MEGAMASER DISKS REVEAL A BROAD DISTRIBUTION of BLACK HOLE MASS in SPIRAL GALAXIES

J. E. Greene, A. Seth, M. Kim, R. Läsker, A. Goulding, F. Gao, J. A. Braatz, C. Henkel, J. Condon, K. Y. Lo, W. Zhao

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44 Scopus citations

Abstract

We use new precision measurements of black hole (BH) masses from water megamaser disks to investigate scaling relations between macroscopic galaxy properties and supermassive BH mass. The megamaser-derived BH masses span 106-108 , while all the galaxy properties that we examine (including total stellar mass, central mass density, and central velocity dispersion) lie within a narrower range. Thus, no galaxy property correlates tightly with in ∼L∗ spiral galaxies as traced by megamaser disks. Of them all, stellar velocity dispersion provides the tightest relation, but at fixed the mean megamaser are offset by -0.6 ± 0.1 dex relative to early-type galaxies. Spiral galaxies with non-maser dynamical BH masses do not appear to show this offset. At low mass, we do not yet know the full distribution of BH mass at fixed galaxy property; the non-maser dynamical measurements may miss the low-mass end of the BH distribution due to an inability to resolve their spheres of influence and/or megamasers may preferentially occur in lower-mass BHs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL32
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume826
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • galaxies: Seyfert
  • quasars: supermassive black holes

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    Greene, J. E., Seth, A., Kim, M., Läsker, R., Goulding, A., Gao, F., Braatz, J. A., Henkel, C., Condon, J., Lo, K. Y., & Zhao, W. (2016). MEGAMASER DISKS REVEAL A BROAD DISTRIBUTION of BLACK HOLE MASS in SPIRAL GALAXIES. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 826(2), [L32]. https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8205/826/2/L32