Volume 630, October 2019
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||30 September 2019|
Proper motion in lensed radio jets at redshift 3: A possible dual super-massive black hole system in the early Universe⋆
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, Postbus 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
2 ASTRON, Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, 7991 PD Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
3 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Via Gobetti 93/2, 40129 Bologna, Italy
4 INAF – Osservatorio di Astrofisica e Scienza dello Spazio di Bologna, Via Gobetti 93/3, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Accepted: 25 August 2019
In this paper, we exploit the gravitational lensing effect to detect proper motion in the highly magnified gravitationally lensed source MG B2016+112. We find positional shifts up to 6 mas in the lensed images by comparing two Very Long Baseline Interferometric (VLBI) radio observations at 1.7 GHz that are separated by 14.359 years, and provide an astrometric accuracy of the order of tens of μas. From lens modelling, we exclude a shift in the lensing galaxy as the cause of the positional change of the lensed images, and we assign it to the background source. The source consists of four sub-components separated by ∼175 pc, with proper motion of the order of tens μas yr−1 for the two components at highest magnification (μ ∼ 350) and of the order of a few mas yr−1 for the two components at lower magnification (μ ∼ 2). We propose single active galactic nuclei (AGN) and dual AGN scenarios to explain the source plane. Although, the latter interpretation is supported by the archival multi-wavelength properties of the object. In this case, MG B2016+112 would represent the highest redshift dual radio-loud AGN system discovered thus far, and would support the merger interpretation for such systems. Also, given the low probability (∼10−5) of detecting a dual AGN system that is also gravitationally lensed, if confirmed, this would suggest that such dual AGN systems must be more abundant in the early Universe than currently thought.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: jets / gravitational lensing: strong / instrumentation: high angular resolution / instrumentation: interferometers / radio continuum: galaxies
Reduced images are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/630/A108
© ESO 2019
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