The smallest AGN host galaxies

Jenny E. Greene, Aaron J. Barth, Luis C. Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We describe our efforts to study dwarf galaxies with active nuclei, whose black holes, with masses ≤106Mȯ, provide the best current observational constraints on the mass distribution of primordial seed black holes. Although these low-mass galaxies do not necessarily contain classical bulges, [Barth, A.J., Greene, J.E., Ho, L.C., 2005. ApJ 619, L151.] show that their stellar velocity dispersions and black hole masses obey the same relation as more massive systems. In order to characterize the properties of the dwarf hosts without the glare of the active nucleus, we have compiled a complementary sample of narrow-line active galaxies with low-mass hosts. The host galaxy properties, both their structures and stellar populations, are consistent with the general properties of low-mass, blue galaxies from Sloan. The black holes in these galaxies are probably radiating close to their Eddington limits, suggesting we may have found Type 2 analogues of narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)739-742
Number of pages4
JournalNew Astronomy Reviews
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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