The quasar SDSS J1536+0441: An unusual double-peaked emitter

R. Chornock*, J. S. Bloom, S. B. Cenko, A. V. Filippenko, J. M. Silverman, M. D. Hicks, K. J. Lawrence, A. J. Mendez, M. Rafelski, A. M. Wolfe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The quasar SDSS J153636.22+044127.0, exhibiting peculiar broad emission-line profiles with multiple components, was proposed as a candidate sub-parsec binary supermassive black hole system. More recently, imaging revealed two spatially distinct sources, leading some to suggest that the system was a quasar pair separated by 5 kpc. We present Palomar and Keck optical spectra of this system from which we identify a third velocity component to the emission lines. We argue that the system is more likely an unusual member of the class of active galactic nuclei known as "double-peaked emitters" than a sub-parsec black hole binary or quasar pair. We find no significant velocity evolution of the two main peaks over the course of 0.95 yr, with a 3σ upper limit on any secular change of 70 km s-1 yr -1. We also find that the three velocity components of the emission lines are spatially coincident to within 0015 along the slit, apparently ruling out the double-quasar hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L39-L43
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Accretion, accretion disks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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