Supermassive Binaries and Extragalactic Jets

Research paper by C. M. Gaskell

Indexed on: 29 May '96Published on: 29 May '96Published in: Astrophysics


Some quasars show Doppler shifted broad emission line peaks. I give new statistics of the occurrence of these peaks and show that, while the most spectacular cases are in quasars with strong radio jets inclined to the line of sight, they are also almost as common in radio-quiet quasars. Theories of the origin of the peaks are reviewed and it is argued that the displaced peaks are most likely produced by the supermassive binary model. The separations of the peaks in the 3C 390.3-type objects are consistent with orientation-dependent "unified models" of quasar activity. If the supermassive binary model is correct, all members of "the jet set" (astrophysical objects showing jets) could be binaries.