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Title: Microlensing of sub-parsec massive binary black holes in lensed QSOs: Light curves and size-wavelength relation

Sub-parsec binary massive black holes (BBHs) have long been thought to exist in many QSOs but remain observationally elusive. In this paper, we propose a novel method to probe sub-parsec BBHs through microlensing of lensed QSOs. If a QSO hosts a sub-parsec BBH in its center, it is expected that the BBH is surrounded by a circumbinary disk, each component of the BBH is surrounded by a small accretion disk, and a gap is opened by the secondary component in between the circumbinary disk and the two small disks. Assuming such a BBH structure, we generate mock microlensing light curves for some QSO systems that host BBHs with typical physical parameters. We show that microlensing light curves of a BBH QSO system at the infrared-optical-UV bands can be significantly different from those of corresponding QSO system with a single massive black hole (MBH), mainly because of the existence of the gap and the rotation of the BBH (and its associated small disks) around the center of mass. We estimate the half-light radii of the emission region at different wavelengths from mock light curves and find that the obtained half-light radius versus wavelength relations of BBH QSO systems can be muchmore » flatter than those of single MBH QSO systems at a wavelength range determined by the BBH parameters, such as the total mass, mass ratio, separation, accretion rates, etc. The difference is primarily due to the existence of the gap. Such unique features on the light curves and half-light radius-wavelength relations of BBH QSO systems can be used to select and probe sub-parsec BBHs in a large number of lensed QSOs to be discovered by current and future surveys, including the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, the Large Synoptic Survey telescope, and Euclid.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012 (China)
  2. Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China)
  3. Astronomisches Rechen-Institut am Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstrasse 12-14, D-69120 Heidelberg (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22357277
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 784; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCRETION DISKS; BLACK HOLES; EMISSION; GALAXIES; GRAVITATIONAL LENSES; MASS; QUASARS; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; ROTATION; TELESCOPES; VISIBLE RADIATION; WAVELENGTHS