Comment On The Black Hole Recoil Candidate Quasar SDSS J092712.65+294344.0
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The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) quasar J092712.65+294344.0 has been proposed as a candidate for a supermassive black hole (similar to 10(8.8) M(circle dot)) ejected at high speed from the host galactic nucleus by gravitational radiation recoil, or alternatively for a supermassive black hole binary. This is based on a blueshift of 2650 km s(-1) of the broad emission lines ("b-system") relative to the narrow emission lines ("r-system") presumed to reflect the galaxy velocity. New observations with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) confirm the essential features of the spectrum. We note a third redshift system, characterized by weak, narrow emission lines of [O III] and [O II] at an intermediate velocity 900 km s(-1) redward of the broad-line velocity ("i-system"). A composite spectrum of SDSS QSOs similar to J0927+2943 illustrates the feasibility of detecting the calcium K absorption line in spectra of sufficient quality. The i-system may represent the QSO host galaxy or a companion. Photoionization requires the black hole to be similar to 3 kpc from the r-system emitting gas, implying that we are observing the system only 10(6) yr after the recoil event and contributing to the low probability of observing such a system. The HET observations give an upper limit of 10 km s(-1) per year on the rate of change of the velocity difference between the r- and b-systems, constraining the orbital phase in the binary model. These considerations and the presence of a cluster of galaxies apparently containing J0927+2943 favor the idea that this system represents a superposition of two active galactic nuclei.