are more common than previous observations suggest and that their radio-jet morphology may be an efficient way to find similar systems.