Presentation #209.05 in the session “AGN and Quasars I”.
Observational searches for dual active galactic nuclei (dAGNs) at kiloparsec separations are crucial for understanding the role of galaxy mergers in the evolution of galaxies. In addition, kpc-scale dAGNs may serve as the parent population of merging massive black hole (MBH) binaries, an important source of gravitational waves. We use a semi-analytical model to describe the orbital evolution of unequal mass MBH pairs under the influence of stellar and gaseous dynamical friction in post-merger galaxies. We quantify how the detectability of approximately 40,000 kpc-scale dAGNs depends on the structure of their host galaxies and the orbital properties of the MBH pair. Our models indicate that kpc-scale dAGNs are most likely to be detected in gas-rich post-merger galaxies with smaller stellar bulges and relatively massive, rapidly rotating gas disks. The detectability is also increased in systems with MBHs of comparable masses following low eccentricity prograde orbits. In contrast, dAGNs with retrograde, low eccentricity orbits are some of the least detectable systems among our models. The dAGNs in models in which the accreting MBHs are allowed to exhibit radiative feedback are characterized by a significantly lower overall detectability. The suppression in detectability is most pronounced in gas-rich merger remnant galaxies, where radiation feedback is more likely to arise. If so, then large, relatively gas poor galaxies may be the best candidates for detecting dAGNs.