The lick AGN monitoring project 2011: Reverberation mapping of Markarian 50

Aaron J. Barth, Anna Pancoast, Shawn J. Thorman, Vardha N. Bennert, David J. Sand, Weidong Li, Gabriela Canalizo, Alexei V. Filippenko, Elinor L. Gates, Jenny E. Greene, Matthew A. Malkan, Daniel Stern, Tommaso Treu, Jong Hak Woo, Roberto J. Assef, Hyun Jin Bae, Brendon J. Brewer, Tabitha Buehler, S. Bradley Cenko, Kelsey I. ClubbMichael C. Cooper, Aleksandar M. Diamond-Stanic, Kyle D. Hiner, Sebastian F. Hönig, Michael D. Joner, Michael T. Kandrashoff, C. David Laney, Mariana S. Lazarova, A. M. Nierenberg, Dawoo Park, Jeffrey M. Silverman, Donghoon Son, Alessandro Sonnenfeld, Erik J. Tollerud, Jonelle L. Walsh, Richard Walters, Robert L. Da Silva, Michele Fumagalli, Michael D. Gregg, Chelsea E. Harris, Eric Y. Hsiao, Jeffrey Lee, Liliana Lopez, Jacob Rex, Nao Suzuki, Jonathan R. Trump, David Tytler, Gbor Worseck, Hassen M. Yesuf

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The Lick AGN Monitoring Project 2011 observing campaign was carried out over the course of 11 weeks in spring 2011. Here we present the first results from this program, a measurement of the broad-line reverberation lag in the Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk50. Combining our data with supplemental observations obtained prior to the start of the main observing campaign, our data set covers a total duration of 4.5 months. During this time, Mrk50 was highly variable, exhibiting a maximum variability amplitude of a factor of 4 in the U-band continuum and a factor of ∼2 in the Hβ line. Using standard cross-correlation techniques, we find that Hβ and Hγ lag the V-band continuum by τcen = 10.64+0.82 - 0.93 and 8.43+1.30 - 1.28days, respectively, while the lag of He II λ4686 is unresolved. The Hβ line exhibits a symmetric velocity-resolved reverberation signature with shorter lags in the high-velocity wings than in the line core, consistent with an origin in a broad-line region (BLR) dominated by orbital motion rather than infall or outflow. Assuming a virial normalization factor of f = 5.25, the virial estimate of the black hole mass is (3.2 ± 0.5) × 107 M . These observations demonstrate that Mrk50 is among the most promising nearby active galaxies for detailed investigations of BLR structure and dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL4
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: individual (Mrk 50)
  • galaxies: nuclei


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