Spectroscopic follow-up of double quasar candidates

Research paper by V. N. Shalyapin, A. V. Sergeyev, L. J. Goicoechea, A. P. Zheleznyak

Indexed on: 28 Jul '18Published on: 28 Jul '18Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies


We report the results of an optical spectroscopic follow-up of four double quasar candidates in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) database. SDSS J1617+3827 is most likely a lensed quasar at z = 2.079, consisting of two images with r ~ 19-21 and separated by ~ 2 arcsec. We identify an extended source northeast of the brightest image as an early-type lensing galaxy at z = 0.602, and detect a candidate for the main deflector in the vicinity of the faintest image. SDSS J2153+2732 consists of two distinct but physically associated quasars at z ~ 2.24 (r ~ 19-20, separation of 3.6 arcsec). Although this system might be a binary quasar, there is evidence of a collision or merger within a galaxy cluster at an early stage. The other two candidates are projected pairs of active galactic nuclei: SDSS J1642+3200 (separation of ~ 3 arcsec) comprises a distant quasar (r ~ 18) at z = 2.263 and the active nucleus (r > 20) of a galaxy at z ~ 0.3, while SDSS J0240-0208 (r ~ 18-19, separation of ~ 1 arcsec) is a pair of quasars at z = 1.687 and z = 1.059. In each of these two systems, the background quasar only suffers a weak gravitational lensing effect by the host galaxy of the foreground active nucleus, so the host galaxy mass is constrained to be less than (2.9-3) x 10^{11} solar masses inside 10 kpc.