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Sample records for supermassive black-hole growth

  1. Growth of Supermassive Black Holes, Galaxy Mergers, and Binary SMBHs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komossa, Stefanie

    2015-08-01

    Galaxy mergers are the sites of major black hole growth. They power luminous quasars, and form supermassive binary black holes (SMBBHs) at their centers. Coalescing binaries are among the strongest sources of gravitational waves (GWs) in the universe. Studying the early and advanced stages galaxy merging, and the onset of accretion onto one or both BHs, informs us about feedback processes, and the origin of the scaling relations between SMBHs and their host galaxies. During gas-rich and gas-poor mergers, the initial conditions are set which later determine the amplitude of GW recoil. Identification of the compact SMBBHs, at parsec and sub-parsec scales, provides us with important constraints on the interaction processes that govern the shrinkage of the binary beyond "the final parsec". Here, I give an overview of the status of observations, important open questions, and future surveys, with an emphasis on SMBBHs.

  2. Overlapping inflow events as catalysts for supermassive black hole growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carmona-Loaiza, Juan M.; Colpi, Monica; Dotti, Massimo; Valdarnini, Riccardo

    2014-02-01

    One of the greatest issues in modelling black hole fuelling is our lack of understanding of the processes by which gas loses angular momentum and falls from galactic scales down to the nuclear region where an accretion disc forms, subsequently guiding the inflow of gas down to the black hole horizon. It is feared that gas at larger scales might still retain enough angular momentum and settle into a larger scale disc with very low or no inflow to form or replenish the inner accretion disc (on ˜0.01 pc scales). In this paper we report on hydrodynamical simulations of rotating infalling gas shells impacting at different angles on to a pre-existing, primitive large-scale (˜10 pc) disc around a supermassive black hole. The aim is to explore how the interaction between the shell and the disc redistributes the angular momentum on scales close to the black hole's sphere of influence. Angular momentum redistribution via hydrodynamical shocks leads to inflows of gas across the inner boundary, enhancing the inflow rate by more than 2-3 orders of magnitude. In all cases, the gas inflow rate across the inner parsec is higher than in the absence of the interaction, and the orientation of the angular momentum of the flow in the region changes with time due to gas mixing. Warped discs or nested misaligned rings form depending on the angular momentum content of the infalling shell relative to the disc. In the cases in which the shell falls in near counter-rotation, part of the resulting flows settle into an inner dense disc which becomes more susceptible to mass transfer.

  3. New observational constraints on the growth of the first supermassive black holes

    SciTech Connect

    Treister, E.; Schawinski, K.; Volonteri, M.; Natarajan, P.

    2013-12-01

    We constrain the total accreted mass density in supermassive black holes at z > 6, inferred via the upper limit derived from the integrated X-ray emission from a sample of photometrically selected galaxy candidates. Studying galaxies obtained from the deepest Hubble Space Telescope images combined with the Chandra 4 Ms observations of the Chandra Deep Field-South, we achieve the most restrictive constraints on total black hole growth in the early universe. We estimate an accreted mass density <1000 M {sub ☉} Mpc{sup –3} at z ∼ 6, significantly lower than the previous predictions from some existing models of early black hole growth and earlier prior observations. These results place interesting constraints on early black hole growth and mass assembly by accretion and imply one or more of the following: (1) only a fraction of the luminous galaxies at this epoch contain active black holes; (2) most black hole growth at early epochs happens in dusty and/or less massive—as yet undetected—host galaxies; (3) there is a significant fraction of low-z interlopers in the galaxy sample; (4) early black hole growth is radiatively inefficient, heavily obscured, and/or due to black hole mergers as opposed to accretion; or (5) the bulk of the black hole growth occurs at late times. All of these possibilities have important implications for our understanding of high-redshift seed formation models.

  4. Weighing supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafiee, Alireza

    We calculate the black hole masses for a sample of 27728 quasars selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 3 (DR3). To ensure a high signal-to-noise ratio, we reconstruct quasar spectra for this large sample of quasars using the eigenspectra method (Yip et al., 2004). This method reduces the uncertainty of the measurements for even noisy original spectra, making almost all the SDSS quasar spectra usable for our study. A few applications for black hole mass estimates are presented here. Wang et al. (2006) estimated an average radiative efficiency of 30%-35% for quasars at moderate redshift, which implies that most supermassive black holes are rotating very rapidly. Using our black hole mass estimates, we have found that their method is not independent of quasar lifetimes and thus that quasars do not necessarily have such high efficiencies. As a second application, we have investigated a claim by Steinhardt and Elvis (2009) that there exists a sub-Eddington boundary in the quasar mass-luminosity plane using the Shen et al. (2008) mass estimates. We re-calibrate the mass-scaling relations following Wang et al. (2009) with the most up-to-date reverberation estimates of black hole masses. We compare results from the original data sets with the new re-calibrated estimates of the mass-luminosity plane. We conclude that the presence of the sub-Eddington boundary in the original data of Shen et al. (2008) is likely due to biases in the mass-scaling relation and not to any physical process.

  5. Supermassive Black Hole Growth During The Peak Of Cosmic Star Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Nathaniel Robert

    2016-01-01

    Massive galaxies in the nearby universe all show evidence of a central Supermassive Black Hole. The black holes are seen to grow over time by accretion of gas from their host galaxy, a phenomenon referred to as an Active Galactic Nucleus. This process is believed to be fundamental to the observed correlations between black hole mass and properties of the host galaxies. We have a more limited and biased understanding of the growth of supermassive black holes in more 'typical' galaxies at z ˜ 1 -- 2. In this work, we search for Active Galactic Nuclei in a population of star-forming galaxies spanning a mass range of M* ˜ 107 -- 1012 M[special character omitted] at 0.62 < z < 2.39, during the peak of cosmic star formation and massive black hole growth. Our data are drawn from the WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallels (WISP) survey, for which we designed and implemented a suite of data analysis routines for discovering and measuring star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei. We find a sample of 50 active galactic nuclei, identified by their strong, rest-frame optical, emission-line ratios. We find that growing supermassive black holes in low-mass galaxies at z [special character omitted] 1 either make up a greater fraction of their galaxies' masses than those in massive galaxies, or perhaps emit a greater fraction of their energy in [O III].

  6. THE GROWTH OF THE STELLAR SEEDS OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Jarrett L.; Li Hui; Whalen, Daniel J.; Fryer, Chris L.

    2012-05-01

    The collapse of baryons into extremely massive stars with masses {approx}>10{sup 4} M{sub Sun} in a small fraction of protogalaxies at z {approx}> 10 is a promising candidate for the origin of supermassive black holes (SMBHs), some of which grow to a billion solar masses by z {approx} 7. We determine the maximum masses such stars can attain by accreting primordial gas. We find that at relatively low accretion rates the strong ionizing radiation of these stars limits their masses to M{sub *} {approx} 10{sup 3} M{sub Sun} ( M-dot{sub acc}/10{sup -3} M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1}){sup 8/7}, where M-dot{sub acc} is the rate at which the star gains mass. However, at the higher central infall rates usually found in numerical simulations of protogalactic collapse ({approx}>0.1 M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1}), the lifetime of the star instead limits its final mass to {approx}10{sup 6} M{sub Sun }. Furthermore, for the spherical accretion rates at which the star can grow, its ionizing radiation is confined deep within the protogalaxy, so the evolution of the star is decoupled from that of its host galaxy. Ly{alpha} emission from the surrounding H II region is trapped in these heavy accretion flows and likely reprocessed into strong Balmer series emission, which may be observable by the James Webb Space Telescope. This, strong He II {lambda}1640, and continuum emission are likely to be the key observational signatures of the progenitors of SMBHs at high redshift.

  7. Supermassive Black Holes and Galaxy Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merritt, D.

    2004-01-01

    Supermassive black holes appear to be generic components of galactic nuclei. The formation and growth of black holes is intimately connected with the evolution of galaxies on a wide range of scales. For instance, mergers between galaxies containing nuclear black holes would produce supermassive binaries which eventually coalesce via the emission of gravitational radiation. The formation and decay of these binaries is expected to produce a number of observable signatures in the stellar distribution. Black holes can also affect the large-scale structure of galaxies by perturbing the orbits of stars that pass through the nucleus. Large-scale N-body simulations are beginning to generate testable predictions about these processes which will allow us to draw inferences about the formation history of supermassive black holes.

  8. Supermassive Black Hole Growth and Merger Rates from Cosmological N-body Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Micic, Miroslav; Holley-Bockelmann, Kelly; Sigurdsson, Steinn; Abel, Tom; /SLAC

    2007-10-29

    Understanding how seed black holes grow into intermediate and supermassive black holes (IMBHs and SMBHs, respectively) has important implications for the duty-cycle of active galactic nuclei (AGN), galaxy evolution, and gravitational wave astronomy. Most studies of the cosmological growth and merger history of black holes have used semianalytic models and have concentrated on SMBH growth in luminous galaxies. Using high resolution cosmological N-body simulations, we track the assembly of black holes over a large range of final masses - from seed black holes to SMBHs - over widely varying dynamical histories. We used the dynamics of dark matter halos to track the evolution of seed black holes in three different gas accretion scenarios. We have found that growth of a Sagittarius A* - size SMBH reaches its maximum mass M{sub SMBH}={approx}10{sup 6}M{sub {circle_dot}} at z{approx}6 through early gaseous accretion episodes, after which it stays at near constant mass. At the same redshift, the duty-cycle of the host AGN ends, hence redshift z=6 marks the transition from an AGN to a starburst galaxy which eventually becomes the Milky Way. By tracking black hole growth as a function of time and mass, we estimate that the IMBH merger rate reaches a maximum of R{sub max}=55 yr{sup -1} at z=11. From IMBH merger rates we calculate N{sub ULX}=7 per Milky Way type galaxy per redshift in redshift range 2 {approx}< z {approx}< 6.

  9. Editorial: Understanding the Growth of the First Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valiante, Rosa; Schneider, Raffaella; Volonteri, Marta

    2016-08-01

    The formation, assembly history, and environmental impact of the massive black holes (BH) that are ubiquitous in the nuclei of luminous galaxies today remain some of the main unsolved problems in cosmic structure formation. In the last several years, it has become clear that quasars are not just tracers of early and recent structure formation, but that they seem to have actively influenced galaxies and clusters through feedback mechanisms that are still not well understood. The discovery of more and more numerous quasars at redshift above 6, powered by BHs with masses similar to that of their local counterparts, further complicates this scenario. This emphasises the urgent need to better understand how and when such massive objects form and grow, what is the strength and scale of their impact on the evolution of their host galaxies, and what are the main physical processes driving and regulating this co-evolution.

  10. Chaotic Accretion and Merging Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nixon, Christopher James

    2012-09-01

    The main driver of the work in this thesis is the idea of chaotic accretion in galaxy centres. Most research in this area focuses on orderly or coherent accretion where supermassive black holes or supermassive black hole binaries are fed with gas always possessing the same sense of angular momentum. If instead gas flows in galaxies are chaotic, feeding occurs through randomly oriented depositions of gas. Previous works show that this chaotic mode of feeding can explain some astrophysical phenomena, such as the lack of correlation between host galaxy structure and the direction of jets. It has also been shown that by keeping the black hole spin low this feeding mechanism can grow supermassive black holes from stellar mass seeds. In this thesis I show that it also alleviates the "final parsec problem" by facilitating the merger of two supermassive black holes, and the growth of supermassive black holes through rapid accretion. I also develop the intriguing possibility of breaking a warped disc into two or more distinct planes.

  11. Horizon growth of supermassive black hole seeds fed with collisional dark matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lora-Clavijo, F. D.; Gracia-Linares, M.; Guzmán, F. S.

    2014-09-01

    We present the accretion of collisional dark matter on a supermassive black hole (SMBH) seed. The analysis is based on the numerical solution of the fully coupled system of Einstein-Euler equations for spherically symmetric flow, where the dark matter is modelled as a perfect fluid that obeys an ideal gas equation of state. As the black hole actually grows, the accretion rate of dark matter corresponds to the black hole apparent horizon growth rate. We analyse cases with infall velocity as high as 0.5c and an environment density of 100 M⊙ pc-3, which are rather extreme conditions. Being the radial flux the maximum accretion case, our results show that the accretion of an ideal gas, eventually collisional dark matter, does not contribute significantly to SMBH masses. This result favours models predicting SMBHs were formed already with supermasses. We show that despite the fact that we are solving the full general relativistic system, for the parameter space studied our results are surprisingly similar to those obtained using the Bondi formula, which somehow certifies its use as a good approximation of a fully evolving space-time with spherical symmetry at short scales at least for dark matter densities. Additionally, we study the density profile of the gas and find that the presence of SMBHs redistributes the gas near the event horizon with a cuspy profile, whereas beyond a small fraction of a parsec it is not cuspy anymore.

  12. THE SUPERNOVA THAT DESTROYED A PROTOGALAXY: PROMPT CHEMICAL ENRICHMENT AND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE GROWTH

    SciTech Connect

    Whalen, Daniel J.; Johnson, Jarrett L.; Smidt, Joseph; Meiksin, Avery; Heger, Alexander; Even, Wesley; Fryer, Chris L.

    2013-09-01

    The first primitive galaxies formed from accretion and mergers by z {approx} 15, and were primarily responsible for cosmological reionization and the chemical enrichment of the early cosmos. But a few of these galaxies may have formed in the presence of strong Lyman-Werner UV fluxes that sterilized them of H{sub 2}, preventing them from forming stars or expelling heavy elements into the intergalactic medium prior to assembly. At masses of 10{sup 8} M{sub Sun} and virial temperatures of 10{sup 4} K, these halos began to rapidly cool by atomic lines, perhaps forming 10{sup 4}-10{sup 6} M{sub Sun} Pop III stars and, later, the seeds of supermassive black holes. We have modeled the explosion of a supermassive Pop III star in the dense core of a line-cooled protogalaxy with the ZEUS-MP code. We find that the supernova (SN) expands to a radius of {approx}1 kpc, briefly engulfing the entire galaxy, but then collapses back into the potential well of the dark matter. Fallback fully mixes the interior of the protogalaxy with metals, igniting a violent starburst and fueling the rapid growth of a massive black hole at its center. The starburst would populate the protogalaxy with stars in greater numbers and at higher metallicities than in more slowly evolving, nearby halos. The SN remnant becomes a strong synchrotron source that can be observed with eVLA and eMERLIN and has a unique signature that easily distinguishes it from less energetic SN remnants. Such explosions, and their attendant starbursts, may well have marked the birthplaces of supermassive black holes on the sky.

  13. The Supernova that Destroyed a Protogalaxy: Prompt Chemical Enrichment and Supermassive Black Hole Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whalen, Daniel J.; Johnson, Jarrett L.; Smidt, Joseph; Meiksin, Avery; Heger, Alexander; Even, Wesley; Fryer, Chris L.

    2013-09-01

    The first primitive galaxies formed from accretion and mergers by z ~ 15, and were primarily responsible for cosmological reionization and the chemical enrichment of the early cosmos. But a few of these galaxies may have formed in the presence of strong Lyman-Werner UV fluxes that sterilized them of H2, preventing them from forming stars or expelling heavy elements into the intergalactic medium prior to assembly. At masses of 108 M ⊙ and virial temperatures of 104 K, these halos began to rapidly cool by atomic lines, perhaps forming 104-106 M ⊙ Pop III stars and, later, the seeds of supermassive black holes. We have modeled the explosion of a supermassive Pop III star in the dense core of a line-cooled protogalaxy with the ZEUS-MP code. We find that the supernova (SN) expands to a radius of ~1 kpc, briefly engulfing the entire galaxy, but then collapses back into the potential well of the dark matter. Fallback fully mixes the interior of the protogalaxy with metals, igniting a violent starburst and fueling the rapid growth of a massive black hole at its center. The starburst would populate the protogalaxy with stars in greater numbers and at higher metallicities than in more slowly evolving, nearby halos. The SN remnant becomes a strong synchrotron source that can be observed with eVLA and eMERLIN and has a unique signature that easily distinguishes it from less energetic SN remnants. Such explosions, and their attendant starbursts, may well have marked the birthplaces of supermassive black holes on the sky.

  14. SUPERMASSIVE SEEDS FOR SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Jarrett L.; Whalen, Daniel J.; Li Hui; Holz, Daniel E.

    2013-07-10

    Recent observations of quasars powered by supermassive black holes (SMBHs) out to z {approx}> 7 constrain both the initial seed masses and the growth of the most massive black holes (BHs) in the early universe. Here we elucidate the implications of the radiative feedback from early generations of stars and from BH accretion for popular models for the formation and growth of seed BHs. We show that by properly accounting for (1) the limited role of mergers in growing seed BHs as inferred from cosmological simulations of early star formation and radiative feedback, (2) the sub-Eddington accretion rates of BHs expected at the earliest times, and (3) the large radiative efficiencies {epsilon} of the most massive BHs inferred from observations of active galactic nuclei at high redshift ({epsilon} {approx}> 0.1), we are led to the conclusion that the initial BH seeds may have been as massive as {approx}> 10{sup 5} M{sub Sun }. This presents a strong challenge to the Population III seed model, which calls for seed masses of {approx}100 M{sub Sun} and, even with constant Eddington-limited accretion, requires {epsilon} {approx}< 0.09 to explain the highest-z SMBHs in today's standard {Lambda}CDM cosmological model. It is, however, consistent with the prediction of the direct collapse scenario of SMBH seed formation, in which a supermassive primordial star forms in a region of the universe with a high molecule-dissociating background radiation field, and collapses directly into a 10{sup 4}-10{sup 6} M{sub Sun} seed BH. These results corroborate recent cosmological simulations and observational campaigns which suggest that these massive BHs were the seeds of a large fraction of the SMBHs residing in the centers of galaxies today.

  15. Supermassive Black Hole Binaries: The Search Continues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdanović, Tamara

    Gravitationally bound supermassive black hole binaries (SBHBs) are thought to be a natural product of galactic mergers and growth of the large scale structure in the universe. They however remain observationally elusive, thus raising a question about characteristic observational signatures associated with these systems. In this conference proceeding I discuss current theoretical understanding and latest advances and prospects in observational searches for SBHBs.

  16. Major galaxy mergers and the growth of supermassive black holes in quasars.

    PubMed

    Treister, Ezequiel; Natarajan, Priyamvada; Sanders, David B; Urry, C Megan; Schawinski, Kevin; Kartaltepe, Jeyhan

    2010-04-30

    Despite observed strong correlations between central supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and star formation in galactic nuclei, uncertainties exist in our understanding of their coupling. We present observations of the ratio of heavily obscured to unobscured quasars as a function of cosmic epoch up to z congruent with 3 and show that a simple physical model describing mergers of massive, gas-rich galaxies matches these observations. In the context of this model, every obscured and unobscured quasar represents two distinct phases that result from a massive galaxy merger event. Much of the mass growth of the SMBH occurs during the heavily obscured phase. These observations provide additional evidence for a causal link between gas-rich galaxy mergers, accretion onto the nuclear SMBH, and coeval star formation. PMID:20339033

  17. Close supermassive binary black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaskell, C. Martin

    2010-01-01

    It has been proposed that when the peaks of the broad emission lines in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are significantly blueshifted or redshifted from the systemic velocity of the host galaxy, this could be a consequence of orbital motion of a supermassive blackhole binary (SMB). The AGN J1536+0441 (=SDSS J153636.22+044127.0) has recently been proposed as an example of this phenomenon. It is proposed here instead that 1536+044 is an example of line emission from a disc. If this is correct, the lack of clear optical spectral evidence for close SMBs is significant and argues either that the merging of close SMBs is much faster than has generally been hitherto thought, or if the approach is slow, that when the separation of the binary is comparable to the size of the torus and broad-line region, the feeding of the black holes is disrupted.

  18. Probing the growth of supermassive black holes at z > 6 with LOFAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhook, Kirsty J.; Haehnelt, Martin G.

    2006-12-01

    HII regions surrounding supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in an otherwise still neutral intergalactic medium (IGM) are likely to be the most easily detectable sources by future 21-cm experiments like LOFAR. We have made predictions for the size distribution of such HII regions for several physically motivated models for BH growth at high redshift and compared this to the expected LOFAR sensitivity to these sources. The number of potentially detectable HII regions does not only depend on the ionization state of the IGM and the decoupling of the spin temperature of the neutral hydrogen from the cosmic microwave background temperature, but is also strongly sensitive to the rate of growth of BHs at high redshift. If the SMBHs at redshift 6 were built up via continuous Eddington-limited accretion from low mass seed BHs at high redshift, then LOFAR is not expected to detect isolated QSO HII regions at redshifts much larger than 6, and only if the IGM is still significantly neutral. If the high-redshift growth of BHs starts with massive seed BHs and is driven by short-lived accretion events following the merging of BH hosting galaxies then the detection of HII regions surrounding SMBHs may extend to redshifts as large as 8-9 but is still very sensitive to the redshift to which the IGM remains significantly neutral. The most optimistic predictions are for a model where the SMBHs at z > 6 have grown slowly. HII regions around SMBHs may then be detected to significantly larger redshifts.

  19. BLACK HOLE MASS ESTIMATES AND RAPID GROWTH OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES IN LUMINOUS z ∼ 3.5 QUASARS

    SciTech Connect

    Zuo, Wenwen; Wu, Xue-Bing; Fan, Xiaohui; Green, Richard; Wang, Ran; Bian, Fuyan

    2015-02-01

    We present new near-infrared (IR) observations of the Hβ λ4861 and Mg II λ2798 lines for 32 luminous quasars with 3.2 < z < 3.9 using the Palomar Hale 200 inch telescope and the Large Binocular Telescope. We find that the Mg II FWHM is well correlated with the Hβ FWHM, confirming itself as a good substitute for the Hβ FWHM in the black hole mass estimates. The continuum luminosity at 5100 Å well correlates with the continuum luminosity at 3000 Å and the broad emission line luminosities (Hβ and Mg II). With simultaneous near-IR spectroscopy of the Hβ and Mg II lines to exclude the influences of flux variability, we are able to evaluate the reliability of estimating black hole masses based on the Mg II line for high redshift quasars. With the reliable Hβ line based black hole mass and Eddington ratio estimates, we find that the z ∼ 3.5 quasars in our sample have black hole masses 1.90 × 10{sup 9} M {sub ☉} ≲ M {sub BH} ≲ 1.37 × 10{sup 10} M {sub ☉}, with a median of ∼5.14 × 10{sup 9} M {sub ☉} and are accreting at Eddington ratios between 0.30 and 3.05, with a median of ∼1.12. Assuming a duty cycle of 1 and a seed black hole mass of 10{sup 4} M {sub ☉}, we show that the z ∼ 3.5 quasars in this sample can grow to their estimated black hole masses within the age of the universe at their redshifts.

  20. Black Hole Mass Estimates and Rapid Growth of Supermassive Black Holes in Luminous z ~ 3.5 Quasars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Wenwen; Wu, Xue-Bing; Fan, Xiaohui; Green, Richard; Wang, Ran; Bian, Fuyan

    2015-02-01

    We present new near-infrared (IR) observations of the Hβ λ4861 and Mg II λ2798 lines for 32 luminous quasars with 3.2 < z < 3.9 using the Palomar Hale 200 inch telescope and the Large Binocular Telescope. We find that the Mg II FWHM is well correlated with the Hβ FWHM, confirming itself as a good substitute for the Hβ FWHM in the black hole mass estimates. The continuum luminosity at 5100 Å well correlates with the continuum luminosity at 3000 Å and the broad emission line luminosities (Hβ and Mg II). With simultaneous near-IR spectroscopy of the Hβ and Mg II lines to exclude the influences of flux variability, we are able to evaluate the reliability of estimating black hole masses based on the Mg II line for high redshift quasars. With the reliable Hβ line based black hole mass and Eddington ratio estimates, we find that the z ~ 3.5 quasars in our sample have black hole masses 1.90 × 109 M ⊙ <~ M BH <~ 1.37 × 1010 M ⊙, with a median of ~5.14 × 109 M ⊙ and are accreting at Eddington ratios between 0.30 and 3.05, with a median of ~1.12. Assuming a duty cycle of 1 and a seed black hole mass of 104 M ⊙, we show that the z ~ 3.5 quasars in this sample can grow to their estimated black hole masses within the age of the universe at their redshifts.

  1. Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filloux, Charline; de Freitas Pacheco, J. A.; Durier, Fabrice; Silk, Joseph

    2010-05-01

    Cosmological simulations describing both the evolution of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies were performed by using the tree PM-SPH code GADGET-2 (Springel 2005). Physical mechanisms affecting the dynamics and the physical conditions of the gas (ionization and cooling processes, local heating by stars, injection of mechanical energy by supernovae, chemical enrichment) were introduced in the present version of the code (Filloux 2009). Black holes in a state of accretion (AGNs) also inject mechanical energy in the surrounding medium, contributing for quenching the star formation activity. In all simulations a ΛCDM cosmology was adopted (h = 0.7, ΩΛ=0.7, Ωm=0.3, Ωb=0.046 and σ8=0.9). Simulations were performed in a volume with a side of 50h-1 Mpc, starting at z = 50 and through the present time (z = 0). For low and intermediate resolution runs, the initial gas mass particles are respectively 5.35× 108 M⊙ and 3.09×108 M⊙. Black holes (BHs) are represented by collisionless particles and seeds of 100 M⊙ were introduced in density peaks at z = 15, growing either by accretion or coalescence. The accretion rate from the “disk mode” is based on a turbulent viscous thin disk model whereas in the “spherical mode” the rate is given by the Bondi-Hoyle formula. When accreting matter, jets, modeled by conical regions perpendicular to the disk plane, inject kinetic energy into the surrounding medium. Two models were tested: in the first, the injected energy rate is about 10% of the gravitational energy rate released in the accretion process while in the second, the injected energy rate is based on the Blandford & Znajek (1977) mechanism. All simulations give, at z = 0, similar black hole mass function but they overestimate slightly the BH density for masses above ~ 108 M⊙. The resulting BH density in this mass range is affected by feedback processes since they control the amount of gas available for accretion. The present simulations are not

  2. Offset active galactic nuclei as tracers of galaxy mergers and supermassive black hole growth

    SciTech Connect

    Comerford, Julia M.; Greene, Jenny E.

    2014-07-10

    Offset active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are AGNs that are in ongoing galaxy mergers, which produce kinematic offsets in the AGNs relative to their host galaxies. Offset AGNs are also close relatives of dual AGNs. We conduct a systematic search for offset AGNs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey by selecting AGN emission lines that exhibit statistically significant line-of-sight velocity offsets relative to systemic. From a parent sample of 18,314 Type 2 AGNs at z < 0.21, we identify 351 offset AGN candidates with velocity offsets of 50 km s{sup –1} < |Δv| < 410 km s{sup –1}. When we account for projection effects in the observed velocities, we estimate that 4%-8% of AGNs are offset AGNs. We designed our selection criteria to bypass velocity offsets produced by rotating gas disks, AGN outflows, and gravitational recoil of supermassive black holes, but follow-up observations are still required to confirm our candidates as offset AGNs. We find that the fraction of AGNs that are offset candidates increases with AGN bolometric luminosity, from 0.7% to 6% over the luminosity range 43 < log (L{sub bol}) [erg s{sup –1}] <46. If these candidates are shown to be bona fide offset AGNs, then this would be direct observational evidence that galaxy mergers preferentially trigger high-luminosity AGNs. Finally, we find that the fraction of AGNs that are offset AGN candidates increases from 1.9% at z = 0.1 to 32% at z = 0.7, in step with the growth in the galaxy merger fraction over the same redshift range.

  3. Connecting galaxy and supermassive black hole growth during the last 8 billion years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juneau, Stephanie

    It has become increasingly clear that a complete picture of galaxy evolution requires a better understanding of the role of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). In particular, they could be responsible for regulating star formation and galaxy growth via feedback processes. There are also competing views about the main modes of stellar growth and supermassive black hole growth in galaxies that need to be resolved. With high infrared luminosities (thus star formation rates) and a frequent occurrence of AGN, galaxies selected in the far-infrared wavebands form an ideal sample to search for a connection between AGN and star formation. The first part of this thesis contains a detailed analysis of the molecular gas properties of nearby infrared luminous and ultraluminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs and ULIRGs). We find that the enhanced molecular gas density in the most IR-luminous systems can be explained by major galaxy mergers, and that AGN are more likely to reside in higher-density systems. While the frequent concurrence of AGN and galaxy mergers in ULIRGs was already established, this work provides a coherent framework that explains trends observed with five molecular gas tracers with a broad range of critical densities, and a comparison with simulations that reproduce observed molecular line ratios without invoking AGN-induced chemistry. The second part of the thesis presents an analysis of the AGN content of intermediate redshift galaxies (0.3 < z < 1). However, identifying complete AGN samples at these redshift is challenging because it is difficult to find X-ray weak or absorbed AGN. To alleviate this problem, we developed the Mass-Excitation (MEx) diagram, which is applicable out to redshift of ˜ 1 with existing optical spectra. It improves the overall AGN census by detecting AGN that are missed in even the most sensitive X-ray surveys. The new diagnostic was used to study the concurrence of star formation and AGN in 70 micron-selected galaxies from the Far

  4. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ON THE GROWTH OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES AND ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEUS FEEDBACK

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, Min-Su; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.; Ciotti, Luca

    2012-01-20

    We investigate how environmental effects by gas stripping alter the growth of a supermassive black hole (SMBH) and its host galaxy evolution, by means of one-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations that include both mechanical and radiative active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback effects. By changing the truncation radius of the gas distribution (R{sub t} ), beyond which gas stripping is assumed to be effective, we simulate possible environments for satellite and central galaxies in galaxy clusters and groups. The continuous escape of gas outside the truncation radius strongly suppresses star formation, while the growth of the SMBH is less affected by gas stripping because the SMBH accretion is primarily ruled by the density of the central region. As we allow for increasing environmental effects-the truncation radius decreasing from about 410 to 50 kpc-we find that the final SMBH mass declines from about 10{sup 9} to 8 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8} M{sub Sun }, but the outflowing mass is roughly constant at about 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 10} M{sub Sun }. There are larger changes in the mass of stars formed, which declines from about 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 10} to 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 9} M{sub Sun }, and the final thermal X-ray gas, which declines from about 10{sup 9} to 5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8} M{sub Sun }, with increasing environmental stripping. Most dramatic is the decline in the total time that the objects would be seen as quasars, which declines from 52 Myr (for R{sub t} = 377 kpc) to 7.9 Myr (for R{sub t} = 51 kpc). The typical case might be interpreted as a red and dead galaxy having episodic cooling flows followed by AGN feedback effects resulting in temporary transitions of the overall galaxy color from red to green or to blue, with (cluster) central galaxies spending a much larger fraction of their time in the elevated state than do satellite galaxies. Our results imply that various scaling relations for elliptical galaxies, in

  5. Simulating the growth of a disk galaxy and its supermassive black hole in a cosmological context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, Robyn

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are ubiquitous in the centers of galaxies. Their formation and subsequent evolution is inextricably linked to that of their host galaxies, and the study of galaxy formation is incomplete without the inclusion of SMBHs. The present work seeks to understand the growth and evolution of SMBHs through their interaction with the host galaxy and its environment. In the first part of the thesis (Chap. 2 and 3), we combine a simple semi-analytic model of outflows from active galactic nuclei (AGN) with a simulated dark matter density distribution to study the impact of SMBH feedback on cosmological scales. We find that constraints can be placed on the kinetic efficiency of such feedback using observations of the filling fraction of the Ly-a forest. We also find that AGN feedback is energetic enough to redistribute baryons over cosmological distances, having potentially significant effects on the interpretation of cosmological data which are sensitive to the total matter density distribution (e.g. weak lensing). However, truly assessing the impact of AGN feedback in the universe necessitates large-dynamic range simulations with extensive treatment of baryonic physics to first model the fueling of SMBHs. In the second part of the thesis (Chap. 4-6) we use a hydrodynamic adaptive mesh refinement simulation to follow the growth and evolution of a typical disk galaxy hosting a SMBH, in a cosmological context. The simulation covers a dynamical range of 10 million allowing us to study the transport of matter and angular momentum from super-galactic scales all the way down to the outer edge of the accretion disk around the SMBH. Focusing our attention on the central few hundred parsecs of the galaxy, we find the presence of a cold, self-gravitating, molecular gas disk which is globally unstable. The global instabilities drive super-sonic turbulence, which maintains local stability and allows gas to fuel a SMBH without first fragmenting completely

  6. Aspects of Supermassive Black Hole Growth in Nearby Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lena, Davide

    Super-massive black holes (SBHs) have long been identified as the engines of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and are now considered to play a key role in galaxy evolution. In this dissertation I present results from two observational studies conducted on nearby AGNs with the aim of furthering our understanding of SBH growth and their interplay with the host galaxies. The first study is an observational search for SBHs spatially offset from the center of their host galaxies. Such offsets can be considered signatures of gravitational recoil following the coalescence of an SBH binary system (formed in the aftermath of a galaxy merger) due to emission of gravitational waves. The study is based on a photometric analysis of fourteen nearby elliptical galaxies observed with the Hubble Space Telescope. I find that parsec-scale offsets are common. However, while these are individually consistent with residual gravitational recoil oscillations, there is a high probability that larger offsets than those actually observed should have been found in the sample as a whole. There are a number of possible explanations for this result: the galaxy merger rate may be lower than current estimates; SBH-binaries may reach the merger stage with a configuration which minimizes recoil velocities; or the SBH oscillations are more quickly damped than predicted. In the second study I use integral field spectroscopy obtained with the Gemini South telescope to investigate the kinematics of the circum-nuclear ionized gas in two active galaxies: NGC 1386, a Seyfert 2, and NGC 1365, a Seyfert 1. The goal of the study is to investigate outflows in low-luminosity AGNs, and the mechanisms channeling gas (the SBH fuel) from the inner kiloparsec down to a few tens of parsecs from the SBH. I find that the dominant kinematic components can be explained as a combination of rotation in the large-scale galactic disk and compact outflows along the axis of the AGN "radiation cone". However, in the case of NGC

  7. Star formation around supermassive black holes.

    PubMed

    Bonnell, I A; Rice, W K M

    2008-08-22

    The presence of young massive stars orbiting on eccentric rings within a few tenths of a parsec of the supermassive black hole in the galactic center is challenging for theories of star formation. The high tidal shear from the black hole should tear apart the molecular clouds that form stars elsewhere in the Galaxy, and transport of stars to the galactic center also appears unlikely during their lifetimes. We conducted numerical simulations of the infall of a giant molecular cloud that interacts with the black hole. The transfer of energy during closest approach allows part of the cloud to become bound to the black hole, forming an eccentric disk that quickly fragments to form stars. Compressional heating due to the black hole raises the temperature of the gas up to several hundred to several thousand kelvin, ensuring that the fragmentation produces relatively high stellar masses. These stars retain the eccentricity of the disk and, for a sufficiently massive initial cloud, produce an extremely top-heavy distribution of stellar masses. This potentially repetitive process may explain the presence of multiple eccentric rings of young stars in the presence of a supermassive black hole. PMID:18719276

  8. Possible evolution of supermassive black holes from FRI quasars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Matthew I.; Christian, Damian J.; Garofalo, David; D'Avanzo, Jaclyn

    2016-08-01

    We explore the question of the rapid buildup of black hole mass in the early universe employing a growing black hole mass-based determination of both jet and disk powers predicted in recent theoretical work on black hole accretion and jet formation. Despite simplified, even artificial assumptions about accretion and mergers, we identify an interesting low probability channel for the growth of one billion solar mass black holes within hundreds of millions of years of the Big Bang without appealing to super Eddington accretion. This result is made more compelling by the recognition of a connection between this channel and an end product involving active galaxies with FRI radio morphology but weaker jet powers in mildly sub-Eddington accretion regimes. While FRI quasars have already been shown to occupy a small region of the available parameter space for black hole feedback in the paradigm, we further suggest that the observational dearth of FRI quasars is also related to their connection to the most massive black hole growth due to both these FRIs high redshifts and relative weakness. Our results also allow us to construct the AGN luminosity function at high redshift, that agree with recent studies. In short, we produce a connection between the unexplained paucity of a given family of active galactic nuclei and the rapid growth of supermassive black holes, two heretofore seemingly unrelated aspects of the physics of active galactic nuclei.

  9. Possible evolution of supermassive black holes from FRI quasars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Matthew I.; Christian, Damian J.; Garofalo, David; D'Avanzo, Jaclyn

    2016-08-01

    We explore the question of the rapid buildup of black hole mass in the early universe employing a growing black hole mass-based determination of both jet and disc powers predicted in recent theoretical work on black hole accretion and jet formation. Despite simplified, even artificial assumptions about accretion and mergers, we identify an interesting low probability channel for the growth of one billion solar mass black holes within hundreds of millions of years of the big bang without appealing to super Eddington accretion. This result is made more compelling by the recognition of a connection between this channel and an end product involving active galaxies with FRI radio morphology but weaker jet powers in mildly sub-Eddington accretion regimes. While FRI quasars have already been shown to occupy a small region of the available parameter space for black hole feedback in the paradigm, we further suggest that the observational dearth of FRI quasars is also related to their connection to the most massive black hole growth due to both these FRIs high redshifts and relative weakness. Our results also allow us to construct the AGN (active galactic nucleus) luminosity function at high redshift, that agree with recent studies. In short, we produce a connection between the unexplained paucity of a given family of AGNs and the rapid growth of supermassive black holes, two heretofore seemingly unrelated aspects of the physics of AGNs.

  10. How to Build a Supermassive Black Hole

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wanjek, Christopher

    2003-01-01

    NASA astronomer Kim Weaver has got that sinking feeling. You know, it's that unsettling notion you get when you sift through your X-ray data and, to your surprise, find mid-sized black holes sinking toward the center of a galaxy, where they merge with others to form a single supermassive black hole. Could such a thing be true? These would be the largest mergers since America On Line bought Time-Warner, and perhaps even more violent. The process would turn a starburst galaxy inside out, making it more like a quasar host galaxy. Using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, Weaver saw a hint of this fantastic process in a relatively nearby starburst galaxy named NGC 253 in the constellation Sculptor. She noticed that starburst galaxies - those gems set aglow in a colorful life cycle of hyperactive star birth, death, and renewal - seem to have a higher concentration of mid-mass black holes compared to other galaxies.

  11. The imprint of the cosmic supermassive black hole growth history on the 21 cm background radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Takamitsu L.; O'Leary, Ryan M.; Perna, Rosalba

    2016-01-01

    The redshifted 21 cm transition line of hydrogen tracks the thermal evolution of the neutral intergalactic medium (IGM) at `cosmic dawn', during the emergence of the first luminous astrophysical objects (˜100 Myr after the big bang) but before these objects ionized the IGM (˜400-800 Myr after the big bang). Because X-rays, in particular, are likely to be the chief energy courier for heating the IGM, measurements of the 21 cm signature can be used to infer knowledge about the first astrophysical X-ray sources. Using analytic arguments and a numerical population synthesis algorithm, we argue that the progenitors of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) should be the dominant source of hard astrophysical X-rays - and thus the primary driver of IGM heating and the 21 cm signature - at redshifts z ≳ 20, if (i) they grow readily from the remnants of Population III stars and (ii) produce X-rays in quantities comparable to what is observed from active galactic nuclei and high-mass X-ray binaries. We show that models satisfying these assumptions dominate over contributions to IGM heating from stellar populations, and cause the 21 cm brightness temperature to rise at z ≳ 20. An absence of such a signature in the forthcoming observational data would imply that SMBH formation occurred later (e.g. via so-called direct collapse scenarios), that it was not a common occurrence in early galaxies and protogalaxies, or that it produced far fewer X-rays than empirical trends at lower redshifts, either due to intrinsic dimness (radiative inefficiency) or Compton-thick obscuration close to the source.

  12. The Stripe 82X Multiwavelength Survey of Supermassive Black Hole Growth in Powerful AGN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urry, C. Megan; LaMassa, Stephanie M.; Cappelluti, Nico; Ananna, Tonima; Salvato, Mara; Civano, Francesca; Marchesi, Stefano; Comastri, Andrea; Richards, Gordon T.; Glikman, Eilat; Boehringer, Hans; Brusa, Marcella; Cardamone, Carolin; Chon, Gayoung; Farrah, Duncan; Gilfanov, Marat; Green, Paul J.; Komossa, Stefanie; Lira, Paulina; Makler, Martin; Pecoraro, Robert; Ranalli, Piero; Schawinski, Kevin; Stern, Daniel K.; Treister, Ezequiel; Viero, Marco; Stripe 82X Collaboration

    2016-01-01

    Deep multiwavelength surveys over the past 15 years have told us that most black hole growth in low- to moderate-luminosity AGN is obscured, and thus not well sampled by optical or soft X-ray surveys. To study whether this also holds for high-luminosity AGN, however, requires a large volume survey (because luminous AGN are rare) that is sensitive to hard X-ray plus infrared emission out to high redshifts. Stripe 82X is exactly this survey — it adds X-ray coverage at F(0.5-10 keV) ≥ 10-15 ergs/cm^2/s to an equatorial legacy field with abundant data at other wavelengths, including far- and mid-infrared imaging (Herschel, Spitzer, WISE, UKIDSS, VHS, VICS82), deep radio imaging (VLA), deep optical imaging (SDSS, HSC, DES, CFHT), UV imaging (GALEX medium-depth), and extensive optical spectroscopy (~800 spectra per square degree). The current 31.3 deg2 X-ray catalog has 6181 unique X-ray sources, of which 88% have optical or infrared counterparts and 1842 have spectroscopic redshifts. We present the characteristics of this source population and describe our search for high-luminosity and/or high-redshift obscured quasars.

  13. Bright vigorous winds as signposts of supermassive black hole birth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiacconi, Davide; Rossi, Elena M.

    2016-01-01

    The formation of supermassive black holes is still an outstanding question. In the quasi-star scenario, black hole seeds experience an initial super-Eddington growth, that in less than a million years may leave a 104-105 M⊙ black hole at the centre of a protogalaxy at z ˜ 20-10. Super-Eddington accretion, however, may be accompanied by vigorous mass-loss that can limit the amount of mass that reaches the black hole. In this paper, we critically assess the impact of radiative driven winds, launched from the surface of the massive envelopes from which the black hole accretes. Solving the full wind equations coupled with the hydrostatic structure of the envelope, we find mass outflows with rates between a few tens and 104 M⊙ yr-1, mainly powered by advection luminosity within the outflow. We therefore confirm the claim by Dotan et al. that mass losses can severely affect the black hole seed early growth within a quasi-star. In particular, seeds with mass >104 M⊙ can only form within mass reservoirs ≳107 M⊙, unless they are refilled at huge rates (≳100 M⊙ yr-1). This may imply that only very massive haloes (>109 M⊙) at those redshifts can harbour massive seeds. Contrary to previous claims, these winds are expected to be relatively bright (1044-1047 erg s-1), blue (Teff ˜ 8000 K) objects, that while eluding the Hubble Space Telescope, could be observed by the James Webb Space Telescope.

  14. Cold, clumpy accretion onto an active supermassive black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, Grant R.; Oonk, J. B. Raymond; Combes, Françoise; Salomé, Philippe; O'Dea, Christopher P.; Baum, Stefi A.; Voit, G. Mark; Donahue, Megan; McNamara, Brian R.; Davis, Timothy A.; McDonald, Michael A.; Edge, Alastair C.; Clarke, Tracy E.; Galván-Madrid, Roberto; Bremer, Malcolm N.; Edwards, Louise O. V.; Fabian, Andrew C.; Hamer, Stephen; Li, Yuan; Maury, Anaëlle; Russell, Helen R.; Quillen, Alice C.; Urry, C. Megan; Sanders, Jeremy S.; Wise, Michael W.

    2016-06-01

    Supermassive black holes in galaxy centres can grow by the accretion of gas, liberating energy that might regulate star formation on galaxy-wide scales. The nature of the gaseous fuel reservoirs that power black hole growth is nevertheless largely unconstrained by observations, and is instead routinely simplified as a smooth, spherical inflow of very hot gas. Recent theory and simulations instead predict that accretion can be dominated by a stochastic, clumpy distribution of very cold molecular clouds—a departure from the ‘hot mode’ accretion model—although unambiguous observational support for this prediction remains elusive. Here we report observations that reveal a cold, clumpy accretion flow towards a supermassive black hole fuel reservoir in the nucleus of the Abell 2597 Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG), a nearby (redshift z = 0.0821) giant elliptical galaxy surrounded by a dense halo of hot plasma. Under the right conditions, thermal instabilities produce a rain of cold clouds that fall towards the galaxy’s centre, sustaining star formation amid a kiloparsec-scale molecular nebula that is found at its core. The observations show that these cold clouds also fuel black hole accretion, revealing ‘shadows’ cast by the molecular clouds as they move inward at about 300 kilometres per second towards the active supermassive black hole, which serves as a bright backlight. Corroborating evidence from prior observations of warmer atomic gas at extremely high spatial resolution, along with simple arguments based on geometry and probability, indicate that these clouds are within the innermost hundred parsecs of the black hole, and falling closer towards it.

  15. Cold, clumpy accretion onto an active supermassive black hole.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Grant R; Oonk, J B Raymond; Combes, Françoise; Salomé, Philippe; O'Dea, Christopher P; Baum, Stefi A; Voit, G Mark; Donahue, Megan; McNamara, Brian R; Davis, Timothy A; McDonald, Michael A; Edge, Alastair C; Clarke, Tracy E; Galván-Madrid, Roberto; Bremer, Malcolm N; Edwards, Louise O V; Fabian, Andrew C; Hamer, Stephen; Li, Yuan; Maury, Anaëlle; Russell, Helen R; Quillen, Alice C; Urry, C Megan; Sanders, Jeremy S; Wise, Michael W

    2016-06-01

    Supermassive black holes in galaxy centres can grow by the accretion of gas, liberating energy that might regulate star formation on galaxy-wide scales. The nature of the gaseous fuel reservoirs that power black hole growth is nevertheless largely unconstrained by observations, and is instead routinely simplified as a smooth, spherical inflow of very hot gas. Recent theory and simulations instead predict that accretion can be dominated by a stochastic, clumpy distribution of very cold molecular clouds--a departure from the 'hot mode' accretion model--although unambiguous observational support for this prediction remains elusive. Here we report observations that reveal a cold, clumpy accretion flow towards a supermassive black hole fuel reservoir in the nucleus of the Abell 2597 Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG), a nearby (redshift z = 0.0821) giant elliptical galaxy surrounded by a dense halo of hot plasma. Under the right conditions, thermal instabilities produce a rain of cold clouds that fall towards the galaxy's centre, sustaining star formation amid a kiloparsec-scale molecular nebula that is found at its core. The observations show that these cold clouds also fuel black hole accretion, revealing 'shadows' cast by the molecular clouds as they move inward at about 300 kilometres per second towards the active supermassive black hole, which serves as a bright backlight. Corroborating evidence from prior observations of warmer atomic gas at extremely high spatial resolution, along with simple arguments based on geometry and probability, indicate that these clouds are within the innermost hundred parsecs of the black hole, and falling closer towards it. PMID:27279215

  16. Bringing Black Holes Together: How Supermassive Black Hole Binaries Form and Plunge Through the Final Parsec

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holley-Bockelmann, Kelly

    2016-04-01

    Astronomers now know that supermassive black holes reside in nearly every galaxy.Though these black holes are an observational certainty, nearly every aspect of their evolution -- from their birth, to their fuel source, to their basic dynamics -- is a matter of lively debate. In principle, gas-rich major galaxy mergers can generate the central stockpile of fuel needed for a low mass central black hole seed to grow quickly into a supermassive one. During a galaxy merger, the black holes in each galaxy meet and form a supermassive binary black hole; as the binary orbit shrinks through its final parsec, it becomes the loudest gravitational wave source in the Universe and a powerful agent to sculpt the galactic center. This talk will touch on some current and ongoing work on refining our theories of how supermassive black hole binaries form, evolve within, and alter their galaxy host.

  17. Supermassive Black Hole Mimics Smaller Cousins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2002-06-01

    Scientists have caught a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy in the act of spurting energy into a jet of electrons and magnetic fields four distinct times in the past three years, a celestial take on a Yellowstone geyser. This quasar-like "active" galaxy is essentially a scaled-up model of the so-called microquasars within our Milky Way Galaxy, which are smaller black holes with as much as ten times the mass of the sun. This means that scientists can now use their close-up view of microquasars to develop working models of the most massive and powerful black holes in the universe. Artist's Conception of 3C 120. Scene from an animation of 3C 120. CREDIT: Cosmovision These results -- published in the June 6 issue of Nature -- are the fruit of a three-year monitoring campaign with the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), a continent-wide radio-telescope system, and NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. "This is the first direct, observational evidence of what we had suspected: The jets in active galaxies are powered by disks of hot gas orbiting around supermassive black holes," said Alan Marscher of the Institute for Astrophysical Research at Boston University, who led this international team of astronomers. Active galaxies are distant celestial objects with exceedingly bright cores, often radiating with the brilliance of thousands of ordinary galaxies, fueled by the gravity of a central million- to billion-solar-mass black hole pulling in copious amounts of interstellar gas. Marscher and his colleagues have established the first direct observational link between a supermassive black hole and its jet. The source is an active galaxy named 3C120 about 450 million light-years from Earth. This link has been observed in microquasars, several of which are scattered across the Milky Way Galaxy, but never before in active galaxies, because the scale (distance and time) is so much greater. The jets in galaxy 3C120 are streams of particles

  18. Observational signatures of binary supermassive black holes

    SciTech Connect

    Roedig, Constanze; Krolik, Julian H.; Miller, M. Coleman

    2014-04-20

    Observations indicate that most massive galaxies contain a supermassive black hole, and theoretical studies suggest that when such galaxies have a major merger, the central black holes will form a binary and eventually coalesce. Here we discuss two spectral signatures of such binaries that may help distinguish them from ordinary active galactic nuclei. These signatures are expected when the mass ratio between the holes is not extreme and the system is fed by a circumbinary disk. One such signature is a notch in the thermal continuum that has been predicted by other authors; we point out that it should be accompanied by a spectral revival at shorter wavelengths and also discuss its dependence on binary properties such as mass, mass ratio, and separation. In particular, we note that the wavelength λ {sub n} at which the notch occurs depends on these three parameters in such a way as to make the number of systems displaying these notches ∝λ{sub n}{sup 16/3}; longer wavelength searches are therefore strongly favored. A second signature, first discussed here, is hard X-ray emission with a Wien-like spectrum at a characteristic temperature ∼100 keV produced by Compton cooling of the shock generated when streams from the circumbinary disk hit the accretion disks around the individual black holes. We investigate the observability of both signatures. The hard X-ray signal may be particularly valuable as it can provide an indicator of black hole merger a few decades in advance of the event.

  19. Supermassive black holes in galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kormendy, John; Gebhardt, Karl

    2001-10-01

    We review the motivation and search for supermassive black holes (BHs) in galaxies. Energetic nuclear activity provides indirect but compelling evidence for BH engines. Ground-based dynamical searches for central dark objects are reviewed in Kormendy & Richstone (1995, ARA&A, 33, 581). Here we provide an update of results from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). This has greatly accelerated the detection rate. As of 2001 March, dynamical BH detections are available for at least 37 galaxies. The demographics of these objects lead to the following conclusions: (1) BH mass correlates with the luminosity of the bulge component of the host galaxy, albeit with considerable scatter. The median BH mass fraction is 0.13% of the mass of the bulge. (2) BH mass correlates with the mean velocity dispersion of the bulge inside its effective radius, i.e., with how strongly the bulge stars are gravitationally bound to each other. For the best mass determinations, the scatter is consistent with the measurement errors. (3) BH mass correlates with the luminosity of the high-density central component in disk galaxies independent of whether this is a real bulge (a mini-elliptical, believed to form via a merger-induced dissipative collapse and starburst) or a ``pseudobulge'' (believed to form by inward transport of disk material). (4) BH mass does not correlate with the luminosity of galaxy disks. If pure disks contain BHs (and active nuclei imply that some do), then their masses are much smaller than 0.13% of the mass of the disk. We conclude that present observations show no dependence of BH mass on the details of whether BH feeding happens rapidly during a collapse or slowly via secular evolution of the disk. The above results increasingly support the hypothesis that the major events that form a bulge or elliptical galaxy and the main growth phases of its BH-when it shone like a quasar-were the same events. .

  20. Magnetic fields during the formation of supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latif, M. A.; Schleicher, D. R. G.; Schmidt, W.

    2014-05-01

    Observations of quasars at z > 6 report the existence of a billion solar mass black holes. Comprehending their formation in such a short time-scale is a matter of ongoing research. One of the most promising scenarios to assemble supermassive black holes is a monolithic collapse of protogalactic gas clouds in atomic cooling haloes with Tvir ≥ 104 K. In this paper, we study the amplification and impact of magnetic fields during the formation of seed black holes in massive primordial haloes. We perform high-resolution cosmological magnetohydrodynamic simulations for four distinct haloes and follow their collapse for a few free-fall times until the simulations reach a peak density of 7 × 10-10 g cm-3. Our findings show that irrespective of the initial seed field, the magnetic field strength reaches a saturated state in the presence of strong accretion shocks. Under such conditions, the growth time becomes very short and amplification occurs rapidly within a small fraction of the free-fall time. We find that the presence of such strong magnetic fields provides additional support against gravity and helps in suppressing fragmentation. Massive clumps of a few hundred solar masses are formed at the end of our simulations and high accretion rates of 1 M⊙ yr-1 are observed. We expect that in the presence of such accretion rates, the clumps will grow to form supermassive stars of ˜105 M⊙. Overall, the role of the magnetic fields seems supportive for the formation of massive black holes.

  1. Relativistic Collapse of Rotating Supermassive Stars to Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, Stuart L.

    2003-10-01

    There is compelling evidence that supermassive black holes (SMBHs) exist. Yet the origin of these objects, or their seeds, is still unknown. We are performing general relativistic simulations of gravitational collapse to black holes in different scenarios to help reveal how SMBH seeds might arise in the universe. SMBHs with ~ 109 Msolar must have formed by z > 6, or within 109 yrs after the Big Bang, to power quasars. It may be difficult for gas accretion to build up such a SMBH by this time unless the initial seed black hole already has a substantial mass. One plausible progenitor of a massive seed black hole is a supermassive star (SMS). We have followed the collapse of a SMS to a SMBH by means of 3D hydrodynamic simulations in post-Newtonian gravity and axisymmetric simulations in full general relativity. The initial SMS of arbitrary mass M in these simulations rotates uniformly at the mass-shedding limit and is marginally unstable to radial collapse. The final black hole mass and spin are determined to be Mh/M ~ 0.9 and Jh/Mh2 ~ 0.75. The remaining mass goes into a disk of mass Mdisk/M ~ 0.1. This disk arises even though the total spin of the progenitor star, J/M2 = 0.97, is safely below the Kerr limit. The collapse generates a mild burst gravitational radiation. Nonaxisymmetric bars or one-armed spirals may arise during the quasi-stationary evolution of a SMS, during its collapse, or in the ambient disk about the hole, and are potential sources of quasi-periodic waves, detectable by LISA.

  2. Hidden Pair of Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-08-01

    Could a pair of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) be lurking at the center of the galaxy Mrk 231? A recent study finds that this may be the case and the unique spectrum of this galaxy could be the key to discovering more hidden binary SMBH systems.Where Are the Binary Supermassive Black Holes?Its believed that most, if not all, galaxies have an SMBH at their centers. As two galaxies merge, the two SMBHs should evolve into a closely-bound binary system before they eventually merge. Given the abundance of galaxy mergers, we would expect to see the kinematic and visual signatures of these binary SMBHs among observed active galactic nuclei yet such evidence for sub-parsec binary SMBH systems remains scarce and ambiguous. This has led researchers to wonder: is there another way that we might detect these elusive systems?A collaboration led by Chang-Shuo Yan (National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences) thinks that there is. The group suggests that these systems might have distinct signatures in their optical-to-UV spectra, and they identify a system that might be just such a candidate: Mrk 231.A Binary CandidateProposed model of Mrk 231. Two supermassive black holes, each with their own mini-disk, orbit each other in the center of a circumbinary disk. The secondary black hole has cleared gap in the circumbinary disk as a result of its orbit around the primary black hole. [Yan et al. 2015]Mrk 231 is a galaxy with a disturbed morphology and tidal tails strong clues that it might be in the final stages of a galactic merger. In addition to these signs, Mrk 231 also has an unusual spectrum for a quasar: its continuum emission displays an unexpected drop in the near-UV band.Yan and her collaborators propose that the odd behavior of Mrk 231s spectrum can be explained if the center of the galaxy houses a pair of SMBHs each with its own mini accretion disk surrounded by a circumbinary accretion disk. As the secondary SMBH orbits the primary SMBH (with a

  3. ECCENTRIC EVOLUTION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Iwasawa, Masaki; An, Sangyong; Matsubayashi, Tatsushi; Funato, Yoko; Makino, Junichiro

    2011-04-10

    In recent numerical simulations, it has been found that the eccentricity of supermassive black hole (SMBH)-intermediate black hole (IMBH) binaries grows toward unity through interactions with the stellar background. This increase of eccentricity reduces the merging timescale of the binary through the gravitational radiation to a value well below the Hubble time. It also gives a theoretical explanation of the existence of eccentric binaries such as that in OJ287. In self-consistent N-body simulations, this increase of eccentricity is always observed. On the other hand, the result of the scattering experiment between SMBH binaries and field stars indicated that the eccentricity dose not change significantly. This discrepancy leaves the high eccentricity of the SMBH binaries in N-body simulations unexplained. Here, we present a stellar-dynamical mechanism that drives the increase of the eccentricity of an SMBH binary with a large mass ratio. There are two key processes involved. The first one is the Kozai mechanism under a non-axisymmetric potential, which effectively randomizes the angular momenta of surrounding stars. The other is the selective ejection of stars with prograde orbits. Through these two mechanisms, field stars extract the orbital angular momentum of the SMBH binary. Our proposed mechanism causes the increase in the eccentricity of most of SMBH binaries, resulting in the rapid merger through gravitational wave radiation. Our result has given a definite solution to the 'last-parsec problem'.

  4. Binary pairs of supermassive black holes - Formation in merging galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valtaoja, L.; Valtonen, M. J.; Byrd, G. G.

    1989-08-01

    A process in which supermassive binary blackholes are formed in nuclei of supergiant galaxies due to galaxy mergers is examined. There is growing evidence that mergers of galaxies are common and that supermassive black holes in center of galaxies are also common. Consequently, it is expected that binary black holes should arise in connection with galaxy mergers. The merger process in a galaxy modeled after M87 is considered. The capture probability of a companion is derived as a function of its mass. Assuming a correlation between the galaxy mass and the blackholes mass, the expected mass ratio in binary black holes is calculated. The binary black holes formed in this process are long lived, surviving longer than the Hubble time unless they are perturbed by black holes from successive mergers. The properties of these binaries agree with Gaskell's (1988) observational work on quasars and its interpretation in terms of binary black holes.

  5. DYNAMICAL FRICTION AROUND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Antonini, Fabio; Merritt, David E-mail: merritt@astro.rit.edu

    2012-01-20

    The density of stars in galactic bulges is often observed to be flat or slowly rising inside the influence radius of the supermassive black hole (SMBH). Attributing the dynamical-friction force to stars moving more slowly than the test body, as is commonly done, is likely to be a poor approximation in such a core since there are no stars moving more slowly than the local circular velocity. We have tested this prediction using large-scale N-body experiments. The rate of orbital decay never drops precisely to zero, because stars moving faster than the test body also contribute to the frictional force. When the contribution from the fast-moving stars is included in the expression for the dynamical-friction force, and the changes induced by the massive body on the stellar distribution are taken into account, Chandrasekhar's theory is found to reproduce the rate of orbital decay remarkably well. However, this rate is still substantially smaller than the rate predicted by Chandrasekhar's formula in its most widely used forms, implying longer timescale for inspiral. Motivated by recent observations that suggest a parsec-scale core around the Galactic center (GC) SMBH, we investigate the evolution of a population of stellar-mass black holes (BHs) as they spiral into the center of the Galaxy. After {approx}10 Gyr, we find that the density of BHs can remain substantially less than the density in stars at all radii; we conclude that it would be unjustified to assume that the spatial distribution of BHs at the GC is well described by steady-state models. One consequence is that rates of capture of BHs by the SMBH at the Galactic center (extreme-mass-ratio inspirals) may be much lower than in standard models. When capture occurs, inspiraling BHs often reach the gravitational-radiation-dominated regime while on orbits that are still highly eccentric; even after the semimajor axis has decreased to values small enough for detection by space-based interferometers, eccentricities

  6. Dynamical Friction around Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonini, Fabio; Merritt, David

    2012-01-01

    The density of stars in galactic bulges is often observed to be flat or slowly rising inside the influence radius of the supermassive black hole (SMBH). Attributing the dynamical-friction force to stars moving more slowly than the test body, as is commonly done, is likely to be a poor approximation in such a core since there are no stars moving more slowly than the local circular velocity. We have tested this prediction using large-scale N-body experiments. The rate of orbital decay never drops precisely to zero, because stars moving faster than the test body also contribute to the frictional force. When the contribution from the fast-moving stars is included in the expression for the dynamical-friction force, and the changes induced by the massive body on the stellar distribution are taken into account, Chandrasekhar's theory is found to reproduce the rate of orbital decay remarkably well. However, this rate is still substantially smaller than the rate predicted by Chandrasekhar's formula in its most widely used forms, implying longer timescale for inspiral. Motivated by recent observations that suggest a parsec-scale core around the Galactic center (GC) SMBH, we investigate the evolution of a population of stellar-mass black holes (BHs) as they spiral into the center of the Galaxy. After ~10 Gyr, we find that the density of BHs can remain substantially less than the density in stars at all radii; we conclude that it would be unjustified to assume that the spatial distribution of BHs at the GC is well described by steady-state models. One consequence is that rates of capture of BHs by the SMBH at the Galactic center (extreme-mass-ratio inspirals) may be much lower than in standard models. When capture occurs, inspiraling BHs often reach the gravitational-radiation-dominated regime while on orbits that are still highly eccentric; even after the semimajor axis has decreased to values small enough for detection by space-based interferometers, eccentricities can be

  7. Simulating the Growth of a Disk Galaxy and its Supermassive Black Hole in a Cosmological Simulating the Growth of a Disk Galaxy and its Supermassive Black Hole in a Cosmological Context

    SciTech Connect

    Levine, Robyn Deborah; /JILA, Boulder

    2008-07-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are ubiquitous in the centers of galaxies. Their formation and subsequent evolution is inextricably linked to that of their host galaxies, and the study of galaxy formation is incomplete without the inclusion of SMBHs. The present work seeks to understand the growth and evolution of SMBHs through their interaction with the host galaxy and its environment. In the first part of the thesis (Chap. 2 and 3), we combine a simple semi-analytic model of outflows from active galactic nuclei (AGN) with a simulated dark matter density distribution to study the impact of SMBH feedback on cosmological scales. We find that constraints can be placed on the kinetic efficiency of such feedback using observations of the filling fraction of the Ly{alpha} forest. We also find that AGN feedback is energetic enough to redistribute baryons over cosmological distances, having potentially significant effects on the interpretation of cosmological data which are sensitive to the total matter density distribution (e.g. weak lensing). However, truly assessing the impact of AGN feedback in the universe necessitates large-dynamic range simulations with extensive treatment of baryonic physics to first model the fueling of SMBHs. In the second part of the thesis (Chap. 4-6) we use a hydrodynamic adaptive mesh refinement simulation to follow the growth and evolution of a typical disk galaxy hosting a SMBH, in a cosmological context. The simulation covers a dynamical range of 10 million allowing us to study the transport of matter and angular momentum from super-galactic scales all the way down to the outer edge of the accretion disk around the SMBH. Focusing our attention on the central few hundred parsecs of the galaxy, we find the presence of a cold, self-gravitating, molecular gas disk which is globally unstable. The global instabilities drive super-sonic turbulence, which maintains local stability and allows gas to fuel a SMBH without first fragmenting

  8. Supermassive Black Hole Through a Magnifying Glass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

    What happens when light from a distant quasar powered by a supermassive black hole is bent not only by a foreground galaxy, but also by individual stars within that galaxys nucleus? The neighborhood of the central black hole can be magnified, and we get a close look at the inner regions of its accretion disk!What is Microlensing?Our view of Q2237+0305 is heavily affected by a process called gravitational lensing. As evidenced by the four copies of the quasar in the image above, Q2237+0305 undergoes macrolensing, wherein the gravity of a massive foreground galaxy pulls on the light of a background object, distorting the image into arcs or multiple copies.But Q2237+0305 also undergoes an effect called microlensing. Due to the fortuitous alignment of Q2237+0305 with the nucleus of the foreground galaxy lensing it, stars within the foreground galaxy pass in front of the quasar images. As a star passes, its own gravitational pull also affects the light of the image, causing the image to brighten and/or magnify.How can we tell the difference between intrinsic brightening of Q2237+0305 and brightening due to microlensing? Brightening that occurs in all four images of the quasar is intrinsic. But if the brightening occurs in only one image, it must be caused by microlensing of that image. The timescale of this effect, which depends on how quickly the foreground galaxy moves relative to the background quasar, is on the order of a few hundred days for Q2237+0305.Resolving StructureThe light curve of a microlensed image can reveal information about the structure of the distant object. For this reason, a team of scientists led by Evencio Mediavilla (Institute of Astrophysics of the Canaries, University of La Laguna) has studied the light curves of three independent microlensing events of Q2237+0305 images.Average light curve of the three microlensing events near the peak brightness. The double-peaked structure may be due to light from the innermost region of the quasars

  9. Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livio, Mario; Koekemoer, Anton M.

    2011-02-01

    Participants; Preface Mario Livio and Anton Koekemoer; 1. Black holes, entropy, and information G. T. Horowitz; 2. Gravitational waves from black-hole mergers J. G. Baker, W. D. Boggs, J. M. Centrella, B. J. Kelley, S. T. McWilliams and J. R. van Meter; 3. Out-of-this-world physics: black holes at future colliders G. Landsberg; 4. Black holes in globular clusters S. L. W. McMillan; 5. Evolution of massive black holes M. Volonteri; 6. Supermassive black holes in deep multiwavelength surveys C. M. Urry and E. Treister; 7. Black-hole masses from reverberation mapping B. M. Peterson and M. C. Bentz; 8. Black-hole masses from gas dynamics F. D. Macchetto; 9. Evolution of supermassive black holes A. Müller and G. Hasinger; 10. Black-hole masses of distant quasars M. Vestergaard; 11. The accretion history of supermassive black holes K. Brand and the NDWFS Boötes Survey Teams; 12. Strong field gravity and spin of black holes from broad iron lines A. C. Fabian; 13. Birth of massive black-hole binaries M. Colpi, M. Dotti, L. Mayer and S. Kazantzidis; 14. Dynamics around supermassive black holes A. Gualandris and D. Merritt; 15. Black-hole formation and growth: simulations in general relativity S. L. Shapiro; 16. Estimating the spins of stellar-mass black holes J. E. McClintock, R. Narayan and R. Shafee; 17. Stellar relaxation processes near the Galactic massive black hole T. Alexander; 18. Tidal disruptions of stars by supermassive black holes S. Gezari; 19. Where to look for radiatively inefficient accretion flows in low-luminosity AGN M. Chiaberge; 20. Making black holes visible: accretion, radiation, and jets J. H. Krolik.

  10. Supermassive black holes do not correlate with galaxy disks or pseudobulges.

    PubMed

    Kormendy, John; Bender, R; Cornell, M E

    2011-01-20

    The masses of supermassive black holes are known to correlate with the properties of the bulge components of their host galaxies. In contrast, they seem not to correlate with galaxy disks. Disk-grown 'pseudobulges' are intermediate in properties between bulges and disks; it has been unclear whether they do or do not correlate with black holes in the same way that bulges do. At stake in this issue are conclusions about which parts of galaxies coevolve with black holes, possibly by being regulated by energy feedback from black holes. Here we report pseudobulge classifications for galaxies with dynamically detected black holes and combine them with recent measurements of velocity dispersions in the biggest bulgeless galaxies. These data confirm that black holes do not correlate with disks and show that they correlate little or not at all with pseudobulges. We suggest that there are two different modes of black-hole feeding. Black holes in bulges grow rapidly to high masses when mergers drive gas infall that feeds quasar-like events. In contrast, small black holes in bulgeless galaxies and in galaxies with pseudobulges grow as low-level Seyfert galaxies. Growth of the former is driven by global processes, so the biggest black holes coevolve with bulges, but growth of the latter is driven locally and stochastically, and they do not coevolve with disks and pseudobulges. PMID:21248845

  11. Astrophysical phenomena related to supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pott, Jörg-Uwe

    2006-12-01

    The thesis contains the results of my recent projects in astrophysical research. All projects aim at pushing the limits of our knowledge about the interaction between a galaxy, the fundamental building block of today's universe, and a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at its center. Over the past years a lot of observational evidence has been gathered for the current understanding, that at least a major part of the galaxies with a stellar bulge contain central SMBHs. The typical extragalactic approach consists of searching for the spectroscopic pattern of Keplerian rotation, produced by stars and gas, when orbiting a central dark mass (Kormendy & Richstone 1995). It suggests that a significant fraction of large galaxies host in their very nucleus a SMBH of millions to billions of solar masses (Kormendy & Gebhardt 2001). In the closest case, the center of our Milky Way, the most central stars, which can be imaged, were shown to move on orbits with circulation times of a few decades only, evidencing a mass and compactness of the dark counter part of the Keplerian motion, which can only be explained by a SMBH (Eckart & Genzel 1996; Ghez et al. 2000; Schödel et al. 2002). Having acknowledged the widespread existence of SMBHs the obvious next step is investigating the interaction with their environment. Although the basic property of a SMBH, which is concentrating a huge amount of mass in a ludicrously small volume defined by the Schwarzschild radius, only creates a deep gravitational trough, its existence evokes much more phenomena than simply attracting the surrounding matter. It can trigger or exacerbate star formation via tidal forces (Morris 1993). It shapes the distribution of its surrounding matter to accretion discs, which themselves release gravitational potential energy as radiation, possibly due to magnetic friction (Blandford 1995). The radiation efficiency of such active galactic nuclei (AGN) can become roughly 100 times more efficient than atomic nuclear

  12. The Early Growth of the First Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Jarrett L.; Haardt, Francesco

    2016-03-01

    With detections of quasars powered by increasingly massive black holes at increasingly early times in cosmic history over the past decade, there has been correspondingly rapid progress made on the theory of early black hole formation and growth. Here, we review the emerging picture of how the first massive black holes formed from the primordial gas and then grew to supermassive scales. We discuss the initial conditions for the formation of the progenitors of these seed black holes, the factors dictating the initial masses with which they form, and their initial stages of growth via accretion, which may occur at super-Eddington rates. Finally, we briefly discuss how these results connect to large-scale simulations of the growth of supermassive black holes in the first billion years after the Big Bang.

  13. The early growth of the first black holes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Johnson, Jarrett L.; Haardt, Francesco

    2016-03-04

    With detections of quasars powered by increasingly massive black holes at increasingly early times in cosmic history over the past decade, there has been correspondingly rapid progress made on the theory of early black hole formation and growth. Here, we review the emerging picture of how the first massive black holes formed from the primordial gas and then grew to supermassive scales. We discuss the initial conditions for the formation of the progenitors of these seed black holes, the factors dictating the initial masses with which they form, and their initial stages of growth via accretion, which may occur atmore » super-Eddington rates. Lastly, we briefly discuss how these results connect to large-scale simulations of the growth of supermassive black holes in the first billion years after the Big Bang.« less

  14. Supermassive black holes do not correlate with dark matter haloes of galaxies.

    PubMed

    Kormendy, John; Bender, Ralf

    2011-01-20

    Supermassive black holes have been detected in all galaxies that contain bulge components when the galaxies observed were close enough that the searches were feasible. Together with the observation that bigger black holes live in bigger bulges, this has led to the belief that black-hole growth and bulge formation regulate each other. That is, black holes and bulges coevolve. Therefore, reports of a similar correlation between black holes and the dark matter haloes in which visible galaxies are embedded have profound implications. Dark matter is likely to be non-baryonic, so these reports suggest that unknown, exotic physics controls black-hole growth. Here we show, in part on the basis of recent measurements of bulgeless galaxies, that there is almost no correlation between dark matter and parameters that measure black holes unless the galaxy also contains a bulge. We conclude that black holes do not correlate directly with dark matter. They do not correlate with galaxy disks, either. Therefore, black holes coevolve only with bulges. This simplifies the puzzle of their coevolution by focusing attention on purely baryonic processes in the galaxy mergers that make bulges. PMID:21248846

  15. Fueling Supermassive Black Holes in High-Resolution Cosmological Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, Robyn D.; Gnedin, N. Y.; Hamilton, A. J. S.

    2011-01-01

    The growth of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in the centers of galaxies is a rich and complex problem, spanning a large dynamic range and depending on many physical processes. Simulating the transport of gas and angular momentum from super-galactic scales all the way down to the accretion disk requires sophisticated numerical techniques with extensive treatment of baryonic physics. We use a hydrodynamic adaptive mesh refinement simulation to follow the growth and evolution of a typical disk galaxy hosting a SMBH, in a cosmological context. We have adopted a piecemeal approach, focusing our attention on the gas dynamics in the central few hundred parsecs of the simulated galaxy (with boundary conditions provided by the larger cosmological simulation), and beginning with a simplified picture (no mergers or feedback). In this scenario, we find that the circumnuclear disk remains marginally stable against catastrophic fragmentation, allowing stochastic fueling of gas into the vicinity of the SMBH.

  16. Large Dynamic Range Simulations of Galaxies Hosting Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, Robyn

    2011-08-01

    The co-evolution of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host galaxies is a rich problem, spanning a large-dynamic range and depending on many physical processes. Simulating the transport of gas and angular momentum from super-galactic scales all the way down to the outer edge of the black hole's accretion disk requires sophisticated numerical techniques with extensive treatment of baryonic physics. We use a hydrodynamic adaptive mesh refinement simulation to follow the growth and evolution of a typical disk galaxy hosting an SMBH, in a cosmological context (covering a dynamical range of 10 million!). We have adopted a piecemeal approach, focusing our attention on the gas dynamics in the central few hundred parsecs of the simulated galaxy (with boundary conditions provided by the larger cosmological simulation), and beginning with a simplified picture (no mergers or feedback). In this scenario, we find that the circumnuclear disk remains marginally stable against catastrophic fragmentation, allowing stochastic fueling of gas into the vicinity of the SMBH. I will discuss the successes and the limitations of these simulations, and their future direction.

  17. Can Direct Collapse Black Holes Launch Gamma-Ray Bursts and Grow to Supermassive Black Holes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsumoto, Tatsuya; Nakauchi, Daisuke; Ioka, Kunihito; Heger, Alexander; Nakamura, Takashi

    2015-09-01

    The existence of black holes (BHs) of mass ˜ {10}9 {M}⊙ at z≳ 6 is a big puzzle in astrophysics because even optimistic estimates of the accretion time are insufficient for stellar-mass BHs of ˜ 10 {M}⊙ to grow into such supermassive BHs. A resolution of this puzzle might be the direct collapse of supermassive stars with mass M˜ {10}5 {M}⊙ into massive seed BHs. We find that if a jet is launched from the accretion disk around the central BH, the jet can break out of the star because of the structure of the radiation-pressure-dominated envelope. Such ultralong gamma-ray bursts with duration of ˜ {10}4-106 s and flux of 10-11-10-8 erg s-1 cm-2 could be detectable by Swift. We estimate an event rate of ≲ 1 {{yr}}-1. The total explosion energy is ≳1055-{10}56 {erg}. The resulting negative feedback delays the growth of the remnant BH by about 70 {Myr} or evacuates the host galaxy completely.

  18. Spin orientation of supermassive black holes in active galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kollatschny, W.

    2003-12-01

    Accretion of gas onto a central supermassive black hole is generally accepted to be the source of the emitted energy in active galactic nuclei. The broad emission lines we observe in their optical spectra are probably formed in the wind of an accretion disk at distances of light days to light years from the central black hole. The variable fraction of the emission lines originates at typical distances of only 1 to 50 light days from the central supermassive black hole. We derived a central black hole mass of Morbital1.8+/- 0.4x 107 Msun in the Seyfert galaxy Mrk 110 assuming the broad emission lines are generated in gas clouds orbiting within an accretion disk. This figure depends on the inclination angle of the accretion disk. Here we report on the detection of gravitational redshifted emission in the variable fraction of the broad emission lines. We derive a central black hole mass of Mgrav=14.0+/- 3.0x 107 Msun. These measurements are independent on the orientation of the accretion disk. The comparison of both black hole mass estimates allows to determine the projection of the central accretion disk angle i to 21+/-5 deg in Mrk 110 and therefore the orientation of the spin axis of the central black hole. Based on observations obtained with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, which is a joint project of the University of Texas at Austin, the Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. This paper is dedicated to Frank Bash without whose efforts the Hobby-Eberly Telescope would not have been possible.

  19. Supermassive Black Holes: Work Horses of the Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNamara, Brian

    The hot atmospheres of galaxies and clusters of galaxies arerepositories for the energy output from accreting, supermassive black holes located in the nuclei of galaxies. X-ray observations show that star formation fueled by gas condensing out of hot atmospheres is strongly suppressed by feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN). This mechanism may solve several outstanding problems in astrophysics, including the numbers of luminous galaxies and their colors, and the excess number of hot baryons in the Universe. New data will be presented showing that some AGN may be powered by rapidly-spinning, ultra-massive black holes.

  20. Formation of discs around super-massive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goicovic, Felipe G.; Cuadra, Jorge; Sesana, Alberto

    2016-02-01

    We model numerically the evolution of 104 M ⊙ turbulent molecular clouds in near-radial infall onto 106 M ⊙, equal-mass supermassive black hole binaries, using a modified version of the SPH code gadget-3. We investigate the different gas structures formed depending on the relative inclination between the binary and the cloud orbits. Our first results indicate that an aligned orbit produces mini-discs around each black hole, almost aligned with the binary; a perpendicular orbit produces misaligned mini-discs; and a counter-aligned orbit produces a circumbinary, counter-rotating ring.

  1. Astrophysical phenomena related to supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pott, Jörg-Uwe

    2006-12-01

    The thesis contains the results of my recent projects in astrophysical research. All projects aim at pushing the limits of our knowledge about the interaction between a galaxy, the fundamental building block of today's universe, and a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at its center. Over the past years a lot of observational evidence has been gathered for the current understanding, that at least a major part of the galaxies with a stellar bulge contain central SMBHs. The typical extragalactic approach consists of searching for the spectroscopic pattern of Keplerian rotation, produced by stars and gas, when orbiting a central dark mass (Kormendy & Richstone 1995). It suggests that a significant fraction of large galaxies host in their very nucleus a SMBH of millions to billions of solar masses (Kormendy & Gebhardt 2001). In the closest case, the center of our Milky Way, the most central stars, which can be imaged, were shown to move on orbits with circulation times of a few decades only, evidencing a mass and compactness of the dark counter part of the Keplerian motion, which can only be explained by a SMBH (Eckart & Genzel 1996; Ghez et al. 2000; Schödel et al. 2002). Having acknowledged the widespread existence of SMBHs the obvious next step is investigating the interaction with their environment. Although the basic property of a SMBH, which is concentrating a huge amount of mass in a ludicrously small volume defined by the Schwarzschild radius, only creates a deep gravitational trough, its existence evokes much more phenomena than simply attracting the surrounding matter. It can trigger or exacerbate star formation via tidal forces (Morris 1993). It shapes the distribution of its surrounding matter to accretion discs, which themselves release gravitational potential energy as radiation, possibly due to magnetic friction (Blandford 1995). The radiation efficiency of such active galactic nuclei (AGN) can become roughly 100 times more efficient than atomic nuclear

  2. Confirming the First Supermassive Black Hole in a Dwarf Starburst Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reines, Amy

    2011-10-01

    In the modern universe, supermassive black holes lie at the heart of most, if not all, galaxies with bulges. However, the birth and growth of the first "seed" black holes, back in the earlier universe, is observationally unconstrained. Reines et al. {2011} have recently discovered a candidate million-solar mass black hole in the bulgeless dwarf starburst galaxy Henize 2-10, offering the first opportunity to study a growing black hole in a nearby galaxy much like those in the infant universe. The case for an accreting black hole in Henize 2-10 is strong {e.g. co-spatial non-thermal radio and hard X-ray point sources}, but not watertight. Our proposal aims to confirm {or refute} the presence of this candidate black hole using STIS optical spectroscopy to trace the kinematics and ionization conditions in its immediate vicinity. Existing HST observations show a marginally resolved H-alpha knot coincident with the radio and X-ray point source, so our primary aim is to detect a compact rotating disk of ionized gas, directly yielding a black hole mass. Our secondary aim is to find evidence for AGN-related emission line signatures at the location of the H-alpha knot, and possibly along a narrow jet-like filament. Confirming the presence of a supermassive black hole in Henize 2-10 with these HST observations has immediate implications for our understanding of the birth and early evolution of the first black holes in the high-redshift universe.

  3. The Galactic Tango: The Elegant Dance of Galaxies and their Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherman, Sydney; Li, Yuexing; Zhu, Qirong

    2015-01-01

    For well over a decade, it has been known that a supermassive black hole resides in the center of almost every galaxy, and that these black holes strongly correlate with the stellar velocity dispersion (the MBH-σ correlation) and stellar mass (the MBH-Mhost correlation) of their hosts. The origins of these correlations, however, have yet to be determined. To explore the interplay between black holes and galaxies, we have utilized a sample of nearby spiral and elliptical galaxies as well as a sample of AGN in the redshift range z = 0-3. By examining galaxy properties such as mass, kinematics, and growth history, we have determined that these two correlations have distinct origins: the MBH-σ relation may be the result of virial equilibrium, whereas the MBH-Mhost relation may be the result of self-regulated black hole growth and star formation in galaxies. These results confirm the predictions of our previous theoretical model.

  4. A candidate sub-parsec supermassive binary black hole system.

    PubMed

    Boroson, Todd A; Lauer, Tod R

    2009-03-01

    The role of mergers in producing galaxies, together with the finding that most large galaxies harbour black holes in their nuclei, implies that binary supermassive black hole systems should be common. Here we report that the quasar SDSS J153636.22+044127.0 is a plausible example of such a system. This quasar shows two broad-line emission systems, separated in velocity by 3,500 km s(-1). A third system of unresolved absorption lines has an intermediate velocity. These characteristics are unique among known quasars. We interpret this object as a binary system of two black holes, having masses of 10(7.3) and 10(8.9) solar masses separated by approximately 0.1 parsec with an orbital period of approximately 100 years. PMID:19262667

  5. Dynamically important magnetic fields near accreting supermassive black holes.

    PubMed

    Zamaninasab, M; Clausen-Brown, E; Savolainen, T; Tchekhovskoy, A

    2014-06-01

    Accreting supermassive black holes at the centres of active galaxies often produce 'jets'--collimated bipolar outflows of relativistic particles. Magnetic fields probably play a critical role in jet formation and in accretion disk physics. A dynamically important magnetic field was recently found near the Galactic Centre black hole. If this is common and if the field continues to near the black hole event horizon, disk structures will be affected, invalidating assumptions made in standard models. Here we report that jet magnetic field and accretion disk luminosity are tightly correlated over seven orders of magnitude for a sample of 76 radio-loud active galaxies. We conclude that the jet-launching regions of these radio-loud galaxies are threaded by dynamically important fields, which will affect the disk properties. These fields obstruct gas infall, compress the accretion disk vertically, slow down the disk rotation by carrying away its angular momentum in an outflow and determine the directionality of jets. PMID:24899311

  6. Observational Constraints on the Nature of the First Supermassive Black Holes Seeds in the Early Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treister, Ezequiel; Schawinski, Kevin; Natarajan, Priyamvada; Weigel, Anna

    2015-08-01

    We constrain the total accreted mass density in supermassive black holes at z>6, as inferred from the integrated X-ray emission in a sample of galaxy candidates selected using observed-frame optical and near-IR dropout techniques. Combining galaxy samples acquired in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field with recent deep Hubble observations of the CANDELS fields and Chandra 4 Msec observations we obtain the most restrictive current constraints on total black hole growth in the early Universe, estimating a mass density <1000M⊙Mpc-3. We further carry out a detailed study of all the individually-detected X-ray sources in the Chandra Deep Field South, finding that none of them is a good candidate to be at z>5.These results place interesting constraints on growth by accretion and imply one or more of the following: only ~20% luminous galaxies at this epoch are seeded with BHs - so seeding is inefficient; most black hole growth at early epochs happens in dusty - as yet undetected - host galaxies and/or in less-massive - also as yet undetected - galaxies; therefore a large fraction of the early black hole buildup is heavily obscured or that either most of the growth is due to radiatively inefficient accretion or due to black hole mergers at these early times. Not seeing a signal from growing black holes in high-redshift galaxies suggests that if their black holes are growing they are doing so in a veiled fashion, or they are simply not growing or perhaps most galaxies do not harbor black holes at their centers at all. These possibilities offer novel insights for high redshift seed formation models.Finally, we present the prospects to constrain the nature of the first black hole seeds in the early Universe using existing and planned space-based facilities.

  7. Collapse of a Rotating Supermassive Star to a Supermassive Black Hole: Analytic Determination of the Black Hole Mass and Spin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, Stuart L.; Shibata, Masaru

    2002-10-01

    The collapse of a uniformly rotating, supermassive star (SMS) to a supermassive black hole (SMBH) has been followed recently by means of hydrodynamic simulations in full general relativity. The initial SMS of arbitrary mass M in these simulations rotates uniformly at the mass-shedding limit and is marginally unstable to radial collapse. The final black hole mass and spin have been determined to be Mh/M~0.9 and Jh/M2h~0.75. The remaining mass goes into a disk of mass Mdisk/M~0.1. Here we show that these black hole and disk parameters can be calculated analytically from the initial stellar density and angular momentum distribution. The analytic calculation thereby corroborates and provides a simple physical explanation for the computational discovery that SMS collapse inevitably terminates in the simultaneous formation of a SMBH and a rather substantial ambient disk. This disk arises even though the total spin of the progenitor star, J/M2=0.97, is safely below the Kerr limit. The calculation performed here applies to any marginally unstable n=3 polytrope uniformly rotating at the breakup speed, independent of stellar mass or the source of internal pressure. It illustrates how the black hole and disk parameters can be determined for the collapse of other types of stars with different initial density and rotation profiles.

  8. Black hole evolution - I. Supernova-regulated black hole growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubois, Yohan; Volonteri, Marta; Silk, Joseph; Devriendt, Julien; Slyz, Adrianne; Teyssier, Romain

    2015-09-01

    The growth of a supermassive black hole (BH) is determined by how much gas the host galaxy is able to feed it, which in turn is controlled by the cosmic environment, through galaxy mergers and accretion of cosmic flows that time how galaxies obtain their gas, and also by internal processes in the galaxy, such as star formation and feedback from stars and the BH itself. In this paper, we study the growth of a 1012 M⊙ halo at z = 2, which is the progenitor of a group of galaxies at z = 0, and of its central BH by means of a high-resolution zoomed cosmological simulation, the Seth simulation. We study the evolution of the BH driven by the accretion of cold gas in the galaxy, and explore the efficiency of the feedback from supernovae (SNe). For a relatively inefficient energy input from SNe, the BH grows at the Eddington rate from early times, and reaches self-regulation once it is massive enough. We find that at early cosmic times z > 3.5, efficient feedback from SNe forbids the formation of a settled disc as well as the accumulation of dense cold gas in the vicinity of the BH and starves the central compact object. As the galaxy and its halo accumulate mass, they become able to confine the nuclear inflows provided by major mergers and the BH grows at a sustained near-to-Eddington accretion rate. We argue that this mechanism should be ubiquitous amongst low-mass galaxies, corresponding to galaxies with a stellar mass below ≲ 109 M⊙ in our simulations.

  9. Dynamical and Kinematic Structure of Bars with Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valluri, Monica

    2014-05-01

    Observational studies have shown that nearly 65% of disk galaxies in the local Universe are barred. Furthermore, there is evidence that nearly every galaxy with a substantial central light concentration contains a supermassive black hole. This implies that bars frequently (or perhaps always) co-exist with supermassive black holes. Our recent studies have shown that the dynamical influence of a bar (e.g. its ability to transport angular momentum) and its orbital structure alters the observable kinematics in galactic nuclei. I will describe independent yet complementary sets of simulations that show that the effect of a bar is to increase the velocity dispersion within the effective radius on average by between 7% and 12% depending on when the black hole forms relative to the formation of the bar. This predicted effect is somewhat less than previous claims of the offset observed in data. Our investigations of the orbital structure of N-body bars (using automated orbit classification methods that rely on orbital spectral analysis) show that their self-consistent distribution functions comprise significantly fewer varieties of orbits than have previously been found in analytic bar potentials. The principle orbit families of N-body bars bear surprising similarity to those of slowly rotating triaxial potentials. Finally, the presence of a galactic bar can result in an overestimate of the stellar dynamical measurement of the black hole mass. I will present a new stellar dynamical model for the nucleus of the galaxy NGC 4151 which illustrates some of the problems associated with measuring the black hole mass in this barred Seyfert I galaxy.

  10. Never Before Seen: Two Supermassive Black Holes in Same Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2002-11-01

    For the first time, scientists have proof two supermassive black holes exist together in the same galaxy, thanks to data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. These black holes are orbiting each other and will merge several hundred million years from now, to create an even larger black hole resulting in a catastrophic event that will unleash intense radiation and gravitational waves. The Chandra image reveals that the nucleus of an extraordinarily bright galaxy, known as NGC 6240, contains not one, but two giant black holes, actively accreting material from their surroundings. This discovery shows that massive black holes can grow through mergers in the centers of galaxies, and that these enigmatic events will be detectable with future space-borne gravitational wave observatories. "The breakthrough came with Chandra's ability to clearly distinguish the two nuclei, and measure the details of the X-radiation from each nucleus," said Guenther Hasinger, of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, a coauthor of an upcoming Astrophysical Journal Letters paper describing the research. "These cosmic fingerprints revealed features characteristic of supermassive black holes -- an excess of high-energy photons from gas swirling around a black hole, and X-rays from fluorescing iron atoms in gas near black holes," he said. Previous X-ray observatories had shown that the central region produces X-rays, while radio, infrared and optical observations had detected two bright nuclei, but the nature of this region remained a mystery. Astronomers did not know the location of the X-ray source, or the nature of the two bright nuclei. "With Chandra, we hoped to determine which one, if either, of the nuclei was an active supermassive black hole," said Stefanie Komossa, also of the Max Planck Institute, lead author of the paper on NGC 6240. "Much to our surprise, we found that both were active black holes!" At a distance of about 400 million light years, NGC 6240

  11. ALIGNMENT OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARY ORBITS AND SPINS

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, M. Coleman; Krolik, Julian H.

    2013-09-01

    Recent studies of accretion onto supermassive black hole binaries suggest that much, perhaps most, of the matter eventually accretes onto one hole or the other. If so, then for binaries whose inspiral from {approx}1 pc to {approx}10{sup -3}-10{sup -2} pc is driven by interaction with external gas, both the binary orbital axis and the individual black hole spins can be reoriented by angular momentum exchange with this gas. Here we show that, unless the binary mass ratio is far from unity, the spins of the individual holes align with the binary orbital axis in a time {approx}few-100 times shorter than the binary orbital axis aligns with the angular momentum direction of the incoming circumbinary gas; the spin of the secondary aligns more rapidly than that of the primary by a factor {approx}(m{sub 1}/m{sub 2}){sup 1/2} > 1. Thus the binary acts as a stabilizing agent, so that for gas-driven systems, the black hole spins are highly likely to be aligned (or counteraligned if retrograde accretion is common) with each other and with the binary orbital axis. This alignment can significantly reduce the recoil speed resulting from subsequent black hole merger.

  12. THE SPIN OF THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE IN NGC 3783

    SciTech Connect

    Brenneman, L. W.; Reynolds, C. S.; Trippe, M.; Mushotzky, R. F.; Nowak, M. A.; Reis, R. C.; Fabian, A. C.; Iwasawa, K.; Lee, J. C.; Miller, J. M.; Volonteri, M.; Nandra, K.

    2011-08-01

    The Suzaku AGN Spin Survey is designed to determine the supermassive black hole spin in six nearby active galactic nuclei (AGNs) via deep Suzaku stares, thereby giving us our first glimpse of the local black hole spin distribution. Here, we present an analysis of the first target to be studied under the auspices of this Key Project, the Seyfert galaxy NGC 3783. Despite complexity in the spectrum arising from a multi-component warm absorber, we detect and study relativistic reflection from the inner accretion disk. Assuming that the X-ray reflection is from the surface of a flat disk around a Kerr black hole, and that no X-ray reflection occurs within the general relativistic radius of marginal stability, we determine a lower limit on the black hole spin of a {>=} 0.88 (99% confidence). We examine the robustness of this result to the assumption of the analysis and present a brief discussion of spin-related selection biases that might affect flux-limited samples of AGNs.

  13. Catching supermassive black hole binaries without a net

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornish, Neil J.; Porter, Edward K.

    2007-01-01

    The gravitational wave signals from coalescing Supermassive Black Hole Binaries are prime targets for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). With optimal data processing techniques, the LISA observatory should be able to detect black hole mergers anywhere in the Universe. The challenge is to find ways to dig the signals out of a combination of instrument noise and the large foreground from stellar mass binaries in our own galaxy. The standard procedure of matched filtering against a grid of templates can be computationally prohibitive, especially when the black holes are spinning or the mass ratio is large. Here we develop an alternative approach based on Metropolis-Hastings sampling and simulated annealing that is orders of magnitude cheaper than a grid search. For the first time, we show that it is possible to detect and characterize the signals from binary systems of Schwarzschild Black Holes that are embedded in instrument noise and a foreground containing millions of galactic binaries. Our technique is computationally efficient, robust, and applicable to both high and low signal-to-noise ratio systems.

  14. Rapidly Accreting Supergiant Protostars: Embryos of Supermassive Black Holes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosokawa, Takashi; Omukai, Kazuyuki; Yorke, Harold W.

    2012-09-01

    Direct collapse of supermassive stars (SMSs) is a possible pathway for generating supermassive black holes in the early universe. It is expected that an SMS could form via very rapid mass accretion with \\dot{M}_*\\sim 0.1{--}1 \\,M_\\odot \\,yr^{-1} during the gravitational collapse of an atomic-cooling primordial gas cloud. In this paper, we study how stars would evolve under such extreme rapid mass accretion, focusing on the early evolution until the stellar mass reaches 103 M ⊙. To this end, we numerically calculate the detailed interior structure of accreting stars with primordial element abundances. Our results show that for accretion rates higher than 10-2 M ⊙ yr-1, stellar evolution is qualitatively different from that expected at lower rates. While accreting at these high rates, the star always has a radius exceeding 100 R ⊙, which increases monotonically with the stellar mass. The mass-radius relation for stellar masses exceeding ~100 M ⊙ follows the same track with R *vpropM 1/2 * in all cases with accretion rates >~ 10-2 M ⊙ yr-1 at a stellar mass of 103 M ⊙, the radius is ~= 7000 R ⊙ (sime 30 AU). With higher accretion rates, the onset of hydrogen burning is shifted toward higher stellar masses. In particular, for accretion rates exceeding \\dot{M}_*\\gtrsim 0.1 \\,M_\\odot \\,yr^{-1}, there is no significant hydrogen burning even after 103 M ⊙ have accreted onto the protostar. Such "supergiant" protostars have effective temperatures as low as T eff ~= 5000 K throughout their evolution and because they hardly emit ionizing photons, they do not create an H II region or significantly heat their immediate surroundings. Thus, radiative feedback is unable to hinder the growth of rapidly accreting stars to masses in excess of 103 M ⊙ as long as material is accreted at rates \\dot{M}_*\\gtrsim 10^{-2} \\,M_\\odot \\,yr^{-1}.

  15. Astrophysics of Super-Massive Black Hole Mergers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schnittman, Jeremy D.

    2013-01-01

    We present here an overview of recent work in the subject of astrophysical manifestations of super-massive black hole (SMBH) mergers. This is a field that has been traditionally driven by theoretical work, but in recent years has also generated a great deal of interest and excitement in the observational astronomy community. In particular, the electromagnetic (EM) counterparts to SMBH mergers provide the means to detect and characterize these highly energetic events at cosmological distances, even in the absence of a space-based gravitational-wave observatory. In addition to providing a mechanism for observing SMBH mergers, EM counterparts also give important information about the environments in which these remarkable events take place, thus teaching us about the mechanisms through which galaxies form and evolve symbiotically with their central black holes.

  16. Collapse of a Rotating Supermassive Star to a Supermassive Black Hole: Fully Relativistic Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shibata, Masaru; Shapiro, Stuart L.

    2002-06-01

    We follow the collapse in axisymmetry of a uniformly rotating, supermassive star (SMS) to a supermassive black hole in full general relativity. The initial SMS of arbitrary mass M is marginally unstable to radial collapse and rotates at the mass-shedding limit. The collapse proceeds homologously early on and results in the appearance of an apparent horizon at the center. Although our integration terminates before final equilibrium is achieved, we determine that the final black hole will contain about 90% of the total mass of the system and will have a spin parameter J/M2~0.75. The remaining gas forms a rotating disk about the nascent hole.

  17. Episodic ejection from super-massive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saripalli, Lakshmi; Subrahmanyan, Ravi; Hunstead, Richard W.

    2007-04-01

    Episodic activity in super-massive black holes on timescales of a million years is confirmed by radio galaxies exhibiting `double-double' radio morphologies (Subrahmanyan et al, 1996; Schoenmakers et al, 2000). Spectacular examples showing a renewal of beam activity in the form of new beams emerging within relic radio lobes of previous activity have placed the phenomenon of recurrence in AGN outflows on a firm footing (Saripalli et al 2002; 2003). Using 25% of the Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey we have compiled flux and volume limited samples of giant radio galaxies (Saripalli et al 2005) and herein we discuss the occurrence rates for the restarting of nuclear activity.

  18. Measuring the Innermost Stable Circular Orbits of Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zalesky, L.; Chartas, G.

    2016-06-01

    We present a promising new technique (g-distribution method) for measuring the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO), the inclination angle (i), and the spin of a supermassive black hole. The g-distribution method involves measurements of the distribution of the energy shifts of the relativistic iron line emitted from the accretion disk of a supermassive black hole that is microlensed by stars in a foreground galaxy and a comparison of the measured g-distribution with microlensing caustic simulations. The method has been applied to the gravitationally lensed quasars RX J1131-1231 (z_{s} = 0.658, z_{l} = 0.295), QJ 0158-4325 (z_{s} = 1.29, z_{l} = 0.317), and SDSS 1004+4112 (z_{s} = 1.73, z_{l} = 0.68). For RX J1131-1231 our initial results indicate an ISCO radius of < 5 gravitational radii and i < 65 degrees. Further monitoring of lensed quasars will provide tighter constraints on their inclination angles, ISCO radii, and spins.

  19. Tidal disruption as a probe for supermassive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shuo; Liu, Fukun; Berczik, Peter; Spurzem, Rainer

    2016-02-01

    Supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) are the products of frequent galaxy mergers. It is very hard to be detected in quiescent galaxy. By using one million particle direct N-body simulations on special many-core hardware (GPU cluster), we study the dynamical co-evolution of SMBHB and its surrounding stars, specially focusing on the evolution of stellar tidal disruption event (TDE) rates before and after the coalescence of the SMBHB. We find a boosted TDE rate during the merger of the galaxies. After the coalescence of two supermassive black holes (SMBHs), the post-merger SMBH can get a kick velocity due to the anisotropic GW radiations. Our results about the recoiling SMBH, which oscillates around galactic center, show that most of TDEs are contributed by unbound stars when the SMBH passing through galactic center. In addition, the TDE light curve in SMBHB system is significantly different from the curve for single SMBH, which can be used to identify the SMBHB.

  20. Supermassive black holes: Coevolution (or not) of black holes and host galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kormendy, John

    2013-07-01

    Supermassive black holes (BHs) have been found in 75 galaxies by observing spatially resolved dynamics. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) revolutionized BH work by advancing the subject from its `proof of concept' phase into quantitative studies of BH demographics. Most influential was the discovery of a tight correlation between BH masses M • and the velocity dispersions σ of stars in the host galaxy bulge components at radii where the stars mostly feel each other and not the BH. Together with correlations between M • and bulge luminosity, with the `missing light' that defines galaxy cores, and with numbers of globular clusters, this has led to the conclusion that BHs and bulges coevolve by regulating each other's growth. This simple picture with one set of correlations for all galaxies dominated BH work in the past decade. New results are now replacing the above, simple story with a richer and more plausible picture in which BHs correlate differently with different kinds of galaxy components. BHs with masses of 105-106 M ⊙ live in some bulgeless galaxies. So classical (merger-built) bulges are not necessary equipment for BH formation. On the other hand, while they live in galaxy disks, BHs do not correlate with galaxy disks or with disk-grown pseudobulges. They also have no special correlation with dark matter halos beyond the fact that halo gravity controls galaxy formation. This leads to the suggestion that there are two modes of BH feeding, (1) local, secular and episodic feeding of small BHs in largely bulgeless galaxies that involves too little energy feedback to drive BH-host-galaxy coevolution and (2) global feeding in major galaxy mergers that rapidly grows giant BHs in short-duration events whose energy feedback does affect galaxy formation. After these quasar-like phases, maintenance-mode BH feedback into hot, X-ray-emitting gas continues to have a primarily negative effect in preventing late-time star formation when cold gas or gas-rich galaxies

  1. A Supermassive Black Hole in a Nearby Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-03-01

    ISAAC Inspects the Center of Centaurus A Summary The nearby galaxy Centaurus A harbours a supermassive black hole at its centre . Using the ISAAC instrument at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) , an international team of astronomers [1] has peered right through the spectacular dust lane of the peculiar galaxy Centaurus A , located approximately 11 million light-years away. They were able to probe the thin disk of gas that surrounds the very center of this galaxy. The new measurements show that the compact nucleus in the middle weighs more than 200 million solar masses ! This is too much just to be due to normal stars. The astronomers thus conclude the existence of a supermassive black hole lurking at the centre of Centaurus A . PR Photo 08a/01 : Visual image of the centre of Centaurus A . PR Photo 08b/01 : ISAAC spectrum of the centre of Centaurus A . PR Photo 08c/01 : The corresponding rotation curve from which the mass of the black hole was deduced. A well studied galaxy with a hidden center ESO PR Photo 08a/01 ESO PR Photo 08a/01 [Preview - JPEG: 352 x 400 pix - 160k] [Normal - JPEG: 704 x 800 pix - 376k] Caption : PR Photo 08a/01 shows a small area in the direction of the heavily obscured centre of the peculiar radio galaxy Centaurus A , as seen in visual light. It measures about 80 x 80 arcsec 2 , or 4400 x 4400 light-year 2 at the distance of this galaxy, and has been reproduced from exposures made with the FORS2 multi-mode instrument at the 8.2-m VLT KUEYEN telescope at Paranal. The full field may be seen in PR Photo 05b/00. Technical information about this photo is available below. The galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128) is one of the most studied objects in the southern sky. The unique appearance of this galaxy was already noticed by the famous British astronomer John Herschel in 1847 who catalogued the southern skies and made a comprehensive list of "nebulae". A fine photo of Centaurus A from the VLT was published last year as PR Photo 05b/00. Herschel could

  2. RELATIVISTIC MERGERS OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES AND THEIR ELECTROMAGNETIC SIGNATURES

    SciTech Connect

    Bode, Tanja; Haas, Roland; Laguna, Pablo; Shoemaker, Deirdre; Bogdanovic, Tamara

    2010-06-01

    Coincident detections of electromagnetic (EM) and gravitational wave (GW) signatures from coalescence events of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are the next observational grand challenge. Such detections will provide the means to study cosmological evolution and accretion processes associated with these gargantuan compact objects. More generally, the observations will enable testing general relativity in the strong, nonlinear regime and will provide independent cosmological measurements to high precision. Understanding the conditions under which coincidences of EM and GW signatures arise during SMBH mergers is therefore of paramount importance. As an essential step toward this goal, we present results from the first fully general relativistic, hydrodynamical study of the late inspiral and merger of equal-mass, spinning SMBH binaries in a gas cloud. We find that variable EM signatures correlated with GWs can arise in merging systems as a consequence of shocks and accretion combined with the effect of relativistic beaming. The most striking EM variability is observed for systems where spins are aligned with the orbital axis and where orbiting black holes form a stable set of density wakes, but all systems exhibit some characteristic signatures that can be utilized in searches for EM counterparts. In the case of the most massive binaries observable by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, calculated luminosities imply that they may be identified by EM searches to z {approx} 1, while lower mass systems and binaries immersed in low density ambient gas can only be detected in the local universe.

  3. Collapse of differentially rotating supermassive stars: Post black hole formation

    SciTech Connect

    Saijo, Motoyuki; Hawke, Ian

    2009-09-15

    We investigate the collapse of differentially rotating supermassive stars (SMSs) by means of 3+1 hydrodynamic simulations in general relativity. We particularly focus on the onset of collapse to understand the final outcome of collapsing SMSs. We find that the estimated ratio of the mass between the black hole and the surrounding disk from the equilibrium star is roughly the same as the results from numerical simulation. This suggests that the picture of axisymmetric collapse is adequate, in the absence of nonaxisymmetric instabilities, to illustrate the final state of the collapse. We also find that quasiperiodic gravitational waves continue to be emitted after the quasinormal mode frequency has decayed. We furthermore have found that when the newly formed black hole is almost extreme Kerr, the amplitude of the quasiperiodic oscillation is enhanced during the late stages of the evolution. Geometrical features, shock waves, and instabilities of the fluid are suggested as a cause of this amplification behavior. This alternative scenario for the collapse of differentially rotating SMSs might be observable by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

  4. The formation of supermassive black holes in rapidly rotating disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latif, M. A.; Schleicher, D. R. G.

    2015-06-01

    Massive primordial halos exposed to moderate UV backgrounds are the potential birthplaces of supermassive black holes. In these halos, an initially isothermal collapse will occur, leading to high accretion rates of ~0.1 M⊙ yr-1. During the collapse, the gas in the interior will turn into a molecular state, and will form accretion disk in order to conserve angular momentum. We consider here the structure of such an accretion disk and the role of viscous heating in the presence of high accretion rates for a central star of 10, 100, and 104 M⊙. Our results show that the temperature in the disk increases considerably due to viscous heating, leading to a transition from the molecular to the atomic cooling phase. We found that the atomic cooling regime may extend out to several 100 AU for a 104 M⊙ central star and that it provides substantial support to stabilize the disk. It therefore favors the formation of a massive central object. The comparison of clump migration and contraction time scales shows that stellar feedback from these clumps may occur during the later stages of the evolution. Overall, viscous heating provides an important pathway to obtain an atomic gas phase within the center of the halo, and helps in the formation of very massive objects. The massive object may collapse to form a massive black hole of about ≥104 M⊙.

  5. Modeling AGN outbursts from supermassive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, T.

    2012-12-01

    When galaxies merge to assemble more massive galaxies, their nuclear supermassive black holes (SMBHs) should form bound binaries. As these interact with their stellar and gaseous environments, they will become increasingly compact, culminating in inspiral and coalescence through the emission of gravitational radiation. Because galaxy mergers and interactions are also thought to fuel star formation and nuclear black hole activity, it is plausible that such binaries would lie in gas-rich environments and power active galactic nuclei (AGN). The primary difference is that these binaries have gravitational potentials that vary - through their orbital motion as well as their orbital evolution - on humanly tractable timescales, and are thus excellent candidates to give rise to coherent AGN variability in the form of outbursts and recurrent transients. Although such electromagnetic signatures would be ideally observed concomitantly with the binary's gravitational-wave signatures, they are also likely to be discovered serendipitously in wide-field, high-cadence surveys; some may even be confused for stellar tidal disruption events. I discuss several types of possible "smoking gun" AGN signatures caused by the peculiar geometry predicted for accretion disks around SMBH binaries.

  6. Star accretion onto supermassive black holes in axisymmetric galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Shiyan; Berczik, Peter; Spurzem, Rainer

    2016-02-01

    Tidal Disruption (TD) of stars by supermassive central black holes from dense rotating star clusters is modeled by high-accuracy direct N-body simulation. We study the time evolution of the stellar tidal disruption rate and the origin of tidally disrupted stars. Compared with that in spherical systems, we found a higher TD rate in axisymmetric systems. The enhancement can be explained by an enlarged loss-cone in phase space which is raised from the fact that total angular momentum J is not conserved. As in the case of spherical systems, the distribution of the last apocenter distance of tidally accreted stars peaks at the classical critical radius. However, the angular distribution of the origin of the accreted stars reveals bimodal features. We show that the bimodal structure can be explained by the presence of two families of regular orbits, namely short axis tube and saucer orbits.

  7. Joint Evolution of Spinning Supermassive Black Holes and Rotating Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merritt, David; Vasiliev, Eugene

    2015-01-01

    A rotating supermassive black hole (SBH) interacts with stars in a galactic nucleus via torques due to dragging of inertial frames. If the stars orbit preferentially about an axis that is misaligned with the SBH's spin, the SBH will experience a net torque and its spin vector will precess; individual stellar orbits also precess about the instantaneous SBH spin vector, although at different rates depending on their orbital elements. Solution of the coupled, post-Newtonian equations describing this interaction reveals two evolutionary modes: sustained precession of the SBH; and damped precession, leading to alignment of the SBH spin with the nuclear angular momentum. Beyond a certain radius, stars interact gravitationally with each other in a time shorter than the Lense-Thirring time. Long-term evolution in this case is well described as uniform precession of the SBH about the cluster's rotational axis, with a stochastic contribution due to star-star interactions.

  8. Gravitational waves from supermassive stars collapsing to a supermassive black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shibata, Masaru; Sekiguchi, Yuichiro; Uchida, Haruki; Umeda, Hideyuki

    2016-07-01

    We derive the gravitational waveform from the collapse of a rapidly rotating supermassive star (SMS) core leading directly to a seed of a supermassive black hole (SMBH) in axisymmetric numerical-relativity simulations. We find that the peak strain amplitude of gravitational waves emitted during the black hole formation is ≈5 ×10-21 at the frequency f ≈5 mHz for an event at the cosmological redshift z =3 , if the collapsing SMS core is in the hydrogen-burning phase. Such gravitational waves will be detectable by space laser interferometric detectors like eLISA with signal-to-noise ratio ≈10 , if the sensitivity is as high as LISA for f =1 - 10 mHz . The detection of the gravitational wave signal will provide a potential opportunity for testing the direct-collapse scenario for the formation of a seed of SMBHs.

  9. Suppression of star formation in early-type galaxies by feedback from supermassive black holes.

    PubMed

    Schawinski, Kevin; Khochfar, Sadegh; Kaviraj, Sugata; Yi, Sukyoung K; Boselli, Alessandro; Barlow, Tom; Conrow, Tim; Forster, Karl; Friedman, Peter G; Martin, D Chris; Morrissey, Patrick; Neff, Susan; Schiminovich, David; Seibert, Mark; Small, Todd; Wyder, Ted K; Bianchi, Luciana; Donas, Jose; Heckman, Tim; Lee, Young-Wook; Madore, Barry; Milliard, Bruno; Rich, R Michael; Szalay, Alex

    2006-08-24

    Detailed high-resolution observations of the innermost regions of nearby galaxies have revealed the presence of supermassive black holes. These black holes may interact with their host galaxies by means of 'feedback' in the form of energy and material jets; this feedback affects the evolution of the host and gives rise to observed relations between the black hole and the host. Here we report observations of the ultraviolet emissions of massive early-type galaxies. We derive an empirical relation for a critical black-hole mass (as a function of velocity dispersion) above which the outflows from these black holes suppress star formation in their hosts by heating and expelling all available cold gas. Supermassive black holes are negligible in mass compared to their hosts but nevertheless seem to play a critical role in the star formation history of galaxies. PMID:16929291

  10. Observing Supermassive Black Holes Across Cosmic Time: From Phenomenology to Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merloni, Andrea

    In the last decade, a combination of high sensitivity and spatial resolution observations and of coordinated multi-wavelength surveys has revolutionized our view of extra-galactic black hole (BH) astrophysics. We now know that supermassive black holes reside in the nuclei of almost every galaxy, grow over cosmological times by accreting matter, interact and merge with each other, and in the process liberate enormous amounts of energy that influence dramatically the evolution of the surrounding gas and stars, providing a powerful self-regulatory mechanism for galaxy formation. The different energetic phenomena associated to growing black holes and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), their cosmological evolution and the observational techniques used to unveil them, are the subject of this chapter. In particular, I will focus my attention on the connection between the theory of high-energy astrophysical processes giving rise to the observed emission in AGN, the observable imprints they leave at different wavelengths, and the methods used to uncover them in a statistically robust way. I will show how such a combined effort of theorists and observers have led us to unveil most of the SMBH growth over a large fraction of the age of the Universe, but that nagging uncertainties remain, preventing us from fully understating the exact role of black holes in the complex process of galaxy and large-scale structure formation, assembly and evolution.

  11. Formation of supermassive black holes through fragmentation of torodial supermassive stars.

    PubMed

    Zink, Burkhard; Stergioulas, Nikolaos; Hawke, Ian; Ott, Christian D; Schnetter, Erik; Müller, Ewald

    2006-04-28

    We investigate new paths to supermassive black hole formation by considering the general relativistic evolution of a differentially rotating polytrope with a toroidal shape. We find that this polytrope is unstable to nonaxisymmetric modes, which leads to a fragmentation into self-gravitating, collapsing components. In the case of one such fragment, we apply a simplified adaptive mesh refinement technique to follow the evolution to the formation of an apparent horizon centered on the fragment. This is the first study of the onset of nonaxisymmetric dynamical instabilities of supermassive stars in full general relativity. PMID:16712210

  12. Quasars: a supermassive rotating toroidal black hole interpretation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spivey, R. J.

    2000-08-01

    A supermassive rotating toroidal black hole (TBH) is proposed as the fundamental structure of quasars and other jet-producing active galactic nuclei. Rotating protogalaxies gather matter from the central gaseous region leading to the birth of massive toroidal stars, the internal nuclear reactions of which proceed very rapidly. Once the nuclear fuel is spent, gravitational collapse produces a slender ring-shaped TBH remnant. Transitory electron and neutron degeneracy stabilized collapse phases, although possible, are unlikely owing to the large masses involved thus these events are typically the first supernovae of the host galaxies. Given time, the TBH mass increases through continued accretion by several orders of magnitude, the event horizon swells whilst the central aperture shrinks. The difference in angular velocities between the accreting matter and the TBH induces a magnetic field that is strongest in the region of the central aperture and innermost ergoregion. Owing to the presence of negative energy states when such a gravitational vortex is immersed in an electromagnetic field, circumstances are near ideal for energy extraction via non-thermal radiation including the Penrose process and superradiant scattering. This establishes a self-sustaining mechanism whereby the transport of angular momentum away from the quasar by relativistic bi-directional jets reinforces both the modulating magnetic field and the TBH/accretion disc angular velocity differential. Continued mass-capture by the TBH results in contraction of the central aperture until the TBH topology transitions to being spheroidal, extinguishing quasar behaviour. Similar mechanisms may be operating in microquasars, supernovae and sources of repeating gamma-ray bursts when neutron density or black hole tori arise. Long-term TBH stability seems to require either a negative cosmological constant, a non-stationary space-time resulting from the presence of accreting matter or the intervention of quantum

  13. Recoiling supermassive black holes: a search in the nearby universe

    SciTech Connect

    Lena, D.; Robinson, A.; Axon, D. J.; Merritt, D.; Marconi, A.; Capetti, A.; Batcheldor, D.

    2014-11-10

    The coalescence of a binary black hole can be accompanied by a large gravitational recoil due to anisotropic emission of gravitational waves. A recoiling supermassive black hole (SBH) can subsequently undergo long-lived oscillations in the potential well of its host galaxy, suggesting that offset SBHs may be common in the cores of massive ellipticals. We have analyzed Hubble Space Telescope archival images of 14 nearby core ellipticals, finding evidence for small (≲ 10 pc) displacements between the active galactic nucleus (AGN; the location of the SBH) and the center of the galaxy (the mean photocenter) in 10 of them. Excluding objects that may be affected by large-scale isophotal asymmetries, we consider six galaxies to have detected displacements, including M87, where a displacement was previously reported by Batcheldor et al. In individual objects, these displacements can be attributed to residual gravitational recoil oscillations following a major or minor merger within the last few gigayears. For plausible merger rates, however, there is a high probability of larger displacements than those observed, if SBH coalescence took place in these galaxies. Remarkably, the AGN-photocenter displacements are approximately aligned with the radio source axis in four of the six galaxies with displacements, including three of the four having relatively powerful kiloparsec-scale jets. This suggests intrinsic asymmetries in radio jet power as a possible displacement mechanism, although approximate alignments are also expected for gravitational recoil. Orbital motion in SBH binaries and interactions with massive perturbers can produce the observed displacement amplitudes but do not offer a ready explanation for the alignments.

  14. RECOILING SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES IN SPIN-FLIP RADIO GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, F. K.; Wang Dong; Chen Xian

    2012-02-20

    Numerical relativity simulations predict that coalescence of supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries leads not only to a spin flip but also to a recoiling of the merger remnant SMBHs. In the literature, X-shaped radio sources are popularly suggested to be candidates for SMBH mergers with spin flip of jet-ejecting SMBHs. Here we investigate the spectral and spatial observational signatures of the recoiling SMBHs in radio sources undergoing black hole spin flip. Our results show that SMBHs in most spin-flip radio sources have mass ratio q {approx}> 0.3 with a minimum possible value q{sub min} {approx_equal} 0.05. For major mergers, the remnant SMBHs can get a kick velocity as high as 2100 km s{sup -1} in the direction within an angle {approx}< 40 Degree-Sign relative to the spin axes of remnant SMBHs, implying that recoiling quasars are biased to be with high Doppler-shifted broad emission lines while recoiling radio galaxies are biased to large apparent spatial off-center displacements. We also calculate the distribution functions of line-of-sight velocity and apparent spatial off-center displacements for spin-flip radio sources with different apparent jet reorientation angles. Our results show that the larger the apparent jet reorientation angle is, the larger the Doppler-shifting recoiling velocity and apparent spatial off-center displacement will be. We investigate the effects of recoiling velocity on the dust torus in spin-flip radio sources and suggest that recoiling of SMBHs would lead to 'dust-poor' active galactic nuclei. Finally, we collect a sample of 19 X-shaped radio objects and for each object give the probability of detecting the predicted signatures of recoiling SMBH.

  15. How well can we measure supermassive black hole spin?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonson, K.; Gallo, L. C.

    2016-05-01

    Being one of only two fundamental properties black holes possess, the spin of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) is of great interest for understanding accretion processes and galaxy evolution. However, in these early days of spin measurements, consistency and reproducibility of spin constraints have been a challenge. Here, we focus on X-ray spectral modelling of active galactic nuclei (AGN), examining how well we can truly return known reflection parameters such as spin under standard conditions. We have created and fit over 4000 simulated Seyfert 1 spectra each with 375±1k counts. We assess the fits with reflection fraction of R = 1 as well as reflection-dominated AGN with R = 5. We also examine the consequence of permitting fits to search for retrograde spin. In general, we discover that most parameters are overestimated when spectroscopy is restricted to the 2.5-10.0 keV regime and that models are insensitive to inner emissivity index and ionization. When the bandpass is extended out to 70 keV, parameters are more accurately estimated. Repeating the process for R = 5 reduces our ability to measure photon index (˜3 to 8 per cent error and overestimated), but increases precision in all other parameters - most notably ionization, which becomes better constrained (±45 erg cm s^{-1}) for low-ionization parameters (ξ < 200 erg cm s^{-1}). In all cases, we find the spin parameter is only well measured for the most rapidly rotating SMBHs (i.e. a > 0.8 to about ±0.10) and that inner emissivity index is never well constrained. Allowing our model to search for retrograde spin did not improve the results.

  16. Low-mass black holes as the remnants of primordial black hole formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greene, Jenny E.

    2012-12-01

    Bridging the gap between the approximately ten solar mass `stellar mass' black holes and the `supermassive' black holes of millions to billions of solar masses are the elusive `intermediate-mass' black holes. Their discovery is key to understanding whether supermassive black holes can grow from stellar-mass black holes or whether a more exotic process accelerated their growth soon after the Big Bang. Currently, tentative evidence suggests that the progenitors of supermassive black holes were formed as ~104-105Msolar black holes via the direct collapse of gas. Ongoing searches for intermediate-mass black holes at galaxy centres will help shed light on this formation mechanism.

  17. Searching with the Large Binocular Telescope for Accreting Supermassive Black Holes in Bulgeless Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, Jason; Constantin, Anca; Satyapal, Shobita; Rothberg, Barry

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that supermassive black holes are created and evolve in bulgeless galaxies, revealing pathways for merger free, secular growth. Constraints on the fraction of bulgeless galaxies that host an AGN remain, however, extremely limited. Following the recent discovery of a large population of bulgeless galaxies with red mid-infrared colors, that are highly suggestive of heated dust by powerful accreting massive black holes, we have employed the Large Binocular Telescope to investigate the near-IR spectra of six of these systems. We present here the data and measurements of near-infrared hydrogen molecular and recombination lines. We find no evidence for broad components of the Paschen Alpha emission lines, suggesting the AGNs are either too weak or too absorbed to be detected. Based on new estimates of extinction and comparisons with optical measurements we discuss the likelihood of these systems being heavily obscured AGN or galactic nuclei with vigorous, yet dust embedded star formation.

  18. Black Hole Universe Model for Explaining GRBs, X-Ray Flares, and Quasars as Emissions of Dynamic Star-like, Massive, and Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tianxi

    2014-01-01

    Slightly modifying the standard big bang theory, the author has recently developed a new cosmological model called black hole universe, which is consistent with Mach’s principle, governed by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and able to explain all observations of the universe. Previous studies accounted for the origin, structure, evolution, expansion, cosmic microwave background radiation, and acceleration of the black hole universe, which grew from a star-like black hole with several solar masses through a supermassive black hole with billions of solar masses to the present state with hundred billion-trillions of solar masses by accreting ambient matter and merging with other black holes. This study investigates the emissions of dynamic black holes according to the black hole universe model and provides a self-consistent explanation for the observations of gamma ray bursts (GRBs), X-ray flares, and quasars as emissions of dynamic star-like, massive, and supermassive black holes. It is shown that a black hole, when it accretes its ambient matter or merges with other black holes, becomes dynamic. Since the event horizon of a dynamic black hole is broken, the inside hot (or high-frequency) blackbody radiation leaks out. The leakage of the inside hot blackbody radiation leads to a GRB if it is a star-like black hole, an X-ray flare if it is a massive black hole like the one at the center of the Milky Way, or a quasar if it is a supermassive black hole like an active galactic nucleus (AGN). The energy spectra and amount of emissions produced by the dynamic star-like, massive, and supermassive black holes can be consistent with the measurements of GRBs, X-ray flares, and quasars.

  19. Coevolution (Or Not) of Supermassive Black Holes and Host Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kormendy, John; Ho, Luis C.

    2013-08-01

    Supermassive black holes (BHs) have been found in 85 galaxies by dynamical modeling of spatially resolved kinematics. The Hubble Space Telescope revolutionized BH research by advancing the subject from its proof-of-concept phase into quantitative studies of BH demographics. Most influential was the discovery of a tight correlation between BH mass [Formula: see text] and the velocity dispersion σ of the bulge component of the host galaxy. Together with similar correlations with bulge luminosity and mass, this led to the widespread belief that BHs and bulges coevolve by regulating each other's growth. Conclusions based on one set of correlations from [Formula: see text] in brightest cluster ellipticals to [Formula: see text] in the smallest galaxies dominated BH work for more than a decade. New results are now replacing this simple story with a richer and more plausible picture in which BHs correlate differently with different galaxy components. A reasonable aim is to use this progress to refine our understanding of BH-galaxy coevolution. BHs with masses of 105-106M⊙ are found in many bulgeless galaxies. Therefore, classical (elliptical-galaxy-like) bulges are not necessary for BH formation. On the other hand, although they live in galaxy disks, BHs do not correlate with galaxy disks. Also, any [Formula: see text] correlations with the properties of disk-grown pseudobulges and dark matter halos are weak enough to imply no close coevolution. The above and other correlations of host-galaxy parameters with each other and with [Formula: see text] suggest that there are four regimes of BH feedback. (1) Local, secular, episodic, and stochastic feeding of small BHs in largely bulgeless galaxies involves too little energy to result in coevolution. (2) Global feeding in major, wet galaxy mergers rapidly grows giant BHs in short-duration, quasar-like events whose energy feedback does affect galaxy evolution. The resulting hosts are classical bulges and coreless

  20. Astronomers Dissect a Supermassive Black Hole with Natural Magnifying Glasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-12-01

    Combining a double natural "magnifying glass" with the power of ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have scrutinised the inner parts of the disc around a supermassive black hole 10 billion light-years away. They were able to study the disc with a level of detail a thousand times better than that of the best telescopes in the world, providing the first observational confirmation of the prevalent theoretical models of such discs. Omega Centauri ESO PR Photo 47a/08 The Einstein Cross The team of astronomers from Europe and the US studied the "Einstein Cross", a famous cosmic mirage. This cross-shaped configuration consists of four images of a single very distant source. The multiple images are a result of gravitational lensing by a foreground galaxy, an effect that was predicted by Albert Einstein as a consequence of his theory of general relativity. The light source in the Einstein Cross is a quasar approximately ten billion light-years away, whereas the foreground lensing galaxy is ten times closer. The light from the quasar is bent in its path and magnified by the gravitational field of the lensing galaxy. This magnification effect, known as "macrolensing", in which a galaxy plays the role of a cosmic magnifying glass or a natural telescope, proves very useful in astronomy as it allows us to observe distant objects that would otherwise be too faint to explore using currently available telescopes. "The combination of this natural magnification with the use of a big telescope provides us with the sharpest details ever obtained," explains Frédéric Courbin, leader of the programme studying the Einstein Cross with ESO's Very Large Telescope. In addition to macrolensing by the galaxy, stars in the lensing galaxy act as secondary lenses to produce an additional magnification. This secondary magnification is based on the same principle as macrolensing, but on a smaller scale, and since stars are much smaller than galaxies, is known as "microlensing". As the stars are

  1. Concurrent Supermassive Black Hole and Galazy Growth: Linking Environment and Nuclear Activity in Zeta Equals 2.23 H Alpha Emitters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lehmer, B. D.; Lucy, A. B.; Alexander, D. M.; Best, P. N.; Geach, J. E.; Harrison, C. M.; Hornschemeier, A. E.; Matsuda, Y.; Mullaney, J. R.; Smail, Ian; Sobral, D.; Swinbank, A. M.

    2013-01-01

    We present results from an approximately equal 100 ks Chandra observation of the 2QZ Cluster 1004+00 structure at z = 2.23 (hereafter 2QZ Clus). 2QZ Clus was originally identified as an overdensity of four optically-selected QSOs at z = 2.23 within a 15 × 15 arcmin square region. Narrow-band imaging in the near-IR (within the K band) revealed that the structure contains an additional overdensity of 22 z = 2.23 H alpha-emitting galaxies (HAEs), resulting in 23 unique z = 2.23 HAEs/QSOs (22 within the Chandra field of view). Our Chandra observations reveal that three HAEs in addition to the four QSOs harbor powerfully accreting supermassive black holes (SMBHs), with 2-10 keV luminosities of approximately equal (8-60) × 10(exp 43) erg s(exp-1) and X-ray spectral slopes consistent with unobscured active galactic nucleus (AGN). Using a large comparison sample of 210 z = 2.23 HAEs in the Chandra-COSMOS field (C-COSMOS), we find suggestive evidence that the AGN fraction increases with local HAE galaxy density. The 2QZ Clus HAEs reside in a moderately overdense environment (a factor of approximately equal 2 times over the field), and after excluding optically-selected QSOs, we find that the AGN fraction is a factor of approximately equal 3.5(+3.8/ -2.2) times higher than C-COSMOS HAEs in similar environments. Using stacking analyses of the Chandra data and Herschel SPIRE observations at 250micrometers, we respectively estimate mean SMBH accretion rates ( M(BH)) and star formation rates (SFRs) for the 2QZ Clus and C-COSMOS samples. We find that the mean 2QZ Clus HAE stacked X-ray luminosity is QSO-like (L(2-10 keV) approximately equal [6-10] × 10(exp 43) erg s(exp -1)), and the implied M(BH)/SFR approximately equal (1.6-3.2) × 10(exp -3) is broadly consistent with the local M(BH)/Stellar Mass relation and z approximately equal 2 X-ray selected AGN. In contrast, the C-COSMOS HAEs are on average an order of magnitude less X-ray luminous and have M(BH)/SFR approximately

  2. CONCURRENT SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE AND GALAXY GROWTH: LINKING ENVIRONMENT AND NUCLEAR ACTIVITY IN z = 2.23 H{alpha} EMITTERS

    SciTech Connect

    Lehmer, B. D.; Hornschemeier, A. E.; Lucy, A. B.; Alexander, D. M.; Harrison, C. M.; Mullaney, J. R.; Swinbank, A. M.; Best, P. N.; Geach, J. E.; Matsuda, Y.; Smail, Ian; Sobral, D.

    2013-03-10

    We present results from a Almost-Equal-To 100 ks Chandra observation of the 2QZ Cluster 1004+00 structure at z = 2.23 (hereafter 2QZ Clus). 2QZ Clus was originally identified as an overdensity of four optically-selected QSOs at z = 2.23 within a 15 Multiplication-Sign 15 arcmin{sup 2} region. Narrow-band imaging in the near-IR (within the K band) revealed that the structure contains an additional overdensity of 22 z = 2.23 H{alpha}-emitting galaxies (HAEs), resulting in 23 unique z = 2.23 HAEs/QSOs (22 within the Chandra field of view). Our Chandra observations reveal that three HAEs in addition to the four QSOs harbor powerfully accreting supermassive black holes (SMBHs), with 2-10 keV luminosities of Almost-Equal-To (8-60) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 43} erg s{sup -1} and X-ray spectral slopes consistent with unobscured active galactic nucleus (AGN). Using a large comparison sample of 210 z = 2.23 HAEs in the Chandra-COSMOS field (C-COSMOS), we find suggestive evidence that the AGN fraction increases with local HAE galaxy density. The 2QZ Clus HAEs reside in a moderately overdense environment (a factor of Almost-Equal-To 2 times over the field), and after excluding optically-selected QSOs, we find that the AGN fraction is a factor of Almost-Equal-To 3.5{sup +3.8}{sub -2.2} times higher than C-COSMOS HAEs in similar environments. Using stacking analyses of the Chandra data and Herschel SPIRE observations at 250 {mu}m, we respectively estimate mean SMBH accretion rates ( M-dot{sub BH}) and star formation rates (SFRs) for the 2QZ Clus and C-COSMOS samples. We find that the mean 2QZ Clus HAE stacked X-ray luminosity is QSO-like (L{sub 2-10{sub keV}} Almost-Equal-To [6-10] Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 43} erg s{sup -1}), and the implied M-dot{sub BH}/SFR Almost-Equal-To (1.6-3.2) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -3} is broadly consistent with the local M{sub BH}/M{sub *} relation and z Almost-Equal-To 2 X-ray selected AGN. In contrast, the C-COSMOS HAEs are on average an order

  3. Uncovering Binary Supermassive Black Holes in Merging Galaxy Pairs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNulty, Paul; Satyapal, Shobita; Ellison, Sara L.; Secrest, Nathan; Gliozzi, Mario; Rothberg, Barry

    2016-01-01

    It is now well known that virtually all galaxies host a central supermassive black hole (SMBH) and that galaxy interactions are ubiquitous. Theory predicts these interactions would funnel gas toward the central regions of galaxies, potentially triggering gas accretion onto the SMBH, causing them to appear as binary active galactic nuclei (AGN). However, despite decades of searching and strong theoretical reasons that they should exist, observationally confirmed cases of binary AGNs are extremely rare, and most have been discovered serendipitously. Since galaxy mergers are likely to be characterized by dusty environments, it is possible that the optical signatures of a significant number of binary AGNs are obscured. Observations from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) may hold the key for increasing the rate of discovery of binary AGN in late-stage mergers. Starting with a sample of ~4,000 galaxy pairs, we searched for mid-IR signatures of binary AGNs. In this poster, we report on the detection frequency of binary AGNs identified through mid-infrared observations and explore its dependence on merger stage.

  4. Toward Precision Supermassive Black Hole Masses Using Megamaser Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van den Bosch, Remco C. E.; Greene, Jenny E.; Braatz, James A.; Constantin, Anca; Kuo, Cheng-Yu

    2016-03-01

    Megamaser disks provide the most precise and accurate extragalactic supermassive black hole (BH) masses. Here we describe a search for megamasers in nearby galaxies using the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). We focus on galaxies where we believe that we can resolve the gravitational sphere of influence of the BH and derive a stellar or gas dynamical measurement with optical or NIR observations. Since there are only a handful of super massive BHs that have direct BH mass measurements from more than one method, even a single galaxy with a megamaser disk and a stellar dynamical BH mass would provide necessary checks on the stellar dynamical methods. We targeted 87 objects from the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Massive Galaxy Survey, and detected no new maser disks. Most of the targeted objects are elliptical galaxies with typical stellar velocity dispersions of 250 km s-1 and distances within 130 Mpc. We discuss the implications of our non-detections, whether they imply a threshold X-ray luminosity required for masing, or possibly reflect the difficulty of maintaining a masing disk around much more massive (≳ {10}8 {M}⊙ ) BHs at a low Eddington ratio. Given the power of maser disks for probing BH accretion and demographics, we suggest that future maser searches should endeavour to remove remaining sample biases, in order to sort out the importance of these covariant effects.

  5. A DISPLACED SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE IN M87

    SciTech Connect

    Batcheldor, D.; Perlman, E. S.; Robinson, A.; Merritt, D.; Axon, D. J.

    2010-07-01

    Isophotal analysis of M87, using data from the Advanced Camera for Surveys, reveals a projected displacement of 6.8 {+-} 0.8 pc ({approx}0.''1) between the nuclear point source (presumed to be the location of the supermassive black hole, SMBH) and the photo-center of the galaxy. The displacement is along a position angle of 307{sup 0} {+-} 17{sup 0} and is consistent with the jet axis. This suggests the active SMBH in M87 does not currently reside at the galaxy center of mass, but is displaced in the counter-jet direction. Possible explanations for the displacement include orbital motion of an SMBH binary, gravitational perturbations due to massive objects (e.g., globular clusters), acceleration by an asymmetric or intrinsically one-sided jet, and gravitational recoil resulting from the coalescence of an SMBH binary. The displacement direction favors the latter two mechanisms. However, jet asymmetry is only viable, at the observed accretion rate, for a jet age of >0.1 Gyr and if the galaxy restoring force is negligible. This could be the case in the low-density core of M87. A moderate recoil {approx}1 Myr ago might explain the disturbed nature of the nuclear gas disk, could be aligned with the jet axis, and can produce the observed offset. Alternatively, the displacement could be due to residual oscillations resulting from a large recoil that occurred in the aftermath of a major merger {<=}1 Gyr ago.

  6. The Origin and Detection of High-Redshift Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haiman, Zoltán

    2010-11-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are common in local galactic nuclei, and SMBHs as massive as several billion solar masses already exist at redshift z = 6. These earliest SMBHs may arise by the combination of Eddington-limited growth and mergers of stellar-mass seed BHs left behind by the first generation of metal-free stars, or by the rapid direct collapse of gas in rare special environments where the gas can avoid fragmenting into stars. In this contribution, I review these two competing scenarios. I also briefly mention some more exotic ideas and how the different models may be distinguished in the future by LISA and other instruments.

  7. Observing the dynamics of supermassive black hole binaries with pulsar timing arrays.

    PubMed

    Mingarelli, C M F; Grover, K; Sidery, T; Smith, R J E; Vecchio, A

    2012-08-24

    Pulsar timing arrays are a prime tool to study unexplored astrophysical regimes with gravitational waves. Here, we show that the detection of gravitational radiation from individually resolvable supermassive black hole binary systems can yield direct information about the masses and spins of the black holes, provided that the gravitational-wave-induced timing fluctuations both at the pulsar and at Earth are detected. This in turn provides a map of the nonlinear dynamics of the gravitational field and a new avenue to tackle open problems in astrophysics connected to the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes. We discuss the potential, the challenges, and the limitations of these observations. PMID:23002736

  8. The coevolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes: a local perspective.

    PubMed

    Heckman, Timothy M; Kauffmann, Guinevere

    2011-07-01

    One of the most fascinating discoveries in the past decade was that galaxies typically contain a centrally located black hole with a mass that is millions or even billions of times that of the Sun. There is now compelling evidence that we cannot understand how galaxies formed and evolved without understanding the life cycles of these supermassive black holes (and vice versa). We summarize the current understanding of this coevolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes (based largely on observations of the local, present-day universe) and describe prospects for the future. PMID:21737734

  9. Formation and coalescence of cosmological supermassive-black-hole binaries in supermassive-star collapse.

    PubMed

    Reisswig, C; Ott, C D; Abdikamalov, E; Haas, R; Mösta, P; Schnetter, E

    2013-10-11

    We study the collapse of rapidly rotating supermassive stars that may have formed in the early Universe. By self-consistently simulating the dynamics from the onset of collapse using three-dimensional general-relativistic hydrodynamics with fully dynamical spacetime evolution, we show that seed perturbations in the progenitor can lead to the formation of a system of two high-spin supermassive black holes, which inspiral and merge under the emission of powerful gravitational radiation that could be observed at redshifts z is approximately equal or > to 10 with the DECIGO or Big Bang Observer gravitational-wave observatories, assuming supermassive stars in the mass range 10(4)-10(6)M[symbol: see text]. The remnant is rapidly spinning with dimensionless spin a*=0.9. The surrounding accretion disk contains ~10% of the initial mass. PMID:24160586

  10. Music from the heavens - Gravitational waves from supermassive black hole mergers in the EAGLE simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salcido, Jaime; Bower, Richard G.; Theuns, Tom; McAlpine, Stuart; Schaller, Matthieu; Crain, Robert A.; Schaye, Joop; Regan, John

    2016-08-01

    We estimate the expected event rate of gravitational wave signals from mergers of supermassive black holes that could be resolved by a space-based interferometer, such as the Evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (eLISA), utilising the reference cosmological hydrodynamical simulation from the EAGLE suite. These simulations assume a ΛCDM cosmogony with state-of-the-art subgrid models for radiative cooling, star formation, stellar mass loss, and feedback from stars and accreting black holes. They have been shown to reproduce the observed galaxy population with unprecedented fidelity. We combine the merger rates of supermassive black holes in EAGLE with the latest phenomenological waveform models to calculate the gravitational waves signals from the intrinsic parameters of the merging black holes. The EAGLE models predict ˜2 detections per year by a gravitational wave detector such as eLISA. We find that these signals are largely dominated by mergers between seed mass black holes merging at redshifts between z ˜ 2 and z ˜ 1. In order to investigate the dependence on the assumed black hole seed mass, we introduce an additional model with a black hole seed mass an order of magnitude smaller than in our reference model. We also consider a variation of the reference model where a prescription for the expected delays in the black hole merger timescale has been included after their host galaxies merge. We find that the merger rate is similar in all models, but that the initial black hole seed mass could be distinguished through their detected gravitational waveforms. Hence, the characteristic gravitational wave signals detected by eLISA will provide profound insight into the origin of supermassive black holes and the initial mass distribution of black hole seeds.

  11. Discovery of a Supermassive Black Hole in a Bulge-less Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathur, Smita; Ghosh, H.; Fiore, F.; Ferrarese, L.

    2010-03-01

    Recent observational and theoretical work suggest that every galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole in its nucleus and that the mass of the black hole depends upon the mass of the galactic bulge. We initiated a program to look for accreting supermassive black holes in centers of normal (i.e. inactive) galaxies. We detected several X-ray sources in our Chandra survey, but it was difficult to separate supermassive black holes from contaminants such as X-ray binaries. We obtained XMM spectra with the goal of identifying Chandra sources. We have now analyzed one spectrum which shows the source to be reflection dominated, and almost certainly an active galactic nucleus. The importance of this result is that we seem to have discovered a supermassive black hole in a bulge-less galaxy. This is completely contrary to the expectations based on the MBH--sigma relation and implies that a bulge is not necessary for the existence of a supermassive black hole in the nucleus of a galaxy. The BH mass may be related to the dark matter halo instead. (We are working on confirming our initial result. We have also started to analyze one more XMM spectrum. Results will be ready before the HEAD meeting.)

  12. The light up and early evolution of high redshift Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Comastri, Andrea; Brusa, Marcella; Aird, James; Lanzuisi, Giorgio

    2016-07-01

    The known AGN population at z > 6 is made by luminous optical QSO hosting Supermassive Black Holes (M > 10 ^{9}solar masses), likely to represent the tip of the iceberg of the luminosity and mass function. According to theoretical models for structure formation, Massive Black Holes (M _{BH} 10^{4-7} solar masses) are predicted to be abundant in the early Universe (z > 6). The majority of these lower luminosity objects are expected to be obscured and severely underepresented in current optical near-infrared surveys. The detection of such a population would provide unique constraints on the Massive Black Holes formation mechanism and subsequent growth and is within the capabilities of deep and large area ATHENA surveys. After a summary of the state of the art of present deep XMM and Chandra surveys, at z >3-6 also mentioning the expectations for the forthcoming eROSITA all sky survey; I will present the observational strategy of future multi-cone ATHENA Wide Field Imager (WFI) surveys and the expected breakthroughs in the determination of the luminosity function and its evolution at high (> 4) and very high (>6) redshifts.

  13. Accretion and Feedback Processes in Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zubovas, Kastytis

    2012-10-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) have been gradually recognised as important elements of galaxy and cosmic structure evolution. Their connection with the large-scale environment is maintained via feedback processes - communication of a fraction of the accretion luminosity to the host galaxy. Feedback is conjectured to expel gas from galaxies, quench star formation and establish the observed correlations between SMBH mass and host galaxy properties. Efficient feedback requires rapid gas accretion and is therefore usually investigated within the context of quasar activity phases in SMBH evolution. In this Thesis, I investigate several implications of an SMBH wind feedback model, advancing our understanding of feedback processes and the immediate environment of SMBHs. I consider analytically the large-scale outflows and their observable properties. I find that rapidly accreting SMBHs may sweep galaxies clear of gas, turning them into red-and-dead spheroids. I apply the same feedback model to our Galaxy. Its SMBH, Sgr A*, is currently exceptionally quiescent, although it must have been more active in the past in order to have grown to its present size. I investigate, both analytically and numerically, a short burst of activity which may have occurred ∼ 6 million years ago, producing an outflow which formed two large γ-ray emitting bubbles perpendicular to the Galactic plane. The results show that dynamical footprints of outflows may persist for a long time and provide evidence of past AGN activity in quiescent galaxies. I also present a model for the short-timescale flares observed daily in Sgr A*, based on tidal disruption and evaporation of asteroids in the vicinity of the SMBH. The model explains some observed flare properties, and thus improves our understanding of the processes occurring close to the SMBH. It also provides predictions for observable effects as the quiescent luminosity of Sgr A* varies on long timescales.

  14. Direct formation of supermassive black holes via multi-scale gas inflows in galaxy mergers.

    PubMed

    Mayer, L; Kazantzidis, S; Escala, A; Callegari, S

    2010-08-26

    Observations of distant quasars indicate that supermassive black holes of billions of solar masses already existed less than a billion years after the Big Bang. Models in which the 'seeds' of such black holes form by the collapse of primordial metal-free stars cannot explain the rapid appearance of these supermassive black holes because gas accretion is not sufficiently efficient. Alternatively, these black holes may form by direct collapse of gas within isolated protogalaxies, but current models require idealized conditions, such as metal-free gas, to prevent cooling and star formation from consuming the gas reservoir. Here we report simulations showing that mergers between massive protogalaxies naturally produce the conditions for direct collapse into a supermassive black hole with no need to suppress cooling and star formation. Merger-driven gas inflows give rise to an unstable, massive nuclear gas disk of a few billion solar masses, which funnels more than 10(8) solar masses of gas to a sub-parsec-scale gas cloud in only 100,000 years. The cloud undergoes gravitational collapse, which eventually leads to the formation of a massive black hole. The black hole can subsequently grow to a billion solar masses on timescales of about 10(8) years by accreting gas from the surrounding disk. PMID:20740009

  15. Energy input from quasars regulates the growth and activity of black holes and their host galaxies.

    PubMed

    Di Matteo, Tiziana; Springel, Volker; Hernquist, Lars

    2005-02-10

    In the early Universe, while galaxies were still forming, black holes as massive as a billion solar masses powered quasars. Supermassive black holes are found at the centres of most galaxies today, where their masses are related to the velocity dispersions of stars in their host galaxies and hence to the mass of the central bulge of the galaxy. This suggests a link between the growth of the black holes and their host galaxies, which has indeed been assumed for a number of years. But the origin of the observed relation between black hole mass and stellar velocity dispersion, and its connection with the evolution of galaxies, have remained unclear. Here we report simulations that simultaneously follow star formation and the growth of black holes during galaxy-galaxy collisions. We find that, in addition to generating a burst of star formation, a merger leads to strong inflows that feed gas to the supermassive black hole and thereby power the quasar. The energy released by the quasar expels enough gas to quench both star formation and further black hole growth. This determines the lifetime of the quasar phase (approaching 100 million years) and explains the relationship between the black hole mass and the stellar velocity dispersion. PMID:15703739

  16. Megaparsec relativistic jets launched from an accreting supermassive black hole in an extreme spiral galaxy

    SciTech Connect

    Bagchi, Joydeep; Vivek, M.; Srianand, Raghunathan; Gopal-Krishna; Vikram, Vinu; Hota, Ananda; Biju, K. G.; Sirothia, S. K.; Jacob, Joe

    2014-06-20

    The radio galaxy phenomenon is directly connected to mass-accreting, spinning supermassive black holes found in the active galactic nuclei. It is still unclear how the collimated jets of relativistic plasma on hundreds to thousands of kiloparsec scales form and why they are nearly always launched from the nuclei of bulge-dominated elliptical galaxies and not flat spirals. Here we present the discovery of the giant radio source J2345–0449 (z = 0.0755), a clear and extremely rare counterexample where relativistic jets are ejected from a luminous and massive spiral galaxy on a scale of ∼1.6 Mpc, the largest known so far. Extreme physical properties observed for this bulgeless spiral host, such as its high optical and infrared luminosity, large dynamical mass, rapid disk rotation, and episodic jet activity, are possibly the results of its unusual formation history, which has also assembled, via gas accretion from a disk, its central black hole of mass >2 × 10{sup 8} M {sub ☉}. The very high mid-IR luminosity of the galaxy suggests that it is actively forming stars and still building a massive disk. We argue that the launch of these powerful jets is facilitated by an advection-dominated, magnetized accretion flow at a low Eddington rate onto this unusually massive (for a bulgeless disk galaxy) and possibly fast spinning central black hole. Therefore, J2345–0449 is an extremely rare, unusual galactic system whose properties challenge the standard paradigms for black hole growth and the formation of relativistic jets in disk galaxies. Thus, it provides fundamental insight into accretion disk-relativistic jet coupling processes.

  17. Black Holes Lead Galaxy Growth, New Research Shows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-01-01

    Astronomers may have solved a cosmic chicken-and-egg problem -- the question of which formed first in the early Universe -- galaxies or the supermassive black holes seen at their cores. "It looks like the black holes came first. The evidence is piling up," said Chris Carilli, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). Carilli outlined the conclusions from recent research done by an international team studying conditions in the first billion years of the Universe's history in a lecture presented to the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Long Beach, California. Gas in Distant Galaxy VLA image (right) of gas in young galaxy seen as it was when the Universe was only 870 million years old. CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF, SDSS Full-size JPEG, 323 KB PDF file, 180 KB Galaxy image, no annotation, JPEG 21 KB Earlier studies of galaxies and their central black holes in the nearby Universe revealed an intriguing linkage between the masses of the black holes and of the central "bulges" of stars and gas in the galaxies. The ratio of the black hole and the bulge mass is nearly the same for a wide range of galactic sizes and ages. For central black holes from a few million to many billions of times the mass of our Sun, the black hole's mass is about one one-thousandth of the mass of the surrounding galactic bulge. "This constant ratio indicates that the black hole and the bulge affect each others' growth in some sort of interactive relationship," said Dominik Riechers, of Caltech. "The big question has been whether one grows before the other or if they grow together, maintaining their mass ratio throughout the entire process." In the past few years, scientists have used the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array radio telescope and the Plateau de Bure Interferometer in France to peer far back in the 13.7 billion-year history of the Universe, to the dawn of the first galaxies. "We finally have been able to measure black-hole and bulge masses in several galaxies seen

  18. Understanding the build-up of supermassive black holes and galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrera, Francisco; Ueda, Yoshihiro; Georgakakis, Antonis

    2016-07-01

    One of the main open questions in modern Astrophysics is understanding the coupled growth of supermassive black holes by accretion and their host galaxies via star formation, from their peak at redshifts z~ 1-4 to the present time. The generic scenario proposed involves an early phase of intense black hole growth that takes place behind large obscuring columns of inflowing dust and gas clouds. It is postulated that this is followed by a blow-out stage during which some form of AGN feedback controls the fate of the interstellar medium and hence, the evolution of the galaxy. X-rays are essential for testing this scenario as they uniquely probe AGN at both the early heavily obscured stage and the later blow-out phase. X-ray spectral analysis can identify the smoking gun evidence of heavily obscured black hole growth (e.g. intense iron Kalpha line). It therefore provides the most robust method for compiling clean samples of deeply shrouded AGN with well-defined selection functions and unbiased determinations of their intrinsic properties (accretion luminosity, obscuring column). X-rays are also the best window for studying in detail AGN feedback. This process ultimately originates in the innermost regions close to the supermassive black hole and is dominated, in terms of energy and mass flux, by highly ionisedmaterial that remains invisible at other wavelengths. The most important epoch for investigating the relation between AGN and galaxies is the redshift range z~1-4, when most black holes and stars we see in the present-day Universe were put in place. Unfortunately, exhaustive efforts with current high-energy telescopes only scrape the tip of the iceberg of the most obscured AGN population. Moreover, Xray studies of the incidence, nature and energetics of AGN feedback are limited to the local Universe. The Athena observatory will provide the technological leap required for a breakthrough in our understanding of AGN and galaxy evolution at the heyday of the Universe

  19. Black holes

    PubMed Central

    Brügmann, B.; Ghez, A. M.; Greiner, J.

    2001-01-01

    Recent progress in black hole research is illustrated by three examples. We discuss the observational challenges that were met to show that a supermassive black hole exists at the center of our galaxy. Stellar-size black holes have been studied in x-ray binaries and microquasars. Finally, numerical simulations have become possible for the merger of black hole binaries. PMID:11553801

  20. Constraints on individual supermassive black hole binaries from pulsar timing array limits on continuous gravitational waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schutz, Katelin; Ma, Chung-Pei

    2016-06-01

    Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) are placing increasingly stringent constraints on the strain amplitude of continuous gravitational waves emitted by supermassive black hole binaries on subparsec scales. In this paper, we incorporate independent information about the dynamical masses Mbh of supermassive black holes in specific galaxies at known distances and use this additional information to further constrain whether or not those galaxies could host a detectable supermassive black hole binary. We estimate the strain amplitudes from individual binaries as a function of binary mass ratio for two samples of nearby galaxies: (1) those with direct dynamical measurements of Mbh in the literature, and (2) the 116 most massive early-type galaxies (and thus likely hosts of the most massive black holes) within 108 Mpc from the MASSIVE Survey. Our exploratory analysis shows that the current PTA upper limits on continuous waves (as a function of angular position in the sky) can already constrain the mass ratios of hypothetical black hole binaries in many galaxies in our samples. The constraints are stronger for galaxies with larger Mbh and at smaller distances. For the black holes with Mbh ≳ 5 × 109 M⊙ at the centres of NGC 1600, NGC 4889, NGC 4486 (M87), and NGC 4649 (M60), any binary companion in orbit within the PTA frequency bands would have to have a mass ratio of a few per cent or less.

  1. UNLEASHING POSITIVE FEEDBACK: LINKING THE RATES OF STAR FORMATION, SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE ACCRETION, AND OUTFLOWS IN DISTANT GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Silk, Joseph

    2013-08-01

    Pressure-regulated star formation is a simple variant on the usual supernova-regulated star formation efficiency that controls the global star formation rate as a function of cold gas content in star-forming galaxies, and accounts for the Schmidt-Kennicutt law in both nearby and distant galaxies. Inclusion of active galactic nucleus (AGN) induced pressure, by jets and/or winds that flow back onto a gas-rich disk, can lead, under some circumstances, to significantly enhanced star formation rates, especially at high redshift and most likely followed by the more widely accepted phase of star formation quenching. Simple expressions are derived that relate supermassive black hole growth, star formation, and outflow rates. The ratios of black hole to spheroid mass and of both black hole accretion and outflow rates to star formation rate are predicted as a function of time. I suggest various tests of the AGN-triggered star formation hypothesis.

  2. Tidal disruption of a star by a supermassive black hole

    SciTech Connect

    Laguna, P.; Miller, W.A.; Zurek, W.H.

    1991-01-01

    The analysis of stars in galactic nuclei that are captured and tidally disrupted by a black hole of mass > 10{sup 6} M{sub {circle dot}} requires the inclusion of general relativistic effects. We present the first numerical study of tidal breakup of a 1M{sub {circle dot}} main sequence star by a 10{sup 7} M{sub {circle dot}} black hole. We use a smoothed particle code to solve the hydrodynamic equations for a relativistic fluid in a static curved spacetime geometry to analyze, among other things, the fraction of the debris captured by the hole and the velocity of fragments escaping the hole.

  3. High-energy signatures of binary systems of supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero, G. E.; Vila, G. S.; Pérez, D.

    2016-04-01

    Context. Binary systems of supermassive black holes are expected to be strong sources of long gravitational waves prior to merging. These systems are good candidates to be observed with forthcoming space-borne detectors. Only a few of these systems, however, have been firmly identified to date. Aims: We aim at providing a criterion for the identification of some supermassive black hole binaries based on the characteristics of the high-energy emission of a putative relativistic jet launched from the most massive of the two black holes. Methods: We study supermassive black hole binaries where the less massive black hole has carved an annular gap in the circumbinary disk, but nevertheless there is a steady mass flow across its orbit. Such a perturbed disk is hotter and more luminous than a standard thin disk in some regions. Assuming that the jet contains relativistic electrons, we calculate its broadband spectral energy distribution focusing on the inverse Compton up-scattering of the disk photons. We also compute the opacity to the gamma rays produced in the jet by photon annihilation with the disk radiation and take into account the effects of the anisotropy of the target photon field as seen from the jet. Results: We find that the excess of low-energy photons radiated by the perturbed disk causes an increment in the external Compton emission from the jet in the X-ray band, and a deep absorption feature at energies of tens of TeVs for some sets of parameters. According to our results, observations with Cherenkov telescopes might help in the identification of supermassive black hole binaries, especially those black hole binaries that host primaries from tens to hundreds of million of solar masses.

  4. The growth efficiency of high-redshift black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pacucci, Fabio; Volonteri, Marta; Ferrara, Andrea

    2015-09-01

    The observational evidence that Super-Massive Black Holes (M• ˜ 109-10 M⊙) are already in place less than 1 Gyr after the big bang poses stringent time constraints on the growth efficiency of their seeds. Among proposed possibilities, the formation of massive (˜103-6 M⊙) seeds and/or the occurrence of super-Eddington (dot{M}>dot{M}_{Edd}) accretion episodes may contribute to the solution of this problem. In this work, using a set of astrophysically motivated initial conditions, we analytically and numerically investigate the accretion flow on to high-redshift (z ˜ 10) black holes to understand the physical requirements favouring rapid and efficient growth. Our model identifies a `feeding-dominated' accretion regime and a `feedback-limited' one, the latter being characterized by intermittent (duty cycles D ≲ 0.5) and inefficient growth, with recurring outflow episodes. We find that low-mass seeds (≲103-4 M⊙) evolve in the feedback-limited regime, while more massive seeds (≳105-6 M⊙) grow very rapidly as they are found in the feeding-dominated regime. In addition to the standard accretion model with a fixed matter-energy conversion factor (ɛ = 0.1), we have also explored slim disc models, appropriate for super-Eddington accretion, where radiation is trapped in the disc and the radiative efficiency is reduced (ɛ ≲ 0.04), which may ensure a continuous growth with dot{M} ≫ dot{M}_{Edd} (up to {˜ } 300 dot{M}_{Edd} in our simulations). Under these conditions, outflows play a negligible role and a black hole can accrete 80-100 per cent of the gas mass of the host halo (˜107 M⊙) in ˜10 Myr, while in feedback-limited systems we predict that black holes can accrete only up to ˜15 per cent of the available mass.

  5. Coevolution of Supermassive Black Holes and Galaxies across cosmic times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aversa, Rossella

    2015-10-01

    Understanding how supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and galaxies coevolve within their host dark matter (DM) halos is a fundamental issue in astrophysics. This thesis is aimed to shed light on this topic. As a first step, we employ the recent wide samples of far-infrared (FIR) selected galaxies followed-up in X-rays, and of X-ray/optically selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) followed-up in the FIR band, along with the classic data on AGN and stellar luminosity functions at redshift z & 1.5, to probe different stages in the coevolution of SMBHs and their host galaxies. The results of this analysis indicate the following scenario: (i) the star formation in the host galaxy proceeds within a heavily dust-enshrouded medium, at an almost constant rate, over a timescale . 0.5 - 1 Gyr, and then abruptly declines due to quasar feedback; (ii) part of the interstellar medium loses angular momentum, reaches the circum-nuclear regions, at a rate proportional to the star formation, and is temporarily stored into a massive reservoir/proto-torus, wherefrom it can be promptly accreted; (iii) the black hole (BH) grows by accretion in a self-regulated regime with radiative power that can slightly exceed the Eddington limit (L/LEdd . 4), particularly at the highest redshifts; (iv) the ensuing energy feedback from massive BHs, at its maximum, exceeds the stellar one and removes the interstellar gas, thus stopping the star formation and the fueling of the reservoir; (v) afterwards, if the gas stored in the reservoir is enough, a phase of supply-limited accretion follows, whose rate exponentially declines with a timescale of ∼3 e-folding times. We also discuss how the detailed properties and the specific evolution of the reservoir can be investigated via coordinated, high-resolution observations of starforming, strongly lensed galaxies in the (sub-)mm band with ALMA, and in the X-ray band with Chandra and the next generation of X-ray instruments. According to the scenario described

  6. Coevolution of Supermassive Black Holes and Galaxies across cosmic times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aversa, Rossella

    2015-10-01

    Understanding how supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and galaxies coevolve within their host dark matter (DM) halos is a fundamental issue in astrophysics. This thesis is aimed to shed light on this topic. As a first step, we employ the recent wide samples of far-infrared (FIR) selected galaxies followed-up in X-rays, and of X-ray/optically selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) followed-up in the FIR band, along with the classic data on AGN and stellar luminosity functions at redshift z & 1.5, to probe different stages in the coevolution of SMBHs and their host galaxies. The results of this analysis indicate the following scenario: (i) the star formation in the host galaxy proceeds within a heavily dust-enshrouded medium, at an almost constant rate, over a timescale . 0.5 - 1 Gyr, and then abruptly declines due to quasar feedback; (ii) part of the interstellar medium loses angular momentum, reaches the circum-nuclear regions, at a rate proportional to the star formation, and is temporarily stored into a massive reservoir/proto-torus, wherefrom it can be promptly accreted; (iii) the black hole (BH) grows by accretion in a self-regulated regime with radiative power that can slightly exceed the Eddington limit (L/LEdd . 4), particularly at the highest redshifts; (iv) the ensuing energy feedback from massive BHs, at its maximum, exceeds the stellar one and removes the interstellar gas, thus stopping the star formation and the fueling of the reservoir; (v) afterwards, if the gas stored in the reservoir is enough, a phase of supply-limited accretion follows, whose rate exponentially declines with a timescale of ∼3 e-folding times. We also discuss how the detailed properties and the specific evolution of the reservoir can be investigated via coordinated, high-resolution observations of starforming, strongly lensed galaxies in the (sub-)mm band with ALMA, and in the X-ray band with Chandra and the next generation of X-ray instruments. According to the scenario described

  7. Comparison of black hole growth in galaxy mergers with gasoline and ramses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabor, Jared M.; Capelo, Pedro R.; Volonteri, Marta; Bournaud, Frédéric; Bellovary, Jillian; Governato, Fabio; Quinn, Thomas

    2016-07-01

    Supermassive black hole dynamics during galaxy mergers is crucial in determining the rate of black hole mergers and cosmic black hole growth. As simulations achieve higher resolution, it becomes important to assess whether the black hole dynamics is influenced by the treatment of the interstellar medium in different simulation codes. We compare simulations of black hole growth in galaxy mergers with two codes: the smoothed particle hydrodynamics code gasoline, and the adaptive mesh refinement code ramses. We seek to identify predictions of these models that are robust despite differences in hydrodynamic methods and implementations of subgrid physics. We find that the general behavior is consistent between codes. Black hole accretion is minimal while the galaxies are well-separated (and even as they fly by within 10 kpc at the first pericenter). At late stages, when the galaxies pass within a few kpc, tidal torques drive nuclear gas inflow that triggers bursts of black hole accretion accompanied by star formation. We also note quantitative discrepancies that are model dependent: our ramses simulations show less star formation and black hole growth, and a smoother gas distribution with larger clumps and filaments than our gasoline simulations. We attribute these differences primarily to the subgrid models for black hole fueling, feedback, and gas thermodynamics. The main conclusion is that differences exist quantitatively between codes, and this should be kept in mind when making comparisons with observations. However, both codes capture the same dynamical behaviors in terms of triggering black hole accretion, star formation, and black hole dynamics, which is reassuring.

  8. Gravitational-wave limits from pulsar timing constrain supermassive black hole evolution.

    PubMed

    Shannon, R M; Ravi, V; Coles, W A; Hobbs, G; Keith, M J; Manchester, R N; Wyithe, J S B; Bailes, M; Bhat, N D R; Burke-Spolaor, S; Khoo, J; Levin, Y; Osłowski, S; Sarkissian, J M; van Straten, W; Verbiest, J P W; Wang, J-B

    2013-10-18

    The formation and growth processes of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are not well constrained. SMBH population models, however, provide specific predictions for the properties of the gravitational-wave background (GWB) from binary SMBHs in merging galaxies throughout the universe. Using observations from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array, we constrain the fractional GWB energy density (Ω(GW)) with 95% confidence to be Ω(GW)(H0/73 kilometers per second per megaparsec)(2) < 1.3 × 10(-9) (where H0 is the Hubble constant) at a frequency of 2.8 nanohertz, which is approximately a factor of 6 more stringent than previous limits. We compare our limit to models of the SMBH population and find inconsistencies at confidence levels between 46 and 91%. For example, the standard galaxy formation model implemented in the Millennium Simulation Project is inconsistent with our limit with 50% probability. PMID:24136962

  9. THE FORMATION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES FROM LOW-MASS POP III SEEDS

    SciTech Connect

    Whalen, Daniel J.; Fryer, Chris L.

    2012-09-01

    The existence of 10{sup 9} M{sub Sun} black holes (BHs) in massive galaxies by z {approx} 7 is one of the great unsolved mysteries in cosmological structure formation. One theory argues that they originate from the BHs of Pop III stars at z {approx} 20 and then accrete at the Eddington limit down to the epoch of reionization, which requires that they have constant access to rich supplies of fuel. Because early numerical simulations suggested that Pop III stars were {approx}>100 M{sub Sun }, the supermassive black hole (SMBH) seeds considered up to now were 100-300 M{sub Sun }. However, there is a growing numerical and observational consensus that some Pop III stars were tens of solar masses, not hundreds, and that 20-40 M{sub Sun} BHs may have been much more plentiful at high redshift. However, we find that natal kicks imparted to 20-40 M{sub Sun} Pop III BHs during formation eject them from their halos and hence their fuel supply, precluding them from Eddington-limit growth. Consequently, SMBHs are far less likely to form from low-mass Pop III stars than from very massive ones.

  10. Simulating the growth of Intermediate Mass Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pacucci, Fabio; Ferrara, Andrea

    2015-03-01

    Theoretical models predict that a population of intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) of mass M• ≈ 104-5 M⊙ might form at high (z ≳ 10) redshift by different processes. Such objects would represent the seeds out of which z ≳ 6 supermassive black holes grow. We numerically investigate the radiation-hydrodynamic evolution governing the growth of such seeds via accretion of primordial gas within their parent dark matter halo of virial temperature Tvir ˜ 104 K. We find that the accretion on to a direct collapse black hole of initial mass M0 = 105 M⊙ occurs at an average rate dot{M}_{•} ≃ 1.35 dot{M}_Edd ˜eq 0.1 M_{{⊙} yr^{-1}}, is intermittent (duty cycle ≲ 50 per cent) and lasts ≈142 Myr; the system emits on average at super-Eddington luminosities, progressively becoming more luminous as the density of the inner mass shells, directly feeding the central object, increases. Finally, when ≈90 per cent of the gas mass has been accreted (in spite of an average super-Eddington emission) on to the black hole, whose final mass is ˜7 × 106 M⊙, the remaining gas is ejected from the halo due to a powerful radiation burst releasing a peak luminosity Lpeak ˜ 3 × 1045 erg s-1. The IMBH is Compton-thick during most of the evolution, reaching a column density NH ˜ 1025 cm-2 in the late stages of the simulation. We briefly discuss the observational implications of the model.

  11. Era of Galaxy and Black Hole Growth Spurt Discovered

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-04-01

    Distant galaxies undergoing intense bursts of star formation have been shown by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to be fertile growing grounds for the largest black holes in the Universe. Collisions between galaxies in the early Universe may be the ultimate cause for both the accelerated star formation and black hole growth. By combining the deepest X-ray image ever obtained with submillimeter and optical observations, an international team of scientists has found evidence that some extremely luminous adolescent galaxies and their central black holes underwent a phenomenal spurt of growth more than 10 billion years ago. This concurrent black hole and galaxy growth spurt is only seen in these galaxies and may have set the stage for the birth of quasars - distant galaxies that contain the largest and most active black holes in the Universe. Simulation of a Galaxy Collision Simulation of a Galaxy Collision "The extreme distances of these galaxies allow us to look back in time, and take a snapshot of how today's largest galaxies looked when they were producing most of their stars and growing black holes," said David Alexander of the University of Cambridge, UK, and lead author of a paper in the April 7, 2005 issue of Nature that describes this work. The galaxies studied by Alexander and his colleagues are known as submillimeter galaxies, so-called because they were originally identified by the James Clerk Maxwell submillimeter telescope (JCMT) on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The submillimeter observations along with optical data from Keck indicate these galaxies had an unusually large amount of gas. The gas in each galaxy was forming into stars at a rate of about one per day, or 100 times the present rate in the Milky Way galaxy. The Chandra X-ray data show that the supermassive black holes in the galaxies were also growing at the same time. Chandra X-ray Image of CDFN Chandra X-ray Image of CDFN These galaxies are very faint and it is only with the deepest observations of the

  12. Lense-Thirring precession around supermassive black holes during tidal disruption events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franchini, Alessia; Lodato, Giuseppe; Facchini, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    A tidal disruption event occurs when a star wanders close enough to a black hole to be disrupted by its tidal force. The debris of a tidally disrupted star are expected to form an accretion disc around the supermassive black hole. The light curves of these events sometimes show a quasi-periodic modulation of the flux that can be associated with the precession of the accretion disc due to the Lense-Thirring (`frame-dragging') effect. Since the initial star orbit is in general inclined with respect to the black hole spin, this misalignment combined with the Lense-Thirring effect leads to a warp in the disc. In this paper, we provide a simple model of the system composed by a thick and narrow accretion disc surrounding a spinning supermassive black hole, with the aim to: (a) compute the expected precession period as a function of the system parameters, (b) discuss the conditions that have to be satisfied in order to have rigid precession, (c) investigate the alignment process, highlighting how different mechanisms play a role leading the disc and the black hole angular momenta into alignment.

  13. Supermassive Black Holes and Their Host Spheroids. I. Disassembling Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savorgnan, G. A. D.; Graham, A. W.

    2016-01-01

    Several recent studies have performed galaxy decompositions to investigate correlations between the black hole mass and various properties of the host spheroid, but they have not converged on the same conclusions. This is because their models for the same galaxy were often significantly different and not consistent with each other in terms of fitted components. Using 3.6 μm Spitzer imagery, which is a superb tracer of the stellar mass (superior to the K band), we have performed state-of-the-art multicomponent decompositions for 66 galaxies with directly measured black hole masses. Our sample is the largest to date and, unlike previous studies, contains a large number (17) of spiral galaxies with low black hole masses. We paid careful attention to the image mosaicking, sky subtraction, and masking of contaminating sources. After a scrupulous inspection of the galaxy photometry (through isophotal analysis and unsharp masking) and—for the first time—2D kinematics, we were able to account for spheroids large-scale, intermediate-scale, and nuclear disks bars rings spiral arms halos extended or unresolved nuclear sources; and partially depleted cores. For each individual galaxy, we compared our best-fit model with previous studies, explained the discrepancies, and identified the optimal decomposition. Moreover, we have independently performed one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) decompositions and concluded that, at least when modeling large, nearby galaxies, 1D techniques have more advantages than 2D techniques. Finally, we developed a prescription to estimate the uncertainties on the 1D best-fit parameters for the 66 spheroids that takes into account systematic errors, unlike popular 2D codes that only consider statistical errors.

  14. MCMC exploration of supermassive black hole binary inspirals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornish, Neil J.; Porter, Edward K.

    2006-10-01

    The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna will be able to detect the inspiral and merger of super massive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) anywhere in the universe. Standard matched filtering techniques can be used to detect and characterize these systems. Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods are ideally suited to this and other LISA data analysis problems as they are able to efficiently handle models with large dimensions. Here we compare the posterior parameter distributions derived by an MCMC algorithm with the distributions predicted by the Fisher information matrix. We find excellent agreement for the extrinsic parameters, while the Fisher matrix slightly overestimates errors in the intrinsic parameters.

  15. A Normal Supermassive Black Hole in NGC 1277

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, Alister W.; Durré, Mark; Savorgnan, Giulia A. D.; Medling, Anne M.; Batcheldor, Dan; Scott, Nicholas; Watson, Beverly; Marconi, Alessandro

    2016-03-01

    The identification of galaxies with “overly massive” black holes requires two measurements: a black hole mass (Mbh) and a host spheroid mass ({M}{{sph,\\ast }}). Here we provide our measurements for NGC 1277. Our structural decomposition reveals that NGC 1277 is dominated by a “classical” spheroid with a Sérsic index n = 5.3, a half-light radius {R}{{e,major}}=2.1 {{kpc}}, and a stellar mass of 2.7× {10}11\\quad {M}⊙ (using {M}*/{L}V=11.65, Martín-Navarro et al.). This mass is an order of magnitude greater than originally reported. Using the latest Mbh-n, Mbh-{M}{{sph,\\ast }}, and Mbh-σ relations, the expected black hole mass is, respectively, ({0.57}-0.40+1.29)× {10}9\\quad {M}⊙ , ({1.58}-1.13+4.04)× {10}9\\quad {M}⊙ , and ({2.27}-1.44+4.04)× {10}9\\quad {M}⊙ (using σ = 300 km s-1) for which the “sphere-of-influence” is 0.″31. Our new kinematical maps obtained from laser guide star assisted, adaptive optics on the Keck I Telescope dramatically reaffirm the presence of the inner, nearly edge-on, disk seen in the galaxy image. We also report that this produces a large velocity shear (˜400 km s-1) across the inner 0.″2 (70 pc) plus elevated values of \\sqrt{{σ }2+{V}2} across the inner (+/- 3\\buildrel{\\prime\\prime}\\over{.} 8)× (+/- 0\\buildrel{\\prime\\prime}\\over{.} 6) region of the galaxy. Our new multi-Gaussian expansion (MGE) models and Jeans Anisotropic MGE analysis struggled to match this extended component. Our optimal black hole mass, albeit a probable upper limit because of the disk is 1.2 × 109 M⊙ (M/{L}V=12.3). This is an order of magnitude smaller than originally reported and 4 times smaller than recently reported. It gives an {M}{{bh}}/{M}{{sph,\\ast }} ratio of 0.45% in agreement with the median (≈0.5%) and range (0.1%-5.0%) observed in non-dwarf, early-type galaxies. This result highlights the need for caution with inner disks.

  16. A close-pair binary in a distant triple supermassive black hole system.

    PubMed

    Deane, R P; Paragi, Z; Jarvis, M J; Coriat, M; Bernardi, G; Fender, R P; Frey, S; Heywood, I; Klöckner, H-R; Grainge, K; Rumsey, C

    2014-07-01

    Galaxies are believed to evolve through merging, which should lead to some hosting multiple supermassive black holes. There are four known triple black hole systems, with the closest black hole pair being 2.4 kiloparsecs apart (the third component in this system is at 3 kiloparsecs), which is far from the gravitational sphere of influence (about 100 parsecs for a black hole with mass one billion times that of the Sun). Previous searches for compact black hole systems concluded that they were rare, with the tightest binary system having a separation of 7 parsecs (ref. 10). Here we report observations of a triple black hole system at redshift z = 0.39, with the closest pair separated by about 140 parsecs and significantly more distant from Earth than any other known binary of comparable orbital separation. The effect of the tight pair is to introduce a rotationally symmetric helical modulation on the structure of the large-scale radio jets, which provides a useful way to search for other tight pairs without needing extremely high resolution observations. As we found this tight pair after searching only six galaxies, we conclude that tight pairs are more common than hitherto believed, which is an important observational constraint for low-frequency gravitational wave experiments. PMID:24990745

  17. A supermassive black hole in an ultra-compact dwarf galaxy.

    PubMed

    Seth, Anil C; van den Bosch, Remco; Mieske, Steffen; Baumgardt, Holger; den Brok, Mark; Strader, Jay; Neumayer, Nadine; Chilingarian, Igor; Hilker, Michael; McDermid, Richard; Spitler, Lee; Brodie, Jean; Frank, Matthias J; Walsh, Jonelle L

    2014-09-18

    Ultra-compact dwarf galaxies are among the densest stellar systems in the Universe. These systems have masses of up to 2 × 10(8) solar masses, but half-light radii of just 3-50 parsecs. Dynamical mass estimates show that many such dwarfs are more massive than expected from their luminosity. It remains unclear whether these high dynamical mass estimates arise because of the presence of supermassive black holes or result from a non-standard stellar initial mass function that causes the average stellar mass to be higher than expected. Here we report adaptive optics kinematic data of the ultra-compact dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1 that show a central velocity dispersion peak exceeding 100 kilometres per second and modest rotation. Dynamical modelling of these data reveals the presence of a supermassive black hole with a mass of 2.1 × 10(7) solar masses. This is 15 per cent of the object's total mass. The high black hole mass and mass fraction suggest that M60-UCD1 is the stripped nucleus of a galaxy. Our analysis also shows that M60-UCD1's stellar mass is consistent with its luminosity, implying a large population of previously unrecognized supermassive black holes in other ultra-compact dwarf galaxies. PMID:25230660

  18. No Supermassive Black Holes in Giant Galaxy Disks: M101 and NGC 6946

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kormendy, John; Drory, N.; Cornell, M. E.; Bender, R.

    2007-12-01

    The Hobby-Eberly Telescope was used to obtain high-resolution spectroscopy of the nuclear star clusters in the bulgeless, giant Scd galaxies M101 and NGC 6946. Their nuclei have velocity dispersions of 25 to 40 km/s. Any supermassive black holes in these clusters must have masses less than approximately 10**4 to 10**5 solar masses. Similar results are obtained for IC 342 from a published velocity dispersion. These limits are much smaller than masses that are predicted if black holes in bulgeless galaxies correlated with galaxy disk properties such as rotation velocities V in the same way that black holes correlate with elliptical galaxy and bulge properties such as velocity dispersions. Since these are giant galaxies with V = 200 km/s, this result provides an especially stringent check that black holes do not correlate with galaxy disks. All three galaxies contain little or no pseudobulge component, either, a result that can be understood from dynamical arguments. Therefore gas inflow processes like those that occur rapidly in galaxy mergers and slowly in internally driven secular evolution are essentially unavailable for black hole feeding. However, some (pseudo)bulgeless galaxies, including IC 342 and NGC 6946, show weak Seyfert activity, and some are known to contain relatively low-mass black holes. This is a hint that low-mass black holes in bulgeless galaxies and high-mass black holes in bulges and ellipticals may have fundamentally different formation histories. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation through grant AST-0607490.

  19. THE FIRST SPECTROSCOPICALLY RESOLVED SUB-PARSEC ORBIT OF A SUPERMASSIVE BINARY BLACK HOLE

    SciTech Connect

    Bon, E.; Jovanovic, P.; Bon, N.; Popovic, L. C.; Marziani, P.; Shapovalova, A. I.; Borka Jovanovic, V.; Borka, D.; Sulentic, J.

    2012-11-10

    One of the most intriguing scenarios proposed to explain how active galactic nuclei are triggered involves the existence of a supermassive binary black hole (BH) system in their cores. Here, we present an observational evidence for the first spectroscopically resolved sub-parsec orbit of a such system in the core of Seyfert galaxy NGC 4151. Using a method similar to those typically used for spectroscopic binary stars, we obtained radial velocity curves of the supermassive binary system, from which we calculated orbital elements and made estimates about the masses of the components. Our analysis shows that periodic variations in the light and radial velocity curves can be accounted for by an eccentric, sub-parsec Keplerian orbit with a 15.9 year period. The flux maximum in the light curve corresponds to the approaching phase of the secondary component toward the observer. According to the obtained results, we speculate that the periodic variations in the observed H{alpha} line shape and flux are due to shock waves generated by the supersonic motion of the components through the surrounding medium. Given the large observational effort needed to reveal this spectroscopically resolved binary orbital motion, we suggest that many such systems may exist in similar objects even if they are hard to find. Detecting more of them will provide us with insight into the BH mass growth process.

  20. Evidence for black holes.

    PubMed

    Begelman, Mitchell C

    2003-06-20

    Black holes are common objects in the universe. Each galaxy contains large numbers-perhaps millions-of stellar-mass black holes, each the remnant of a massive star. In addition, nearly every galaxy contains a supermassive black hole at its center, with a mass ranging from millions to billions of solar masses. This review discusses the demographics of black holes, the ways in which they interact with their environment, factors that may regulate their formation and growth, and progress toward determining whether these objects really warp spacetime as predicted by the general theory of relativity. PMID:12817138

  1. Prospects for measuring supermassive black hole masses with future extremely large telescopes

    SciTech Connect

    Do, Tuan; Wright, Shelley A.; Barth, Aaron J.; Barton, Elizabeth J.; Simard, Luc; Larkin, James E.; Moore, Anna M.; Wang, Lianqi; Ellerbroek, Brent

    2014-04-01

    The next generation of giant-segmented mirror telescopes (>20 m) will enable us to observe galactic nuclei at much higher angular resolution and sensitivity than ever before. These capabilities will introduce a revolutionary shift in our understanding of the origin and evolution of supermassive black holes by enabling more precise black hole mass measurements in a mass range that is unreachable today. We present simulations and predictions of the observations of nuclei that will be made with the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and the adaptive optics assisted integral-field spectrograph IRIS, which is capable of diffraction-limited spectroscopy from Z band (0.9 μm) to K band (2.2 μm). These simulations, for the first time, use realistic values for the sky, telescope, adaptive optics system, and instrument to determine the expected signal-to-noise ratio of a range of possible targets spanning intermediate mass black holes of ∼10{sup 4} M {sub ☉} to the most massive black holes known today of >10{sup 10} M {sub ☉}. We find that IRIS will be able to observe Milky Way mass black holes out the distance of the Virgo Cluster, and will allow us to observe many more of the brightest cluster galaxies where the most massive black holes are thought to reside. We also evaluate how well the kinematic moments of the velocity distributions can be constrained at the different spectral resolutions and plate scales designed for IRIS. We find that a spectral resolution of ∼8000 will be necessary to measure the masses of intermediate mass black holes. By simulating the observations of galaxies found in Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR7, we find that over 10{sup 5} massive black holes will be observable at distances between 0.005 < z < 0.18 with the estimated sensitivity and angular resolution provided by access to Z-band (0.9 μm) spectroscopy from IRIS and the TMT adaptive optics system. These observations will provide the most accurate dynamical measurements of black hole masses to

  2. Gravitational wave emission from binary supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sesana, A.

    2013-12-01

    Massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) are unavoidable outcomes of the hierarchical structure formation process, and, according to the theory of general relativity, are expected to be the loudest gravitational wave (GW) sources in the Universe. In this paper I provide a broad overview of MBHBs as GW sources. After reviewing the basics of GW emission from binary systems and of MBHB formation, evolution and dynamics, I describe in some details the connection between binary properties and the emitted gravitational waveform. Direct GW observations will provide an unprecedented wealth of information about the physical nature and the astrophysical properties of these extreme objects, allowing to reconstruct their cosmic history, dynamics and coupling with their dense stellar and gaseous environment. In this context I describe ongoing and future efforts to make a direct detection with space based interferometry and pulsar timing arrays, highlighting the invaluable scientific payouts of such enterprises.

  3. Flares from stars tidally disrupted by supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komossa, St.

    2016-04-01

    Stellar tidal disruption events are unique probes of accretion physics and disk winds under extreme conditions. Their luminous flares of radiation are signposts of intermediate-mass black holes (BHs) and recoiling BHs. In X-rays, they have the potential to probe GR effects near the last stable orbit. Some of the events launch relativistic jets, and provide us with a powerful new method of understanding the physics of jet formation and evolution in a quiescent environment. About 30-40 candidate events have been identified by now, mostly in the X-rays and the optical. Events will be detected in the thousands in upcoming sky surveys, enabling statistical studies and rapid multi-wavelength follow-ups. Here, I provide a review of the field, including most recent results.

  4. Interim results from the ongoing hunt for supermassive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Runnoe, Jessie C.; Mathes, Gavin; Pennell, Alison; Brown, Stephanie Meghan; Eracleous, Michael; Boroson, Todd A.; Bogdanovic, Tamara; Sigurdsson, Steinn; Halpern, Jules P.; Liu, Jia

    2016-01-01

    Supermassive black hole binaries seem to be an inevitable product of the prevailing galaxy evolution scenarios in which most massive galaxies play host to a central black hole and undergo a history of mergers and accretion over the course of cosmic time. The early stages of this process have been observed in the form of interacting galaxy pairs as well dual active galactic nuclei with kilo-parsec separations, but detections of the close, bound binaries that are expected to follow have proven elusive. With this motivation, we have been conducting a systematic observational search for sub-parsec separation supermassive black hole binaries. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that the secondary black hole in the system is active and the resulting broad emission lines are doppler shifted due to orbital motion in the binary (analogous to a single-line spectroscopc binary star). Our sample includes 88 binary candidates selected from z<0.7 Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasars based on substantial offsets (>1000 km/s) of their broad Hβ emission lines relative to their systemic redshifts. I will present the latest results from the spectroscopic monitoring campaign that we are conducting to constrain the nature of the binary candidates. These include the radial velocity curves, which now use observations made through 2015, and the constraints that can be placed on the physical properties of the binary based on the radial velocity curves and observed flux variability of the binaries.

  5. Spin and mass of the supermassive black hole in the Galactic Center

    SciTech Connect

    Dokuchaev, V. I.

    2015-12-15

    A new method for exact determination of the masses and spins of black holes from the observations of quasi-periodic oscillations is discussed. The detected signal from the hot clumps in the accretion plasma must contain modulations with two characteristic frequencies: the frequency of rotation of the black hole event horizon and the frequency of the latitudinal precession of the clump’s orbit. Application of the method of two characteristic frequencies for interpretation of the observed quasi-periodic oscillations from the supermassive black hole in the Galactic center in the X-rays and in the near IR region yields the most exact, for the present, values of the mass and the spin (Kerr parameter) of the Sgr A* black hole: M = (4.2 ± 0.2) × 10{sup 6}M{sub ⊙} and a = 0.65 ± 0.05. The observed quasi-periodic oscillations with a period of about 11.5 min are identified as the black hole event horizon rotation period and those with a period of about 19 min are identified as the latitudinal oscillation period of the hot spot orbits in the accretion disk.

  6. Resolving the Bondi Accretion Flow toward the Supermassive Black Hole of NGC 3115 with Chandra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Ka-Wah; Irwin, J.; Million, E.; Yukita, M.; Mathews, W.; Bregman, J.

    2011-09-01

    Gas undergoing Bondi accretion on to a supermassive black hole (SMBH) becomes hotter toward smaller radii. We searched for this signature with a Chandra observation of the hot gas in NGC 3115, which optical observation show has a very massive SMBH. Our observations show that the gas temperature rises toward the galaxy center as expected in all accretion models in which the black hole is gravitationally capturing the ambient gas. The data support that the Bondi radius is at least about 4-5 arcsec (188-235 pc), suggesting a supermassive blackhole of two billion solar masses that is consistent with the upper end of the optical results. The density profile within the Bondi radius has a power law index of 1.03, and we will discuss the interpretations of the results.

  7. The shortest-known-period star orbiting our Galaxy's supermassive black hole.

    PubMed

    Meyer, L; Ghez, A M; Schödel, R; Yelda, S; Boehle, A; Lu, J R; Do, T; Morris, M R; Becklin, E E; Matthews, K

    2012-10-01

    Stars with short orbital periods at the center of our Galaxy offer a powerful probe of a supermassive black hole. Over the past 17 years, the W. M. Keck Observatory has been used to image the galactic center at the highest angular resolution possible today. By adding to this data set and advancing methodologies, we have detected S0-102, a star orbiting our Galaxy's supermassive black hole with a period of just 11.5 years. S0-102 doubles the number of known stars with full phase coverage and periods of less than 20 years. It thereby provides the opportunity, with future measurements, to resolve degeneracies in the parameters describing the central gravitational potential and to test Einstein's theory of general relativity in an unexplored regime. PMID:23042888

  8. Spin properties of supermassive black holes with powerful outflows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daly, Ruth. A.

    2016-05-01

    Relationships between beam power and accretion disc luminosity are studied for a sample of 55 high excitation radio galaxies (HERG), 13 low excitation radio galaxies (LERG), and 29 radio loud quasars (RLQ) with powerful outflows. The ratio of beam power to disc luminosity tends to be high for LERG, low for RLQ, and spans the full range of values for HERG. Writing general expressions for the disc luminosity and beam power and applying the empirically determined relationships allows a function that parametrizes the spins of the holes to be estimated. Interestingly, one of the solutions that is consistent with the data has a functional form that is remarkably similar to that expected in the generalized Blandford-Znajek model with a magnetic field that is similar in form to that expected in magnetically arrested disk (MAD) and advection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) models. Values of the spin function, obtained independent of specific outflow models, suggest that spin and active galactic nucleus type are not related for these types of sources. The spin function can be used to solve for black hole spin in the context of particular outflow models, and one example is provided.

  9. MASSES OF NEARBY SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES WITH VERY LONG BASELINE INTERFEROMETRY

    SciTech Connect

    Johannsen, Tim; Psaltis, Dimitrios; Marrone, Daniel P.; Oezel, Feryal; Gillessen, Stefan; Doeleman, Sheperd S.; Fish, Vincent L.

    2012-10-10

    Dynamical mass measurements to date have allowed determinations of the mass M and the distance D of a number of nearby supermassive black holes. In the case of Sgr A*, these measurements are limited by a strong correlation between the mass and distance scaling roughly as M {approx} D {sup 2}. Future very long baseline interferometric (VLBI) observations will image a bright and narrow ring surrounding the shadow of a supermassive black hole, if its accretion flow is optically thin. In this paper, we explore the prospects of reducing the correlation between mass and distance with the combination of dynamical measurements and VLBI imaging of the ring of Sgr A*. We estimate the signal-to-noise ratio of near-future VLBI arrays that consist of five to six stations, and we simulate measurements of the mass and distance of Sgr A* using the expected size of the ring image and existing stellar ephemerides. We demonstrate that, in this best-case scenario, VLBI observations at 1 mm can improve the error on the mass by a factor of about two compared to the results from the monitoring of stellar orbits alone. We identify the additional sources of uncertainty that such imaging observations have to take into account. In addition, we calculate the angular diameters of the bright rings of other nearby supermassive black holes and identify the optimal targets besides Sgr A* that could be imaged by a ground-based VLBI array or future space-VLBI missions allowing for refined mass measurements.

  10. Shaping the relation between the mass of supermassive black holes and the velocity dispersion of galactic bulges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, M. H.

    2013-05-01

    I use the fact that the radiation emitted by the accretion disk of supermassive black hole can heat up the surrounding gas in the protogalaxy to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium during the galaxy formation. The correlation between the black hole mass M BH and velocity dispersion σ thus naturally arises. The result generally agrees with empirical fittings from observational data, even with M BH ≤106 M ⊙. This model provides a clear picture on how the properties of the galactic supermassive black holes are connected with the kinetic properties of the galactic bulges.

  11. DISCOVERY OF AN H{alpha} EMITTING DISK AROUND THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE OF M31

    SciTech Connect

    Menezes, R. B.; Steiner, J. E.; Ricci, T. V.

    2013-01-10

    Due to its proximity, the mass of the supermassive black hole in the nucleus of the Andromeda galaxy (M31), the most massive black hole in the Local Group of galaxies, has been measured by several methods involving the kinematics of a stellar disk which surrounds it. We report here the discovery of an eccentric H{alpha} emitting disk around the black hole at the center of M31 and show how modeling this disk can provide an independent determination of the mass of the black hole. Our model implies a mass of 5.0{sup +0.8}{sub -1.0} Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 7} M{sub Sun} for the central black hole, consistent with the average of determinations by methods involving stellar dynamics, and compatible (at 1{sigma} level) with measurements obtained from the most detailed models of the stellar disk around the central black hole. This value is also consistent with the M-{sigma} relation. In order to make a comparison, we applied our simulation on the stellar kinematics in the nucleus of M31 and concluded that the parameters obtained for the stellar disk are not formally compatible with the parameters obtained for the H{alpha} emitting disk. This result suggests that the stellar and the H{alpha} emitting disks are intrinsically different from each other. A plausible explanation is that the H{alpha} emission is associated with a gaseous disk. This hypothesis is supported by the detection of traces of weaker nebular lines in the nuclear region of M31. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that the H{alpha} emission is, at least partially, generated by stars.

  12. COSMOLOGICAL EVOLUTION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES. II. EVIDENCE FOR DOWNSIZING OF SPIN EVOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Li Yanrong; Wang Jianmin; Ho, Luis C. E-mail: wangjm@mail.ihep.ac.cn

    2012-04-20

    The spin is an important but poorly constrained parameter for describing supermassive black holes (SMBHs). Using the continuity equation of SMBH number density, we explicitly obtain the mass-dependent cosmological evolution of the radiative efficiency for accretion, which serves as a proxy for SMBH spin. Our calculations make use of the SMBH mass function of active and inactive galaxies (derived in the first paper of this series), the bolometric luminosity function of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), corrected for the contribution from Compton-thick sources, and the observed Eddington ratio distribution. We find that the radiative efficiency generally increases with increasing black hole mass at high redshifts (z {approx}> 1), roughly as {eta}{proportional_to}M{sup 0.5}{sub .}, while the trend reverses at lower redshifts, such that the highest efficiencies are attained by the lowest mass black holes. Black holes with M{sub .} {approx}> 10{sup 8.5} M{sub Sun} maintain radiative efficiencies as high as {eta} Almost-Equal-To 0.3-0.4 at high redshifts, near the maximum for rapidly spinning systems, but their efficiencies drop dramatically (by an order of magnitude) by z Almost-Equal-To 0. The pattern for lower mass holes is somewhat more complicated but qualitatively similar. Assuming that the standard accretion disk model applies, we suggest that the accretion history of SMBHs and their accompanying spins evolves in two distinct regimes: an early phase of prolonged accretion, plausibly driven by major mergers, during which the black hole spins up, then switching to a period of random, episodic accretion, governed by minor mergers and internal secular processes, during which the hole spins down. The transition epoch depends on mass, mirroring other evidence for 'cosmic downsizing' in the AGN population; it occurs at z Almost-Equal-To 2 for high-mass black holes and somewhat later, at z Almost-Equal-To 1, for lower mass systems.

  13. H I OBSERVATIONS OF THE SUPERMASSIVE BINARY BLACK HOLE SYSTEM IN 0402+379

    SciTech Connect

    Rodriguez, C.; Taylor, G. B.; Pihlstroem, Y. M.; Zavala, R. T.; Peck, A. B.

    2009-05-20

    We have recently discovered a supermassive binary black hole system with a projected separation between the two black holes of 7.3 pc in the radio galaxy 0402+379 (Rodriguez et al. 2006). This is the most compact supermassive binary black hole pair yet imaged by more than two orders of magnitude. We present Global VLBI observations at 1.3464 GHz of this radio galaxy, taken to improve the quality of the H I data. Two absorption lines are found toward the southern jet of the source, one redshifted by 370 {+-} 10 km s{sup -1} and the other blueshifted by 700 {+-} 10 km s{sup -1} with respect to the systemic velocity of the source, which, along with the results obtained for the opacity distribution over the source, suggests the presence of two mass clumps rotating around the central region of the source. We propose a model consisting of a geometrically thick disk, of which we only see a couple of clumps, that reproduces the velocities measured from the H I absorption profiles. These clumps rotate in circular Keplerian orbits around an axis that crosses one of the supermassive black holes of the binary system in 0402+379. We find an upper limit for the inclination angle of the twin jets of the source to the line of sight of {theta} = 66 deg., which, according to the proposed model, implies a lower limit on the central mass of {approx}7 x 10{sup 8} M {sub sun} and a lower limit for the scale height of the thick disk of {approx}12 pc.

  14. EXPLORING THE UNUSUALLY HIGH BLACK-HOLE-TO-BULGE MASS RATIOS IN NGC 4342 AND NGC 4291: THE ASYNCHRONOUS GROWTH OF BULGES AND BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Bogdan, Akos; Forman, William R.; Kraft, Ralph P.; Li, Zhiyuan; Vikhlinin, Alexey; Nulsen, Paul E. J.; Jones, Christine; Zhuravleva, Irina; Churazov, Eugene; Mihos, J. Christopher; Harding, Paul; Guo, Qi; Schindler, Sabine

    2012-07-10

    We study two nearby early-type galaxies, NGC 4342 and NGC 4291, that host unusually massive black holes relative to their low stellar mass. The observed black-hole-to-bulge mass ratios of NGC 4342 and NGC 4291 are 6.9{sup +3.8}{sub -2.3}% and 1.9% {+-} 0.6%, respectively, which significantly exceed the typical observed ratio of {approx}0.2%. As a consequence of the exceedingly large black-hole-to-bulge mass ratios, NGC 4342 and NGC 4291 are Almost-Equal-To 5.1{sigma} and Almost-Equal-To 3.4{sigma} outliers from the M{sub .}-M{sub bulge} scaling relation, respectively. In this paper, we explore the origin of the unusually high black-hole-to-bulge mass ratio. Based on Chandra X-ray observations of the hot gas content of NGC 4342 and NGC 4291, we compute gravitating mass profiles, and conclude that both galaxies reside in massive dark matter halos, which extend well beyond the stellar light. The presence of dark matter halos around NGC 4342 and NGC 4291 and a deep optical image of the environment of NGC 4342 indicate that tidal stripping, in which {approx}> 90% of the stellar mass was lost, cannot explain the observed high black-hole-to-bulge mass ratios. Therefore, we conclude that these galaxies formed with low stellar masses, implying that the bulge and black hole did not grow in tandem. We also find that the black hole mass correlates well with the properties of the dark matter halo, suggesting that dark matter halos may play a major role in regulating the growth of the supermassive black holes.

  15. Off The Beaten Path: Modeling the Dynamics of Supermassive Black Holes in Cosmological Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremmel, Michael J.; Governato, Fabio; Volonteri, Marta; Quinn, Thomas R.

    2015-01-01

    Cosmological simulations are an essential tool to understand the co-evolution of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host galaxies. However, the limited resolution of these simulations presents unique challenges to successfully modeling black hole dynamics. We present a novel, physically motivated method for improving the dynamics of black holes in cosmological simulations, by accounting for the unresolved dynamical friction that SMBHs feel from stars and dark matter. We show how this approach, which naturally scales with resolution, is a major step forward compared to more commonly used 'advection' models that often assume SMBHs sink very rapidly toward the center of their host galaxies. Here, we demonstrate that our method is able to prevent numerical heating of SMBHs while allowing for realistic dynamics.Our implementation will allow us to more realistically model SMBH dynamics, accretion, and mergers in cosmological simulations, giving us the ability to better understand how SMBHs grow with their host galaxies. This also provides an opportunity for more detailed studies of SMBHs in dwarf galaxies, which can give crucial insight into constraining black hole seed formation models.

  16. A strong magnetic field around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Galaxy.

    PubMed

    Eatough, R P; Falcke, H; Karuppusamy, R; Lee, K J; Champion, D J; Keane, E F; Desvignes, G; Schnitzeler, D H F M; Spitler, L G; Kramer, M; Klein, B; Bassa, C; Bower, G C; Brunthaler, A; Cognard, I; Deller, A T; Demorest, P B; Freire, P C C; Kraus, A; Lyne, A G; Noutsos, A; Stappers, B; Wex, N

    2013-09-19

    Earth's nearest candidate supermassive black hole lies at the centre of the Milky Way. Its electromagnetic emission is thought to be powered by radiatively inefficient accretion of gas from its environment, which is a standard mode of energy supply for most galactic nuclei. X-ray measurements have already resolved a tenuous hot gas component from which the black hole can be fed. The magnetization of the gas, however, which is a crucial parameter determining the structure of the accretion flow, remains unknown. Strong magnetic fields can influence the dynamics of accretion, remove angular momentum from the infalling gas, expel matter through relativistic jets and lead to synchrotron emission such as that previously observed. Here we report multi-frequency radio measurements of a newly discovered pulsar close to the Galactic Centre and show that the pulsar's unusually large Faraday rotation (the rotation of the plane of polarization of the emission in the presence of an external magnetic field) indicates that there is a dynamically important magnetic field near the black hole. If this field is accreted down to the event horizon it provides enough magnetic flux to explain the observed emission--from radio to X-ray wavelengths--from the black hole. PMID:23945588

  17. Astronomical constraints on quantum theories of cold dark matter - II. Supermassive black holes and luminous matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spivey, S. C.; Musielak, Z. E.; Fry, J. L.

    2015-04-01

    Our previous model of quantum cold dark matter (QCDM) is expanded to include the influence of supermassive black holes located at centres of different galaxies and galactic luminous (baryonic) matter distributions. The inclusion of a black hole to the galactic potential is shown to produce a more concentrated halo with a cuspier core. The addition of a small-scale galactic luminous matter distribution also concentrates the halo, while a large-scale distribution diffuses it; nevertheless, in either case the smooth core of the halo is preserved. Effects caused by including a non-linear scattering term are investigated by solving the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. The obtained results demonstrate that the scattering term produces a rounder and more diffuse density profile. Moreover, adding a sufficiently large black hole in combination with this term results in an even cuspier profile than the black hole alone. As a result of all these additions, our extended QCDM model can be applied to a much larger range of dark matter halo shapes and sizes.

  18. Compact object mergers: observations of supermassive binary black holes and stellar tidal disruption events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komossa, S.; Zensus, J. A.

    2016-02-01

    The capture and disruption of stars by supermassive black holes (SMBHs), and the formation and coalescence of binaries, are inevitable consequences of the presence of SMBHs at the cores of galaxies. Pairs of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and binary SMBHs are important stages in the evolution of galaxy mergers, and an intense search for these systems is currently ongoing. In the early and advanced stages of galaxy merging, observations of the triggering of accretion onto one or both BHs inform us about feedback processes and BH growth. Identification of the compact binary SMBHs at parsec and sub-parsec scales provides us with important constraints on the interaction processes that govern the shrinkage of the binary beyond the ``final parsec''. Coalescing binary SMBHs are among the most powerful sources of gravitational waves (GWs) in the universe. Stellar tidal disruption events (TDEs) appear as luminous, transient, accretion flares when part of the stellar material is accreted by the SMBH. About 30 events have been identified by multi-wavelength observations by now, and they will be detected in the thousands in future ground-based or space-based transient surveys. The study of TDEs provides us with a variety of new astrophysical tools and applications, related to fundamental physics or astrophysics. Here, we provide a review of the current status of observations of SMBH pairs and binaries, and TDEs, and discuss astrophysical implications.

  19. Sensitive Spitzer Photometry of Supermassive Black Holes at the Final Stage of Adolescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shemmer, Ohad; Netzer, Hagai; Mor, Rivay; Trakhtenbrot, Benny

    2011-05-01

    We propose to obtain sensitive Spitzer snapshot observations of a unique sample of 35 Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasars at redshift 4.8 for which we obtained reliable, Mg II-based determinations of the supermassive black hole (SMBH) mass and normalized accretion rate (L/L_Edd). These quasars appear to mark the final stage of SMBH `adolescence' in the history of the Universe as their SMBHs are significantly less massive and their L/L_Edd values are significantly higher with respect to their counterparts at lower redshifts. Our observations will provide both 1) deep coverage of the fields around these quasars which will be utilized as crucial priors for our approved Herschel/SPIRE observations of these sources, and 2) coverage of the rest-frame optical SEDs of these fast accreting quasars. The results will maximize our ability to measure the star-formation rate in the host galaxies of these quasars using Herschel. We will thus be able to investigate correlations between SMBH growth and star-forming activity in the early Universe. The Spitzer photometry will also provide invaluable information about the shape of the rest-frame optical continuum in these quasars which will be used to search for extreme disk properties that may be signatures of the remarkably high accretion rates in these sources.

  20. Do Nuclear Star Clusters and Supermassive Black Holes Follow the Same Host-Galaxy Correlations?

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Erwin, Peter; Gadotti, Dimitri Alexei

    2012-01-01

    Smore » tudies have suggested that there is a strong correlation between the masses of nuclear star clusters (NSCs) and their host galaxies, a correlation which is said to be an extension of the well-known correlations between supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host galaxies. But careful analysis of disk galaxies—including 2D bulge/disk/bar decompositions—shows that whileMBHs correlate with the stellar mass of the bulge component of galaxies, the masses of NSCs correlate much better with the total galaxy stellar mass. In addition, the mass ratio M NSC / M ⋆ ,  tot for NSCs in spirals (at least those with Hubble typesc and later) is typically an order of magnitude smaller than the mass ratio M BH / M ⋆ ,  bul ofMBHs. The absence of a universal “central massive object” correlation argues against common formation and growth mechanisms for bothMBHs and NSCs. We also discuss evidence for a break in the NSC-host galaxy correlation, galaxies with Hubble types earlier thanbc appear to host systematically more massive NSCs than do typesc and later.« less

  1. Formation of dark matter tori around supermassive black holes via the eccentric Kozai-Lidov mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Naoz, Smadar; Silk, Joseph

    2014-11-10

    We explore the effects of long-term secular perturbations on the distribution of dark matter particles around supermassive black hole (BH) binaries. We show that in the hierarchical (in separation) three-body problem, one of the BHs and a dark matter particle form an inner binary. Gravitational perturbations from the BH companion, on a much wider orbit, can cause the dark matter particle to reach extremely high eccentricities and even get accreted onto the BH by what is known as the eccentric Kozai-Lidov (EKL) mechanism. We show that this may produce a torus-like configuration for the dark matter distribution around the less massive member of the BH binary. We first consider an intermediate BH (IMBH) in the vicinity of our galactic center, which may be a relic of a past minor merger. We show that if the IMBH is close enough (i.e., near the stellar disk) the EKL mechanism is very efficient in exciting the eccentricity of dark matter particles in near-polar configurations to extremely high values where they are accreted by the IMBH. We show that this mechanism is even more effective if the central BH grows in mass, where we have assumed adiabatic growth. Because near-polar configurations are disrupted, a torus-like shape is formed. We also show that this behavior is also likely to be relevant for supermassive BH binaries. We suggest that if the BHs are spinning, the accreted dark matter particles may linger in the ergosphere, and thereby generate self-annihilations and produce an indirect signature of potential interest.

  2. Low-mass black holes as the remnants of primordial black hole formation.

    PubMed

    Greene, Jenny E

    2012-01-01

    Bridging the gap between the approximately ten solar mass 'stellar mass' black holes and the 'supermassive' black holes of millions to billions of solar masses are the elusive 'intermediate-mass' black holes. Their discovery is key to understanding whether supermassive black holes can grow from stellar-mass black holes or whether a more exotic process accelerated their growth soon after the Big Bang. Currently, tentative evidence suggests that the progenitors of supermassive black holes were formed as ∼10(4)-10(5) M(⊙) black holes via the direct collapse of gas. Ongoing searches for intermediate-mass black holes at galaxy centres will help shed light on this formation mechanism. PMID:23250434

  3. SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES IN THE HIERARCHICAL UNIVERSE: A GENERAL FRAMEWORK AND OBSERVATIONAL TESTS

    SciTech Connect

    Shen Yue

    2009-10-10

    We present a simple framework for the growth and evolution of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in the hierarchical structure formation paradigm, adopting the general idea that quasar activity is triggered in major mergers. In our model, black hole accretion is triggered during major mergers (mass ratio approx>0.3) of host dark matter halos. The successive evolution of quasar luminosities follows a universal light-curve (LC) form during which the growth of the SMBH is modeled self-consistently: an initial exponential growth at a constant Eddington ratio of order unity until it reaches the peak luminosity, followed by a power-law decay. Assuming that the peak luminosity correlates with the post-merger halo mass, we convolve the LC with the triggering rate of quasar activity to predict the quasar luminosity function (LF). Our model reproduces the observed LF at 0.5 < z < 4.5 for the full luminosity ranges probed by current optical and X-ray surveys. At z < 0.5, our model underestimates the LF at L {sub bol} < 10{sup 45} erg s{sup -1}, allowing room for the active galactic nuclei (AGNs) activity triggered by secular processes instead of major mergers. At z > 4.5, in order to reproduce the observed quasar abundance, the typical quasar hosts must shift to lower mass halos, and/or minor mergers can also trigger quasar activity. Our model reproduces both the observed redshift evolution and luminosity dependence of the linear bias of quasar/AGN clustering. Due to the scatter between instantaneous luminosity and halo mass, quasar/AGN clustering weakly depends on luminosity at low-to-intermediate luminosities; but the linear bias rises rapidly with luminosity at the high luminosity end and at high redshift. In our model, the Eddington ratio distribution is roughly lognormal, which broadens and shifts to lower mean values from high luminosity quasars (L {sub bol} approx> 10{sup 46} erg s{sup -1}) to low-luminosity AGNs (L {sub bol} approx< 10{sup 45} erg s{sup -1}), in good

  4. Rapid Formation of Supermassive Black Hole Binaries in Galaxy Mergers with Gas

    SciTech Connect

    Mayer, L.; Kazantzidis, S.; Madau, P.; Colpi, M.; Quinn, T.; Wadsley, J.; /McMaster U.

    2008-03-24

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are a ubiquitous component of the nuclei of galaxies. It is normally assumed that, following the merger of two massive galaxies, a SMBH binary will form, shrink due to stellar or gas dynamical processes and ultimately coalesce by emitting a burst of gravitational waves. However, so far it has not been possible to show how two SMBHs bind during a galaxy merger with gas due to the difficulty of modeling a wide range of spatial scales. Here we report hydrodynamical simulations that track the formation of a SMBH binary down to scales of a few light years following the collision between two spiral galaxies. A massive, turbulent nuclear gaseous disk arises as a result of the galaxy merger. The black holes form an eccentric binary in the disk in less than a million years as a result of the gravitational drag from the gas rather than from the stars.

  5. Rapid formation of supermassive black hole binaries in galaxy mergers with gas.

    PubMed

    Mayer, L; Kazantzidis, S; Madau, P; Colpi, M; Quinn, T; Wadsley, J

    2007-06-29

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are a ubiquitous component of the nuclei of galaxies. It is normally assumed that after the merger of two massive galaxies, a SMBH binary will form, shrink because of stellar or gas dynamical processes, and ultimately coalesce by emitting a burst of gravitational waves. However, so far it has not been possible to show how two SMBHs bind during a galaxy merger with gas because of the difficulty of modeling a wide range of spatial scales. Here we report hydrodynamical simulations that track the formation of a SMBH binary down to scales of a few light years after the collision between two spiral galaxies. A massive, turbulent, nuclear gaseous disk arises as a result of the galaxy merger. The black holes form an eccentric binary in the disk in less than 1 million years as a result of the gravitational drag from the gas rather than from the stars. PMID:17556550

  6. Cosmological evolution of supermassive black holes in galactic centers unveiled by hard X-ray observations.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Yoshihiro

    2015-01-01

    We review the current understanding of the cosmological evolution of supermassive black holes in galactic centers elucidated by X-ray surveys of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Hard X-ray observations at energies above 2 keV are the most efficient and complete tools to find "obscured" AGNs, which are dominant populations among all AGNs. Combinations of surveys with various flux limits and survey area have enabled us to determine the space number density and obscuration properties of AGNs as a function of luminosity and redshift. The results have essentially solved the origin of the X-ray background in the energy band below ∼10 keV. The downsizing (or anti-hierarchical) evolution that more luminous AGNs have the space-density peak at higher redshifts has been discovered, challenging theories of galaxy and black hole formation. Finally, we summarize unresolved issues on AGN evolution and prospects for future X-ray missions. PMID:25971656

  7. Cosmological evolution of supermassive black holes in galactic centers unveiled by hard X-ray observations

    PubMed Central

    UEDA, Yoshihiro

    2015-01-01

    We review the current understanding of the cosmological evolution of supermassive black holes in galactic centers elucidated by X-ray surveys of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Hard X-ray observations at energies above 2 keV are the most efficient and complete tools to find “obscured” AGNs, which are dominant populations among all AGNs. Combinations of surveys with various flux limits and survey area have enabled us to determine the space number density and obscuration properties of AGNs as a function of luminosity and redshift. The results have essentially solved the origin of the X-ray background in the energy band below ∼10 keV. The downsizing (or anti-hierarchical) evolution that more luminous AGNs have the space-density peak at higher redshifts has been discovered, challenging theories of galaxy and black hole formation. Finally, we summarize unresolved issues on AGN evolution and prospects for future X-ray missions. PMID:25971656

  8. SONGLINES FROM DIRECT COLLAPSE SEED BLACK HOLES: EFFECTS OF X-RAYS ON BLACK HOLE GROWTH AND STELLAR POPULATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Aykutalp, Aycin; Wise, John H.; Spaans, Marco; Meijerink, Rowin

    2014-12-20

    In the last decade, the growth of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) has been intricately linked to galaxy formation and evolution and is a key ingredient in the assembly of galaxies. To investigate the origin of SMBHs, we perform cosmological simulations that target the direct collapse black hole seed formation scenario in the presence of two different strong Lyman-Werner (LW) background fields. These simulations include the X-ray irradiation from a central massive black hole (MBH), H{sub 2} self-shielding, and stellar feedback from metal-free and metal-enriched stars. We find in both simulations that local X-ray feedback induces metal-free star formation ∼0.5 Myr after the MBH forms. The MBH accretion rate reaches a maximum of 10{sup –3} M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1} in both simulations. However, the duty cycle differs and is derived to be 6% and 50% for the high and low LW cases, respectively. The MBH in the high LW case grows only ∼6% in 100 Myr compared to 16% in the low LW case. We find that the maximum accretion rate is determined by the local gas thermodynamics, whereas the duty cycle is determined by the large-scale gas dynamics and gas reservoir. We conclude that radiative feedback from the central MBH plays an important role in star formation in the nuclear regions and stifling initial MBH growth relative to the typical Eddington rate argument, and that initial MBH growth might be affected by the local LW radiation field.

  9. THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE MASS-SPHEROID STELLAR MASS RELATION FOR SERSIC AND CORE-SERSIC GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, Nicholas; Graham, Alister W; Schombert, James

    2013-05-01

    We have examined the relationship between supermassive black hole mass (M{sub BH}) and the stellar mass of the host spheroid (M{sub sph,*}) for a sample of 75 nearby galaxies. To derive the spheroid stellar masses we used improved Two Micron All Sky Survey K{sub s}-band photometry from the ARCHANGEL photometry pipeline. Dividing our sample into core-Sersic and Sersic galaxies, we find that they are described by very different M{sub BH}-M{sub sph,*} relations. For core-Sersic galaxies-which are typically massive and luminous, with M{sub BH} {approx}> 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8} M{sub Sun }-we find M{sub BH}{proportional_to} M{sub sph,*}{sup 0.97{+-}0.14}, consistent with other literature relations. However, for the Sersic galaxies-with typically lower masses, M{sub sph,*} {approx}< 3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 10} M{sub Sun }-we find M{sub BH}{proportional_to}M{sub sph,*}{sup 2.22{+-}0.58}, a dramatically steeper slope that differs by more than 2 standard deviations. This relation confirms that, for Sersic galaxies, M{sub BH} is not a constant fraction of M{sub sph,*}. Sersic galaxies can grow via the accretion of gas which fuels both star formation and the central black hole, as well as through merging. Their black hole grows significantly more rapidly than their host spheroid, prior to growth by dry merging events that produce core-Sersic galaxies, where the black hole and spheroid grow in lockstep. We have additionally compared our Sersic M{sub BH}-M{sub sph,*} relation with the corresponding relation for nuclear star clusters, confirming that the two classes of central massive object follow significantly different scaling relations.

  10. Seeking for the Leading Actor on the Cosmic Stage: Galaxies versus Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bongiorno, Angela; Shankar, Francesco; Civano, Francesca; Gavignaud, Isabelle; Georgakakis, Antonis

    We present a Special Issue on the interplay of galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes (SMBHs) recently published in Advances in Astronomy. This is the introductory paper containing the motivation for this Special Issue together with a brief description of the articles which are part of the manuscript and the link to the entire book (http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aa/si/610485/). We hope this Special Issue will be useful for many astronomers who want to get an update on the current status of the AGN-Galaxy coevolution topic.

  11. Using Pulsar Timing observations to understand the formation and evolution of supermassive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornish, Neil; Sampson, Laura; McWilliams, Sean

    2015-04-01

    The astrophysical processes that form and harden supermassive black hole binaries impart distinct features that may be observed in the gravitational-wave spectrum within the sensitive frequency range of Pulsar Timing Arrays (PTA). We investigate how well the various formation and hardening mechanisms can be constrained by applying Bayesian inference to simulated PTA data sets. We find that even without strong priors on the merger rate, any detection of the signal will place interesting constraints on the astrophysical models. Folding in priors on the merger rate allows us to place interesting constraints on the astrophysical models even before a detection is made.

  12. DISK ASSEMBLY AND THE M {sub BH}-{sigma} {sub e} RELATION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Debattista, Victor P.; Kazantzidis, Stelios; Van den Bosch, Frank C. E-mail: stelios@mps.ohio-state.edu

    2013-03-01

    Recent Hubble Space Telescope observations have revealed that a majority of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at z {approx} 1-3 are resident in isolated disk galaxies, contrary to the usual expectation that AGNs are triggered by mergers. Here we develop a new test of the cosmic evolution of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in disk galaxies by considering the local population of SMBHs. We show that substantial SMBH growth in spiral galaxies is required as disks assemble. SMBHs exhibit a tight relation between their mass and the velocity dispersion of the spheroid within which they reside, the M {sub .}-{sigma} {sub e} relation. In disk galaxies the bulge is the spheroid of interest. We explore the evolution of the M {sub .}-{sigma} {sub e} relation when bulges form together with SMBHs on the M {sub .}-{sigma} {sub e} relation and then slowly re-form a disk around them. The formation of the disk compresses the bulge, raising its {sigma} {sub e}. We present evidence for such compression in the form of larger velocity dispersion of classical bulges compared with elliptical galaxies at the same mass. This compression leads to an offset in the M {sub .}-{sigma} {sub e} relation if it is not accompanied by an increased M {sub .}. We quantify the expected offset based on photometric data and show that, on average, SMBHs must grow by {approx}50%-65% just to remain on the M {sub .}-{sigma} {sub e} relation. We find no significant offset in the M {sub .}-{sigma} {sub e} relations of classical bulges and of ellipticals, implying that SMBHs have been growing along with disks. Our simulations demonstrate that SMBH growth is necessary for the local population of disk galaxies to have remained on the M {sub .}-{sigma} {sub e} relation.

  13. ON THE HYDRODYNAMIC INTERPLAY BETWEEN A YOUNG NUCLEAR STARBURST AND A CENTRAL SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE

    SciTech Connect

    Hueyotl-Zahuantitla, Filiberto; Tenorio-Tagle, Guillermo; Silich, Sergiy; Wuensch, Richard; Palous, Jan

    2010-06-10

    We present one-dimensional numerical simulations, which consider the effects of radiative cooling and gravity on the hydrodynamics of the matter reinserted by stellar winds and supernovae within young nuclear starbursts (NSBs) with a central supermassive black hole (SMBH). The simulations confirm our previous semi-analytic results for low-energetic starbursts, evolving in a quasi-adiabatic regime, and extend them to more powerful starbursts evolving in the catastrophic cooling regime. The simulations show a bimodal hydrodynamic solution in all cases. They present a quasi-stationary accretion flow onto the black hole, defined by the matter reinserted by massive stars within the stagnation volume and a stationary starburst wind, driven by the high thermal pressure acquired in the region between the stagnation and the starburst radii. In the catastrophic cooling regime, the stagnation radius rapidly approaches the surface of the starburst region, as one considers more massive starbursts. This leads to larger accretion rates onto the SMBH and concurrently to powerful winds able to inhibit interstellar matter from approaching the NSB. Our self-consistent model thus establishes a direct physical link between the SMBH accretion rate and the nuclear star formation activity of the host galaxy and provides a good upper limit to the accretion rate onto the central black hole.

  14. A gas cloud on its way towards the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre.

    PubMed

    Gillessen, S; Genzel, R; Fritz, T K; Quataert, E; Alig, C; Burkert, A; Cuadra, J; Eisenhauer, F; Pfuhl, O; Dodds-Eden, K; Gammie, C F; Ott, T

    2012-01-01

    Measurements of stellar orbits provide compelling evidence that the compact radio source Sagittarius A* at the Galactic Centre is a black hole four million times the mass of the Sun. With the exception of modest X-ray and infrared flares, Sgr A* is surprisingly faint, suggesting that the accretion rate and radiation efficiency near the event horizon are currently very low. Here we report the presence of a dense gas cloud approximately three times the mass of Earth that is falling into the accretion zone of Sgr A*. Our observations tightly constrain the cloud's orbit to be highly eccentric, with an innermost radius of approach of only ∼3,100 times the event horizon that will be reached in 2013. Over the past three years the cloud has begun to disrupt, probably mainly through tidal shearing arising from the black hole's gravitational force. The cloud's dynamic evolution and radiation in the next few years will probe the properties of the accretion flow and the feeding processes of the supermassive black hole. The kilo-electronvolt X-ray emission of Sgr A* may brighten significantly when the cloud reaches pericentre. There may also be a giant radiation flare several years from now if the cloud breaks up and its fragments feed gas into the central accretion zone. PMID:22170607

  15. Gravitational radiation from a spinning compact object around a supermassive Kerr black hole in circular orbit

    SciTech Connect

    Han Wenbiao

    2010-10-15

    The gravitational waves and energy radiation from a spinning compact object with stellar mass in a circular orbit in the equatorial plane of a supermassive Kerr black hole are investigated in this paper. The effect of how the spin acts on energy and angular moment fluxes is discussed in detail. The calculation results indicate that the spin of a small body should be considered in waveform-template production for the upcoming gravitational wave detections. It is clear that when the direction of spin axes is the same as the orbitally angular momentum ('positive' spin), spin can decrease the energy fluxes which radiate to infinity. For antidirection spin ('negative'), the energy fluxes to infinity can be enlarged. And the relations between fluxes (both infinity and horizon) and spin look like quadratic functions. From frequency shift due to spin, we estimate the wave-phase accumulation during the inspiraling process of the particle. We find that the time of particle inspiral into the black hole is longer for positive spin and shorter for negative compared with the nonspinning particle. Especially, for extreme spin value, the energy radiation near the horizon of the extreme Kerr black hole is much more than that for the nonspinning one. And consequently, the maximum binging energy of the extreme spinning particle is much larger than that of the nonspinning particle.

  16. Gas squeezing during the merger of a supermassive black hole binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerioli, Alice; Lodato, Giuseppe; Price, Daniel J.

    2016-03-01

    We study accretion rates during the gravitational wave-driven merger of a binary supermassive black hole embedded in an accretion disc, formed by gas driven to the centre of the galaxy. We use 3D simulations performed with PHANTOM, a smoothed particle hydrodynamics code. Contrary to previous investigations, we show that there is evidence of a `squeezing phenomenon', caused by the compression of the inner disc gas when the secondary black hole spirals towards the primary. This causes an increase in the accretion rates that always exceed the Eddington rate. We have studied the main features of the phenomenon for a mass ratio q = 10-3 between the black holes, including the effects of numerical resolution, the secondary accretion radius and the disc thickness. With our disc model with a low aspect ratio, we show that the mass expelled from the orbit of the secondary is negligible (<5 per cent of the initial disc mass), different to the findings of previous 2D simulations with thicker discs. The increase in the accretion rates in the last stages of the merger leads to an increase in luminosity, making it possible to detect an electromagnetic precursor of the gravitational wave signal emitted by the coalescence.

  17. Implications of Profile Variability in Searches for Supermassive Black Hole Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennell, Alison; Runnoe, Jessie C.; Brown, Stephanie Meghan; Eracleous, Michael; Bogdanovic, Tamara; Boroson, Todd A.; Halpern, Jules P.

    2016-01-01

    Modern galaxy evolution scenarios suggest that supermassive black hole binaries (SBHBs) are an inevitable result of merging galaxies that host black holes in their centers. Though candidates of wide-separation dual active galactic nuclei have been detected, there is no reliable evidence for the expected close, bound binaries at separations of one parsec or less. We are searching for close SBHBs among z<0.7 SDSS quasars with offset broad emission lines. Specifically, we test the idea that, if one of the black holes is active, the orbital motion within the binary will cause its broad emission lines to exhibit periodic radial velocity shifts. Among the most significant caveats to this approach is that the variability of the broad Hβ profile may mimic radial velocity changes. Cases where the flux increases in one side of the line profile and decreases in the other are of particular concern. In order to test the extent of this problem, we introduce simulated profile variability into the observed spectra of the binary candidates and then make radial velocity measurements on the Hβ lines. We will present the results of this simulation to assess how often we will measure false radial velocity shifts as a result of changes in the shape of the broad Hβ profile.

  18. Further evidence for a supermassive black hole mass-pitch angle relation

    SciTech Connect

    Berrier, Joel C.; Kennefick, Daniel; Kennefick, Julia D.; Hartley, Matthew; Lacy, Claud H. S.; Davis, Benjamin L.; Barrows, Robert Scott; Shields, Doug; Seigar, Marc S.; Bentz, Misty C.

    2013-06-01

    We present new and stronger evidence for a previously reported relationship between galactic spiral arm pitch angle P (a measure of the tightness of spiral structure) and the mass M {sub BH} of a disk galaxy's nuclear supermassive black hole (SMBH). We use an improved method to accurately measure the spiral arm pitch angle in disk galaxies to generate quantitative data on this morphological feature for 34 galaxies with directly measured black hole masses. We find a relation of log (M/M {sub ☉}) = (8.21 ± 0.16) – (0.062 ± 0.009)P. This method is compared with other means of estimating black hole mass to determine its effectiveness and usefulness relative to other existing relations. We argue that such a relationship is predicted by leading theories of spiral structure in disk galaxies, including the density wave theory. We propose this relationship as a tool for estimating SMBH masses in disk galaxies. This tool is potentially superior when compared to other methods for this class of galaxy and has the advantage of being unambiguously measurable from imaging data alone.

  19. Active galaxies. A strong magnetic field in the jet base of a supermassive black hole.

    PubMed

    Martí-Vidal, Ivan; Muller, Sébastien; Vlemmings, Wouter; Horellou, Cathy; Aalto, Susanne

    2015-04-17

    Active galactic nuclei (AGN) host some of the most energetic phenomena in the universe. AGN are thought to be powered by accretion of matter onto a rotating disk that surrounds a supermassive black hole. Jet streams can be boosted in energy near the event horizon of the black hole and then flow outward along the rotation axis of the disk. The mechanism that forms such a jet and guides it over scales from a few light-days up to millions of light-years remains uncertain, but magnetic fields are thought to play a critical role. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), we have detected a polarization signal (Faraday rotation) related to the strong magnetic field at the jet base of a distant AGN, PKS 1830-211. The amount of Faraday rotation (rotation measure) is proportional to the integral of the magnetic field strength along the line of sight times the density of electrons. The high rotation measures derived suggest magnetic fields of at least tens of Gauss (and possibly considerably higher) on scales of the order of light-days (0.01 parsec) from the black hole. PMID:25883352

  20. Supermassive black hole formation by the cold accretion shocks in the first galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inayoshi, K.; Omukai, K.

    2012-09-01

    We propose a new scenario for supermassive star (SMS; >~105Msolar) formation in shocked regions of colliding cold accretion flows near the centers of first galaxies. When the post-shock density is high enough for collisionally exciting H2 rovibrational levels (>~104cm-3), enhanced H2 collisional dissociation suppresses the gas to cool below 8000 K. In this case, the layer fragments into massive clouds (>~105Msolar), which collapse isothermally (~ 8000 K) by the Lyα cooling without subsequent fragmentation. As an outcome, SMSs are expected to form and evolve eventually to seeds of supermassive black holes. By calculating thermal evolution of the shocked gas, we delimit the range of post-shock conditions for the SMS formation. We also find that metal enrichment does not affect the SMS forming condition for <~10-3Zsolar if metals are in the gas phase.

  1. THE TIDAL DISRUPTION OF GIANT STARS AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE FLARING SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE POPULATION

    SciTech Connect

    MacLeod, Morgan; Guillochon, James; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico E-mail: jfg@ucolick.org

    2012-10-01

    Sun-like stars are thought to be regularly disrupted by supermassive black holes (SMBHs) within galactic nuclei. Yet, as stars evolve off the main sequence their vulnerability to tidal disruption increases drastically as they develop a bifurcated structure consisting of a dense core and a tenuous envelope. Here we present the first hydrodynamic simulations of the tidal disruption of giant stars and show that the core has a substantial influence on the star's ability to survive the encounter. Stars with more massive cores retain large fractions of their envelope mass, even in deep encounters. Accretion flares resulting from the disruption of giant stars should last for tens to hundreds of years. Their characteristic signature in transient searches would not be the t {sup -5/3} decay typically associated with tidal disruption events, but a correlated rise over many orders of magnitude in brightness on timescales of months to years. We calculate the relative disruption rates of stars of varying evolutionary stages in typical galactic centers, then use our results to produce Monte Carlo realizations of the expected flaring event populations. We find that the demographics of tidal disruption flares are strongly dependent on both stellar and black hole mass, especially near the limiting SMBH mass scale of {approx}10{sup 8} M{sub Sun }. At this black hole mass, we predict a sharp transition in the SMBH flaring diet beyond which all observable disruptions arise from evolved stars, accompanied by a dramatic cutoff in the overall tidal disruption flaring rate. Black holes less massive than this limiting mass scale will show observable flares from both main-sequence and evolved stars, with giants contributing up to 10% of the event rate. The relative fractions of stars disrupted at different evolutionary states can constrain the properties and distributions of stars in galactic nuclei other than our own.

  2. Supermassive Black Holes and their Host Spheroids III. The Mbh-nsph Correlation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savorgnan, Giulia A. D.

    2016-04-01

    The Sérsic {R}1/n model is the best approximation known to date for describing the light distribution of stellar spheroidal and disk components, with the Sérsic index n providing a direct measure of the central radial concentration of stars. The Sérsic index of a galaxy’s spheroidal component, nsph, has been shown to tightly correlate with the mass of the central supermassive black hole, MBH. The {M}{BH}{--}{n}{sph} correlation is also expected from other two well known scaling relations involving the spheroid luminosity, Lsph: the {L}{sph}{--}{n}{sph} and the {M}{BH}{--}{L}{sph}. Obtaining an accurate estimate of the spheroid Sérsic index requires a careful modeling of a galaxy’s light distribution and some studies have failed to recover a statistically significant {M}{BH}{--}{n}{sph} correlation. With the aim of re-investigating the {M}{BH}{--}{n}{sph} and other black hole mass scaling relations, we performed a detailed (i.e., bulge, disks, bars, spiral arms, rings, halo, nucleus, etc.) decomposition of 66 galaxies, with directly measured black hole masses, that had been imaged at 3.6 μm with Spitzer. In this paper, the third of this series, we present an analysis of the {L}{sph}{--}{n}{sph} and {M}{BH}{--}{n}{sph} diagrams. While early-type (elliptical+lenticular) and late-type (spiral) galaxies split into two separate relations in the {L}{sph}{--}{n}{sph} and {M}{BH}{--}{L}{sph} diagrams, they reunite into a single {M}{BH}\\propto {n}{sph}3.39+/- 0.15 sequence with relatively small intrinsic scatter (ε ≃ 0.25 {dex}). The black hole mass appears to be closely related to the spheroid central concentration of stars, which mirrors the inner gradient of the spheroid gravitational potential.

  3. Unbound Debris Streams and Remnants Resulting from the Tidal Disruptions of Stars by Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillochon, James; McCourt, Michael; Chen, Xian; Johnson, Michael D.; Berger, Edo

    2016-05-01

    The kinetic energy of a star in orbit about a supermassive black hole is a significant fraction of its rest mass energy when its periapse is comparable to its tidal radius. Upon its destruction, a fraction of this energy is extracted and injected into the stellar debris, half of which becomes unbound from the black hole, with the fastest material moving at ∼ 0.03c. In this paper, we present a formalism for determining the fate of these unbound debris streams (UDSs) as they depart from the black hole and interact with the surrounding gas. As the density and velocity varies along the length of a UDS, we find that hydrodynamical drag quickly shapes UDSs into loop-like structures, with the densest portions of the streams leading portions of lower density. As UDSs travel outwards, their drag against the ISM increases quadratically with distance, which causes UDSs to deposit their momentum and energy into the ambient medium before the surrounding shocked ISM has a chance to cool. This sudden injection of ∼ {10}50 erg into the ambient medium generates a Sedov-like unbound debris remnant (UDR) that mimics supernova remnants (SNRs) in energetics and appearance, accelerates particles which will produce cosmic rays and synchrotron emission, and provides momentum feedback into the molecular clouds surrounding a black hole. We estimate that a few of these UDRs might be present within a couple degrees of the Galactic Center masquerading as SNRs, and that the UDR scenario is a plausible explanation for Sgr A east.

  4. Direct collapse to supermassive black hole seeds: comparing the AMR and SPH approaches

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yang; Nagamine, Kentaro; Shlosman, Isaac

    2016-01-01

    We provide detailed comparison between the adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) code enzo-2.4 and the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH)/N-body code gadget-3 in the context of isolated or cosmological direct baryonic collapse within dark matter (DM) haloes to form supermassive black holes. Gas flow is examined by following evolution of basic parameters of accretion flows. Both codes show an overall agreement in the general features of the collapse; however, many subtle differences exist. For isolated models, the codes increase their spatial and mass resolutions at different pace, which leads to substantially earlier collapse in SPH than in AMR cases due to higher gravitational resolution in gadget-3. In cosmological runs, the AMR develops a slightly higher baryonic resolution than SPH during halo growth via cold accretion permeated by mergers. Still, both codes agree in the build-up of DM and baryonic structures. However, with the onset of collapse, this difference in mass and spatial resolution is amplified, so evolution of SPH models begins to lag behind. Such a delay can have effect on formation/destruction rate of H2 due to UV background, and on basic properties of host haloes. Finally, isolated non-cosmological models in spinning haloes, with spin parameter λ ∼ 0.01–0.07, show delayed collapse for greater λ, but pace of this increase is faster for AMR. Within our simulation set-up, gadget-3 requires significantly larger computational resources than enzo-2.4 during collapse, and needs similar resources, during the pre-collapse, cosmological structure formation phase. Yet it benefits from substantially higher gravitational force and hydrodynamic resolutions, except at the end of collapse. PMID:27279786

  5. Direct collapse to supermassive black hole seeds: comparing the AMR and SPH approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Yang; Nagamine, Kentaro; Shlosman, Isaac

    2016-07-01

    We provide detailed comparison between the adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) code ENZO-2.4 and the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH)/N-body code GADGET-3 in the context of isolated or cosmological direct baryonic collapse within dark matter (DM) haloes to form supermassive black holes. Gas flow is examined by following evolution of basic parameters of accretion flows. Both codes show an overall agreement in the general features of the collapse; however, many subtle differences exist. For isolated models, the codes increase their spatial and mass resolutions at different pace, which leads to substantially earlier collapse in SPH than in AMR cases due to higher gravitational resolution in GADGET-3. In cosmological runs, the AMR develops a slightly higher baryonic resolution than SPH during halo growth via cold accretion permeated by mergers. Still, both codes agree in the build-up of DM and baryonic structures. However, with the onset of collapse, this difference in mass and spatial resolution is amplified, so evolution of SPH models begins to lag behind. Such a delay can have effect on formation/destruction rate of H2 due to UV background, and on basic properties of host haloes. Finally, isolated non-cosmological models in spinning haloes, with spin parameter λ ˜ 0.01-0.07, show delayed collapse for greater λ, but pace of this increase is faster for AMR. Within our simulation set-up, GADGET-3 requires significantly larger computational resources than ENZO-2.4 during collapse, and needs similar resources, during the pre-collapse, cosmological structure formation phase. Yet it benefits from substantially higher gravitational force and hydrodynamic resolutions, except at the end of collapse.

  6. Supermassive black hole seed formation at high redshifts: long-term evolution of the direct collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shlosman, Isaac; Choi, Jun-Hwan; Begelman, Mitchell C.; Nagamine, Kentaro

    2016-02-01

    We use cosmological adaptive mesh refinement code ENZO zoom-in simulations to study the long-term evolution of the collapsing gas within dark matter haloes at z. This direct collapse process is a leading candidate for rapid formation of supermassive black hole (SMBH) seeds. To circumvent the Courant condition at small radii, we apply the sink particle method, focusing on evolution on scales ˜0.01-10 pc. The collapse proceeds in two stages, with the secondary runaway happening within the central 10 pc. The sink particles form when the collapsing gas requires additional refinement of the grid size at the highest refinement level. Their growth is negligible with the sole exception of the central seed which grows dramatically to Mseed ˜ 2 × 106 M⊙ in ˜2 Myr, confirming the feasibility of this path to the SMBH. The variability of angular momentum in the accreted gas results in the formation of two misaligned discs. Both discs lie within the Roche limit of the central seed. While the inner disc is geometrically thin and weakly asymmetric, the outer disc flares due to turbulent motions as a result of the massive inflow along a pair of penetrating filaments. The filamentary inflow determines the dominant Fourier modes in this disc - these modes have a non-self-gravitational origin. We do not confirm that m = 1 is a dominant mode that drives the inflow in the presence of a central massive object. The overall configuration appears to be generic, and is expected to form when the central seed becomes sufficiently massive.

  7. Direct Collapse to Supermassive Black Hole Seeds: Comparing the AMR and SPH Approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Yang; Nagamine, Kentaro; Shlosman, Isaac

    2016-03-01

    We provide detailed comparison between the AMR code Enzo-2.4 and the SPH/N-body code GADGET-3 in the context of isolated or cosmological direct baryonic collapse within dark matter (DM) halos to form supermassive black holes. Gas flow is examined by following evolution of basic parameters of accretion flows. Both codes show an overall agreement in the general features of the collapse, however, many subtle differences exist. For isolated models, the codes increase their spatial and mass resolutions at different pace, which leads to substantially earlier collapse in SPH than in AMR cases due to higher gravitational resolution in GADGET-3. In cosmological runs, the AMR develops a slightly higher baryonic resolution than SPH during halo growth via cold accretion permeated by mergers. Still, both codes agree in the buildup of DM and baryonic structures. However, with the onset of collapse, this difference in mass and spatial resolution is amplified, so evolution of SPH models begins to lag behind. Such a delay can have effect on formation/destruction rate of H2 due to UV background, and on basic properties of host halos. Finally, isolated non-cosmological models in spinning halos, with spin parameter λ ˜ 0.01 - 0.07, show delayed collapse for greater λ, but pace of this increase is faster for AMR. Within our simulation setup, GADGET-3 requires significantly larger computational resources than Enzo-2.4 during collapse, and needs similar resources, during the pre-collapse, cosmological structure formation phase. Yet it benefits from substantially higher gravitational force and hydrodynamic resolutions, except at the end of collapse.

  8. Supermassive Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei with Tidal Disruption of Stars. II. Axisymmetric Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Shiyan; Berczik, Peter; Spurzem, Rainer

    2015-09-01

    The tidal disruption (TD) of stars by supermassive central black holes from dense rotating star clusters is modeled by high-accuracy direct N-body simulations. As in a previous paper on spherical star clusters, we study the time evolution of the stellar tidal disruption rate and the origin of tidally disrupted stars, which are now accorded to several classes of orbits that only occur in axisymmetric systems (short-axis tube and saucer orbits). Compared with that in spherical systems, we found a higher TD rate in axisymmetric systems. The enhancement can be explained by an enlarged loss cone in phase space that stems from the fact that the total angular momentum {\\boldsymbol{J}} is not conserved. As in the case of spherical systems, the distribution of the last apocenter distance of tidally accreted stars peaks at the classical critical radius. However, the angular distribution of the origin of the accreted stars reveals interesting features. Inside the influence radius of the supermassive black hole the angular distribution of disrupted stars has a conspicuous bimodal structure with a local minimum near the equatorial plane. Outside of the influence radius this dependence is weak. We show that the bimodal structure of orbital parameters can be explained by the presence of two families of regular orbits, namely short-axis tube and saucer orbits. Also, we present the consequences of our results for the loss cone in axisymmetric galactic nuclei.

  9. X-RAY CONSTRAINTS ON THE LOCAL SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE OCCUPATION FRACTION

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Brendan P.; Gallo, Elena; Baldassare, Vivienne; Greene, Jenny E.; Kelly, Brandon C.; Treu, Tommaso; Woo, Jong-Hak

    2015-01-20

    Distinct seed formation mechanisms are imprinted upon the fraction of dwarf galaxies currently containing a central supermassive black hole. Seeding by Population III remnants is expected to produce a higher occupation fraction than is generated with direct gas collapse precursors. Chandra observations of nearby early-type galaxies can directly detect even low-level supermassive black hole activity, and the active fraction immediately provides a firm lower limit to the occupation fraction. Here, we use the volume-limited AMUSE surveys of ∼200 optically selected early-type galaxies to characterize simultaneously, for the first time, the occupation fraction and the scaling of L {sub X} with M {sub star}, accounting for intrinsic scatter, measurement uncertainties, and X-ray limits. For early-type galaxies with M {sub star} < 10{sup 10} M {sub ☉}, we obtain a lower limit to the occupation fraction of >20% (at 95% confidence), but full occupation cannot be excluded. The preferred dependence of log L {sub X} upon log M {sub star} has a slope of ∼0.7-0.8, consistent with the ''downsizing'' trend previously identified from the AMUSE data set, and a uniform Eddington efficiency is disfavored at ∼2σ. We provide guidelines for the future precision with which these parameters may be refined with larger or more sensitive samples.

  10. Evolution of binary supermassive black holes and the final-parsec problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasiliev, Eugene

    2016-02-01

    I review the evolution of binary supermassive black holes and focus on the stellar-dynamical mechanisms that may help to overcome the final-parsec problem - the possible stalling of the binary at a separation much larger than is required for an efficient gravitational wave emission. Recent N-body simulations have suggested that a departure from spherical symmetry in the nucleus of the galaxy may keep the rate of interaction of stars with the binary at a high enough level so that the binary continues to shrink rather rapidly. However, a major problem of all these simulations is that they do not probe the regime where collisionless effects are dominant - in other words, the number of particles in the simulation is still not sufficient to reach the asymptotic behavior of the system. I present a novel Monte Carlo method for simulating both collisional and collisionless evolution of non-spherical stellar systems, and apply it for the problem of binary supermassive black hole evolution. I show that in triaxial galaxies the final-parsec problem is largely non-existent, while in the axisymmetric case it seems to still exist in the limit of purely collisionless regime relevant for real galaxies, but disappears in the N-body simulations where the feasible values of N are still too low to get rid of collisional effects.

  11. Searching for GW signals from eccentric supermassive black-hole binaries with pulsar-timing arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Stephen; Gair, Jonathan; Huerta, Eliu; McWilliams, Sean

    2015-04-01

    The mergers of massive galaxies leads to the formation of supermassive black-hole binaries in the common merger remnants. Various mechanisms have been proposed to harden these binaries into the adiabatic GW inspiral regime, from interactions with circumbinary disks to stellar scattering. It may be the case that these mechanisms leave the binary with a residual eccentricity, such that the deviation to the time-of-arrival of pulsar signals induced by the emitted GW passing between the Earth and a pulsar will contain a signature of this eccentricity. Current pulsar-timing search pipelines only probe circular binary systems, but much effort is now being devoted to considering the influence of the binary environment on GW signals. We will detail our efforts in constructing a generalised GW search pipeline to constrain the eccentricity of single systems with arrays of precisely-timed pulsars, which may shed light on the influence of various supermassive black-hole binary hardening mechanisms and illuminate the importance of environmental couplings.

  12. Suppressing star formation in quiescent galaxies with supermassive black hole winds.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Edmond; Bundy, Kevin; Cappellari, Michele; Peirani, Sébastien; Rujopakarn, Wiphu; Westfall, Kyle; Yan, Renbin; Bershady, Matthew; Greene, Jenny E; Heckman, Timothy M; Drory, Niv; Law, David R; Masters, Karen L; Thomas, Daniel; Wake, David A; Weijmans, Anne-Marie; Rubin, Kate; Belfiore, Francesco; Vulcani, Benedetta; Chen, Yan-mei; Zhang, Kai; Gelfand, Joseph D; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Roman-Lopes, A; Schneider, Donald P

    2016-05-26

    Quiescent galaxies with little or no ongoing star formation dominate the population of galaxies with masses above 2 × 10(10) times that of the Sun; the number of quiescent galaxies has increased by a factor of about 25 over the past ten billion years (refs 1-4). Once star formation has been shut down, perhaps during the quasar phase of rapid accretion onto a supermassive black hole, an unknown mechanism must remove or heat the gas that is subsequently accreted from either stellar mass loss or mergers and that would otherwise cool to form stars. Energy output from a black hole accreting at a low rate has been proposed, but observational evidence for this in the form of expanding hot gas shells is indirect and limited to radio galaxies at the centres of clusters, which are too rare to explain the vast majority of the quiescent population. Here we report bisymmetric emission features co-aligned with strong ionized-gas velocity gradients from which we infer the presence of centrally driven winds in typical quiescent galaxies that host low-luminosity active nuclei. These galaxies are surprisingly common, accounting for as much as ten per cent of the quiescent population with masses around 2 × 10(10) times that of the Sun. In a prototypical example, we calculate that the energy input from the galaxy's low-level active supermassive black hole is capable of driving the observed wind, which contains sufficient mechanical energy to heat ambient, cooler gas (also detected) and thereby suppress star formation. PMID:27225122

  13. Warping and tearing of misaligned circumbinary disks around eccentric supermassive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayasaki, K.; Sohn, B. W.; Okazaki, A. T.; Jung, T.; Zhao, G.; Naito, T.

    2015-07-01

    We study the warping and tearing of a geometrically thin, non-self-gravitating disk surrounding binary supermassive black holes on an eccentric orbit. The circumbinary disk is significantly misaligned with the binary orbital plane, and is subject to the time-dependent tidal torques. In principle, such a disk is warped and precesses, and is torn into mutually misaligned rings in the region, where the tidal precession torques are stronger than the local viscous torques. We derive the tidal-warp and tearing radii of the misaligned circumbinary disks around eccentric SMBH binaries. We find that in disks with the viscosity parameter α larger than a critical value depending on the disk aspect ratio, the disk warping appears outside the tearing radius. This condition is expressed for small amplitude warps as α > √H/(3r) for H/rlesssim0.1, where H is the disk scale height. If α < √H/(3r), only the disk tearing occurs because the tidal warp radius is inside the tearing radius, where most of disk material is likely to rapidly accrete onto SMBHs. In warped and torn disks, both the tidal-warp and the tearing radii most strongly depend on the binary semi-major axis, although they also mildly depend on the other orbital and disk parameters. This strong dependence enables us to estimate the semi-major axis, once the tidal warp or tearing radius is determined observationally: for the tidal warp radius of 0.1 pc, the semi-major axis is estimated to be ~10-2 pc for 107 Msolar black hole with typical orbital and disk parameters. We also briefly discuss the possibility that central objects of observed warped maser disks in active galactic nuclei are supermassive black hole binaries.

  14. Suppressing star formation in quiescent galaxies with supermassive black hole winds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheung, Edmond; Bundy, Kevin; Cappellari, Michele; Peirani, Sébastien; Rujopakarn, Wiphu; Westfall, Kyle; Yan, Renbin; Bershady, Matthew; Greene, Jenny E.; Heckman, Timothy M.; Drory, Niv; Law, David R.; Masters, Karen L.; Thomas, Daniel; Wake, David A.; Weijmans, Anne-Marie; Rubin, Kate; Belfiore, Francesco; Vulcani, Benedetta; Chen, Yan-Mei; Zhang, Kai; Gelfand, Joseph D.; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Roman-Lopes, A.; Schneider, Donald P.

    2016-05-01

    Quiescent galaxies with little or no ongoing star formation dominate the population of galaxies with masses above 2 × 1010 times that of the Sun; the number of quiescent galaxies has increased by a factor of about 25 over the past ten billion years (refs 1, 2, 3, 4). Once star formation has been shut down, perhaps during the quasar phase of rapid accretion onto a supermassive black hole, an unknown mechanism must remove or heat the gas that is subsequently accreted from either stellar mass loss or mergers and that would otherwise cool to form stars. Energy output from a black hole accreting at a low rate has been proposed, but observational evidence for this in the form of expanding hot gas shells is indirect and limited to radio galaxies at the centres of clusters, which are too rare to explain the vast majority of the quiescent population. Here we report bisymmetric emission features co-aligned with strong ionized-gas velocity gradients from which we infer the presence of centrally driven winds in typical quiescent galaxies that host low-luminosity active nuclei. These galaxies are surprisingly common, accounting for as much as ten per cent of the quiescent population with masses around 2 × 1010 times that of the Sun. In a prototypical example, we calculate that the energy input from the galaxy’s low-level active supermassive black hole is capable of driving the observed wind, which contains sufficient mechanical energy to heat ambient, cooler gas (also detected) and thereby suppress star formation.

  15. CO-EVOLUTION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE AND HOST GALAXY FROM z {approx} 1 TO z = 0

    SciTech Connect

    Kiuchi, Gaku; Ohta, Kouji; Akiyama, Masayuki

    2009-05-01

    Stellar masses of bulges in hosts of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and black hole masses in the AGNs are derived at z = 0.5-1.15 to study evolution of the black hole-to-bulge mass relation. In order to derive bulge stellar masses, we use a sample of type-2 AGNs to avoid the bright nuclear light. 34 type-2 AGNs are selected from the spectroscopically identified X-ray sources in the Chandra Deep Field South. We use optical images from the Hubble Space Telescope, and near- and mid-infrared photometry from the Very Large Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The bulge components are derived by fitting the two-dimensional surface brightness model consisting of a bulge and a disk component to the optical images. We derive stellar masses (M {sub bulge}) and star formation rates (SFRs) of the bulge components by spectral energy distribution fitting. The derived M {sub bulge} ranges over 10{sup 9}-10{sup 11} M {sub sun}, and the estimated SFR is 0.01-100 M {sub sun} yr{sup -1}. Masses of supermassive black holes (SMBHs; M {sub .}) and black hole accretion rates (BHARs) are estimated with the absorption-corrected X-ray luminosities in the 2-10 keV band under an assumption of the constant Eddington ratio of 0.1 and the constant energy conversion factor of 0.1. Resulting black hole masses and BHARs range over 10{sup 5.5}-10{sup 8} M {sub sun} and 0.001-1 M {sub sun} yr{sup -1}, respectively. For luminous AGNs, the estimated M {sub .}/M {sub bulge} ratio is {approx}4 x 10{sup -4} in the median, which is lower than that for local galaxies and for type-2 AGNs at z {approx} 0.2. However, these differences are within uncertainty and are not significant. This can imply that SMBHs and their host galaxies are evolving almost holding the constant M {sub .}/M {sub bulge} ratio from z {approx} 1.0 to 0 in a cosmological timescale. Meanwhile, the estimated BHAR/SFR ratio is about 60 times larger than the M {sub .}/M {sub bulge} ratio in the median value. This indicates that growths

  16. Do Circumnuclear Dense Gas Disks Drive Mass Accretion onto Supermassive Black Holes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Izumi, Takuma; Kawakatu, Nozomu; Kohno, Kotaro

    2016-08-01

    We present a positive correlation between the mass of dense molecular gas ({M}{{dense}}) of ∼100 pc scale circumnuclear disks (CNDs) and the black hole mass accretion rate ({\\dot{M}}{{BH}}) in a total of 10 Seyfert galaxies, based on data compiled from the literature and an archive (median aperture θ med = 220 pc). A typical {M}{{dense}} of CNDs is 107–8 {M}ȯ , estimated from the luminosity of the dense gas tracer, the HCN(1–0) emission line. Because dense molecular gas is the site of star formation, this correlation is virtually equivalent to the one between the nuclear star-formation rate and {\\dot{M}}{{BH}} revealed previously. Moreover, the {M}{{dense}}{--}{\\dot{M}}{{BH}} correlation was tighter for CND-scale gas than for the gas on kiloparsec or larger scales. This indicates that CNDs likely play an important role in fueling black holes, whereas greater than kiloparesec scale gas does not. To demonstrate a possible approach for studying the CND-scale accretion process with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, we used a mass accretion model where angular momentum loss due to supernova explosions is vital. Based on the model prediction, we suggest that only the partial fraction of the mass accreted from the CND ({\\dot{M}}{{acc}}) is consumed as {\\dot{M}}{{BH}}. However, {\\dot{M}}{{acc}} agrees well with the total nuclear mass flow rate (i.e., {\\dot{M}}{{BH}} + outflow rate). Although these results are still tentative with large uncertainties, they support the view that star formation in CNDs can drive mass accretion onto supermassive black holes in Seyfert galaxies.

  17. Evidence of a Supermassive Black Hole in the Galaxy NGC 1023 From The Nuclear Stellar Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bower, G. A.; Green, R. F.; Bender, R.; Gebhardt, K.; Lauer, T. R.; Magorrian, J.; Richstone, D. O.; Danks, A.; Gull, T.; Hutchings, J.

    2000-01-01

    We analyze the nuclear stellar dynamics of the SBO galaxy NGC 1023, utilizing observational data both from the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope and from the ground. The stellar kinematics measured from these long-slit spectra show rapid rotation (V equals approx. 70 km/s at a distance of O.1 deg = 4.9 pc from the nucleus) and increasing velocity dispersion toward the nucleus (where sigma = 295 +/- 30 km/s). We model the observed stellar kinematics assuming an axisymmetric mass distribution with both two and three integrals of motion. Both modeling techniques point to the presence of a central dark compact mass (which presumably is a supermassive black hole) with confidence > 99%. The isotropic two-integral models yield a best-fitting black hole mass of (6.0 +/- 0.4) x 10(exp 7) solar masses and mass-to-light ratio (M/L(sub v)) of 5.38 +/- 0.08, and the goodness-of-fit (CHI(exp 2)) is insensitive to reasonable values for the galaxy's inclination. The three-integral models, which non-parametrically fit the observed line-of-sight velocity distribution as a function of position in the galaxy, suggest a black hole mass of (3.9 +/- 0.4) x 10(exp 7) solar masses and M/L(sub v) of 5.56 +/- 0.02 (internal errors), and the edge-on models are vastly superior fits over models at other inclinations. The internal dynamics in NGC 1023 as suggested by our best-fit three-integral model shows that the velocity distribution function at the nucleus is tangentially anisotropic, suggesting the presence of a nuclear stellar disk. The nuclear line of sight velocity distribution has enhanced wings at velocities >= 600 km/s from systemic, suggesting that perhaps we have detected a group of stars very close to the central dark mass.

  18. Do Circumnuclear Dense Gas Disks Drive Mass Accretion onto Supermassive Black Holes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Izumi, Takuma; Kawakatu, Nozomu; Kohno, Kotaro

    2016-08-01

    We present a positive correlation between the mass of dense molecular gas ({M}{{dense}}) of ˜100 pc scale circumnuclear disks (CNDs) and the black hole mass accretion rate ({\\dot{M}}{{BH}}) in a total of 10 Seyfert galaxies, based on data compiled from the literature and an archive (median aperture θ med = 220 pc). A typical {M}{{dense}} of CNDs is 107–8 {M}ȯ , estimated from the luminosity of the dense gas tracer, the HCN(1–0) emission line. Because dense molecular gas is the site of star formation, this correlation is virtually equivalent to the one between the nuclear star-formation rate and {\\dot{M}}{{BH}} revealed previously. Moreover, the {M}{{dense}}{--}{\\dot{M}}{{BH}} correlation was tighter for CND-scale gas than for the gas on kiloparsec or larger scales. This indicates that CNDs likely play an important role in fueling black holes, whereas greater than kiloparesec scale gas does not. To demonstrate a possible approach for studying the CND-scale accretion process with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, we used a mass accretion model where angular momentum loss due to supernova explosions is vital. Based on the model prediction, we suggest that only the partial fraction of the mass accreted from the CND ({\\dot{M}}{{acc}}) is consumed as {\\dot{M}}{{BH}}. However, {\\dot{M}}{{acc}} agrees well with the total nuclear mass flow rate (i.e., {\\dot{M}}{{BH}} + outflow rate). Although these results are still tentative with large uncertainties, they support the view that star formation in CNDs can drive mass accretion onto supermassive black holes in Seyfert galaxies.

  19. A STRONGLY MAGNETIZED PULSAR WITHIN THE GRASP OF THE MILKY WAY'S SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE

    SciTech Connect

    Rea, N.; Torres, D. F.; Papitto, A.; Camero-Arranz, A.; Esposito, P.; Mereghetti, S.; Tiengo, A.; Pons, J. A.; Viganò, D.; Turolla, R.; Israel, G. L.; Stella, L.; Possenti, A.; Burgay, M.; Perna, R.; Ponti, G.; Baganoff, F. K.; Haggard, D.; Zane, S.; Minter, A.; and others

    2013-10-01

    The center of our Galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius (Sgr) A*. Young, massive stars within 0.5 pc of Sgr A* are evidence of an episode of intense star formation near the black hole a few million years ago, which might have left behind a young neutron star traveling deep into Sgr A*'s gravitational potential. On 2013 April 25, a short X-ray burst was observed from the direction of the Galactic center. With a series of observations with the Chandra and the Swift satellites, we pinpoint the associated magnetar at an angular distance of 2.4 ± 0.3 arcsec from Sgr A*, and refine the source spin period and its derivative (P = 3.7635537(2) s and P-dot = 6.61(4)×10{sup -12} s s{sup –1}), confirmed by quasi simultaneous radio observations performed with the Green Bank Telescope and Parkes Radio Telescope, which also constrain a dispersion measure of DM = 1750 ± 50 pc cm{sup –3}, the highest ever observed for a radio pulsar. We have found that this X-ray source is a young magnetar at ≈0.07-2 pc from Sgr A*. Simulations of its possible motion around Sgr A* show that it is likely (∼90% probability) in a bound orbit around the black hole. The radiation front produced by the past activity from the magnetar passing through the molecular clouds surrounding the Galactic center region might be responsible for a large fraction of the light echoes observed in the Fe fluorescence features.

  20. High-redshift quasars and the supermassive black hole mass budget: constraints on quasar formation models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bromley, J. M.; Somerville, R. S.; Fabian, A. C.

    2004-05-01

    We investigate the constraints on models of supermassive black hole (SMBH) and quasar formation obtainable from two recent observational developments: the discovery of luminous quasars at z~ 6, and estimates of the local mass density of SMBHs. If ~90 per cent of this mass was accreted at redshifts z<~ 3, as suggested by the observed quasar luminosity functions, these joint constraints pose a challenge for models, which must account for the observed luminous quasar population at z~ 6 within a very limited `mass budget'. We investigate a class of models based within the hierarchical structure formation scenario, in which major mergers lead to black hole formation and fuelling, and the resulting quasars shine at their Eddington-limited rate until their fuel is exhausted. We show that the simplest such model, in which a constant fraction of the gas within the halo is accreted in each major merger, cannot satisfy both constraints simultaneously. When this model is normalized to reproduce the number density of luminous quasars at z~ 6, the mass budget is grossly exceeded owing to an overabundance of lower-mass SMBHs. We explore a range of modifications to the simple model designed to overcome this problem. We show that both constraints can be satisfied if the gas accretion fraction scales as a function of the halo virial velocity. Similar scalings have been proposed in order to reproduce the local M•-σ relation. Successful models can also be constructed by restricting the formation of seed black holes to redshifts above zcrit~ 11.5 or to haloes above a velocity threshold vcrit~ 55 km s-1, or assuming that only a fraction of major mergers result in formation of a seed SMBH. We also briefly discuss the issue of trying to assume a `universal M•-σ relation' within the framework of simple Press-Schechter models, and further show that a fixed universal relation between SMBH mass and host halo mass is unlikely.

  1. The SINFONI Black Hole Survey: The Black Hole Fundamental Plane Revisited and the Paths of (Co)evolution of Supermassive Black Holes and Bulges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saglia, R. P.; Opitsch, M.; Erwin, P.; Thomas, J.; Beifiori, A.; Fabricius, M.; Mazzalay, X.; Nowak, N.; Rusli, S. P.; Bender, R.

    2016-02-01

    We investigate the correlations between the black hole (BH) mass MBH, the velocity dispersion σ, the bulge mass MBu, the bulge average spherical density {ρ }{{h}}, and its spherical half-mass radius rh, constructing a database of 97 galaxies (31 core ellipticals, 17 power-law ellipticals, 30 classical bulges, and 19 pseudobulges) by joining 72 galaxies from the literature to 25 galaxies observed during our recent SINFONI BH survey. For the first time we discuss the full error covariance matrix. We analyze the well-known MBH-σ and MBH-MBu relations and establish the existence of statistically significant correlations between MBu and rh and anticorrelations between MBu and {ρ }{{h}}. We establish five significant bivariate correlations (MBH-σ-ρh, MBH-σ-rh, MBH-MBu-σ, MBH-MBu-ρh, MBH-MBu-rh) that predict MBH of 77 core and power-law ellipticals and classical bulges with measured and intrinsic scatter as small as ≈ 0.36 dex and ≈ 0.33 dex, respectively, or 0.26 dex when the subsample of 45 galaxies defined by Kormendy & Ho is considered. In contrast, pseudobulges have systematically lower MBH but approach the predictions of all of the above relations at spherical densities {ρ }{{h}}≥slant {10}10 {M}⊙ {{kpc}}-3 or scale lengths {r}{{h}}≤slant 1 {{kpc}}. These findings fit in a scenario of coevolution of BH and classical-bulge masses, where core ellipticals are the product of dry mergers of power-law bulges and power-law ellipticals and bulges the result of (early) gas-rich mergers and of disk galaxies. In contrast, the (secular) growth of BHs is decoupled from the growth of their pseudobulge hosts, except when (gas) densities are high enough to trigger the feedback mechanism responsible for the existence of the correlations between MBH and galaxy structural parameters.

  2. The origin and growth of the first black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schawinski, Kevin

    2015-08-01

    I will present recent results on the search for black hole growth at the highest redshifts in the deepest Chandra X-ray observations: a startling lack of faint AGN in z>5 galaxies is starting to place interesting constraints on formation and early growth scenarios. At the same time, circumstantial evidence from both observations and theory points to late formation of black hole seeds in moderate mass galaxies as a viable channel. Dense sub-galactic clumps and major mergers are plausible formation sites perhaps even to z~0. I will also present the outlook for future X-ray missions such as ATHENA in tracing black hole growth at unprecedented levels using X-ray variability.

  3. SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARY EVOLUTION IN AXISYMMETRIC GALAXIES: THE FINAL PARSEC PROBLEM IS NOT A PROBLEM

    SciTech Connect

    Khan, Fazeel Mahmood; Holley-Bockelmann, Kelly; Berczik, Peter; Just, Andreas E-mail: just@ari.uni-heidelberg.de E-mail: k.holley@vanderbilt.edu

    2013-08-20

    During a galaxy merger, the supermassive black hole (SMBH) in each galaxy is thought to sink to the center of the potential and form an SMBH binary; this binary can eject stars via three-body scattering, bringing the SMBHs ever closer. In a static spherical galaxy model, the binary stalls at a separation of about a parsec after ejecting all the stars in its loss cone-this is the well-known final parsec problem. Earlier work has shown that the centrophilic orbits in triaxial galaxy models are key in refilling the loss cone at a high enough rate to prevent the black holes from stalling. However, the evolution of binary SMBHs has never been explored in axisymmetric galaxies, so it is not clear if the final parsec problem persists in these systems. Here we use a suite of direct N-body simulations to follow SMBH binary evolution in galaxy models with a range of ellipticity. For the first time, we show that mere axisymmetry can solve the final parsec problem; we find the SMBH evolution is independent of N for an axis ratio of c/a = 0.8, and that the SMBH binary separation reaches the gravitational radiation regime for c/a = 0.75.

  4. Supermassive Black Hole Binary Evolution in Axisymmetric Galaxies: The Final Parsec Problem is Not a Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Fazeel Mahmood; Holley-Bockelmann, Kelly; Berczik, Peter; Just, Andreas

    2013-08-01

    During a galaxy merger, the supermassive black hole (SMBH) in each galaxy is thought to sink to the center of the potential and form an SMBH binary; this binary can eject stars via three-body scattering, bringing the SMBHs ever closer. In a static spherical galaxy model, the binary stalls at a separation of about a parsec after ejecting all the stars in its loss cone—this is the well-known final parsec problem. Earlier work has shown that the centrophilic orbits in triaxial galaxy models are key in refilling the loss cone at a high enough rate to prevent the black holes from stalling. However, the evolution of binary SMBHs has never been explored in axisymmetric galaxies, so it is not clear if the final parsec problem persists in these systems. Here we use a suite of direct N-body simulations to follow SMBH binary evolution in galaxy models with a range of ellipticity. For the first time, we show that mere axisymmetry can solve the final parsec problem; we find the SMBH evolution is independent of N for an axis ratio of c/a = 0.8, and that the SMBH binary separation reaches the gravitational radiation regime for c/a = 0.75.

  5. Impact of baryonic streaming velocities on the formation of supermassive black holes via direct collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latif, M. A.; Niemeyer, J. C.; Schleicher, D. R. G.

    2014-06-01

    Baryonic streaming motions produced prior to the epoch of recombination became supersonic during the cosmic dark ages. Various studies suggest that such streaming velocities change the halo statistics and also influence the formation of Population III stars. In this study, we aim to explore the impact of streaming velocities on the formation of supermassive black holes at z>10 via the direct collapse scenario. To accomplish this goal, we perform cosmological large eddy simulations for two haloes of a few times 107M⊙ with initial streaming velocities of 3, 6 and 9 km s-1. These massive primordial haloes illuminated by the strong Lyman-Werner flux are the potential cradles for the formation of direct collapse seed black holes. To study the evolution for longer times, we employ sink particles and track the accretion for 10 000 years. Our findings show that higher streaming velocities increase the circular velocities from about 14 to 16 km s-1. They also delay the collapse of haloes for a few million years, but do not have any significant impact on the halo properties such as turbulent energy, radial velocity, density and accretion rates. Sink particles of about ˜105M⊙ are formed at the end of our simulations and no clear distribution of sink masses is observed in the presence of streaming motions. It is further found that the impact of streaming velocities is less severe in massive haloes compared to the minihaloes as reported in the previous studies.

  6. A three-stage search for supermassive black-hole binaries in LISA data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Duncan A.; Crowder, Jeff; Cutler, Curt; Mandel, Ilya; Vallisneri, Michele

    2007-10-01

    Gravitational waves from the inspiral and coalescence of supermassive black-hole (SMBH) binaries with masses m1 ~ m2 ~ 106Modot are likely to be among the strongest sources for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). We describe a three-stage data-analysis pipeline designed to search for and measure the parameters of SMBH binaries in LISA data. The first stage uses a time frequency track-search method to search for inspiral signals and provide a coarse estimate of the black-hole masses m1, m2 and the coalescence time of the binary tc. The second stage uses a sequence of matched-filter template banks, seeded by the first stage, to improve the measurement accuracy of the masses and coalescence time. Finally, a Markov chain Monte Carlo search is used to estimate all nine physical parameters of the binary (masses, coalescence time, distance, initial phase, sky position and orientation). Using results from the second stage substantially shortens the Markov chain burn-in time and allows us to determine the number of SMBH-binary signals in the data before starting parameter estimation. We demonstrate our analysis pipeline using simulated data from the first Mock LISA Data Challenge. We discuss our plan for improving this pipeline and the challenges that will be faced in real LISA data analysis.

  7. UPDATED MASS SCALING RELATIONS FOR NUCLEAR STAR CLUSTERS AND A COMPARISON TO SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, Nicholas; Graham, Alister W.

    2013-02-15

    We investigate whether or not nuclear star clusters and supermassive black holes (SMBHs) follow a common set of mass scaling relations with their host galaxy's properties, and hence can be considered to form a single class of central massive object (CMO). We have compiled a large sample of galaxies with measured nuclear star cluster masses and host galaxy properties from the literature and fit log-linear scaling relations. We find that nuclear star cluster mass, M {sub NC}, correlates most tightly with the host galaxy's velocity dispersion: log M {sub NC} = (2.11 {+-} 0.31)log ({sigma}/54) + (6.63 {+-} 0.09), but has a slope dramatically shallower than the relation defined by SMBHs. We find that the nuclear star cluster mass relations involving host galaxy (and spheroid) luminosity and stellar and dynamical mass, intercept with but are in general shallower than the corresponding black hole scaling relations. In particular, M {sub NC}{proportional_to}M {sup 0.55{+-}0.15} {sub Gal,dyn}; the nuclear cluster mass is not a constant fraction of its host galaxy or spheroid mass. We conclude that nuclear stellar clusters and SMBHs do not form a single family of CMOs.

  8. Evidence for Supermassive Black Holes in Active Galactic Nuclei from Emission-Line Reverberation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, Bradley M.; Wandel, Amri

    2000-01-01

    Emission-line variability data for Seyfert 1 galaxies provide strong evidence for the existence of supermassive black holes in the nuclei of these galaxies and that the line-emitting gas is moving in the gravitational potential of that black hole. The time-delayed response of the emission lines to continuum variations is used to infer the size of the line-emitting region, which is then combined with measurements of the Doppler widths of the variable line components to estimate a virial mass. la the case of the best-studied galaxy, NGC 5548, various emission lines spanning an order of magnitude in distance from the central source show the expected V proportional to r(sup -l/2) correlation between distance and line width and are thus consistent with a single value for the mass. Two other Seyfert galaxies, NGC 7469 and 3C 390.3, show a similar relationship. We compute the ratio of luminosity to mass for these three objects and the narrow-line Seyfert I galaxy NGC 4051 and find that the gravitational force on the line-emitting gas is much stronger than radiation pressure. These results strongly support the paradigm of gravitationally bound broad emission line region clouds.

  9. THE M {sub BH}-L {sub SPHEROID} RELATION AT HIGH AND LOW MASSES, THE QUADRATIC GROWTH OF BLACK HOLES, AND INTERMEDIATE-MASS BLACK HOLE CANDIDATES

    SciTech Connect

    Graham, Alister W.; Scott, Nicholas

    2013-02-20

    From a sample of 72 galaxies with reliable supermassive black hole masses M {sub bh}, we derive the M {sub bh}-(host spheroid luminosity, L) relation for (1) the subsample of 24 core-Sersic galaxies with partially depleted cores, and (2) the remaining subsample of 48 Sersic galaxies. Using K{sub s} -band Two Micron All Sky Survey data, we find the near-linear relation M {sub bh}{proportional_to}L {sup 1.10{+-}0.20} {sub K{sub s}} for the core-Sersic spheroids thought to be built in additive dry merger events, while we find the relation M {sub bh}{proportional_to}L {sup 2.73{+-}0.55}{sub K{sub s}} for the Sersic spheroids built from gas-rich processes. After converting literature B-band disk galaxy magnitudes into inclination- and dust-corrected bulge magnitudes, via a useful new equation presented herein, we obtain a similar result. Unlike with the M {sub bh}-(velocity dispersion) diagram, which is also updated here using the same galaxy sample, it remains unknown whether barred and non-barred Sersic galaxies are offset from each other in the M {sub bh}-L diagram. While black hole feedback has typically been invoked to explain what was previously thought to be a nearly constant M {sub bh}/M {sub Spheroid} mass ratio of {approx}0.2%, we advocate that the near-linear M {sub bh}-L and M {sub bh}-M {sub Spheroid} relations observed at high masses may have instead arisen largely from the additive dry merging of galaxies. We argue that feedback results in a dramatically different scaling relation, such that black hole mass scales roughly quadratically with the spheroid mass in Sersic galaxies. We therefore introduce a revised cold-gas 'quasar' mode feeding equation for semi-analytical models to reflect what we dub the quadratic growth of black holes in Sersic galaxies built amidst gas-rich processes. Finally, we use our new Sersic M {sub bh}-L equations to predict the masses of candidate intermediate mass black holes in almost 50 low-luminosity spheroids containing

  10. MILKY WAY SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE: DYNAMICAL FEEDING FROM THE CIRCUMNUCLEAR ENVIRONMENT

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Hauyu Baobab; Hsieh, Pei-Ying; Ho, Paul T. P.; Su, Yu-Nung; Wright, Melvyn; Sun, Ai-Lei; Minh, Young Chol

    2012-09-10

    The supermassive black hole (SMBH), Sgr A*, at the Galactic center is surrounded by a molecular circumnuclear disk (CND) lying between 1.5 and 4 pc radii. The irregular and clumpy structures of the CND suggest dynamical evolution and episodic feeding of gas toward the central SMBH. New sensitive data from the Submillimeter Array and Green Bank Telescope reveal several >5-10 pc scale molecular arms, which either directly connect to the CND or may penetrate inside the CND. The CND appears to be the convergence of the innermost parts of large-scale gas streamers, which are responding to the central gravitational potential well. Rather than being a quasi-stationary structure, the CND may be dynamically evolving, incorporating inflow via streamers, and feeding gas toward the center.

  11. Milky Way Supermassive Black Hole: Dynamical Feeding from the Circumnuclear Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Hauyu Baobab; Hsieh, Pei-Ying; Ho, Paul T. P.; Su, Yu-Nung; Wright, Melvyn; Sun, Ai-Lei; Minh, Young Chol

    2012-09-01

    The supermassive black hole (SMBH), Sgr A*, at the Galactic center is surrounded by a molecular circumnuclear disk (CND) lying between 1.5 and 4 pc radii. The irregular and clumpy structures of the CND suggest dynamical evolution and episodic feeding of gas toward the central SMBH. New sensitive data from the Submillimeter Array and Green Bank Telescope reveal several >5-10 pc scale molecular arms, which either directly connect to the CND or may penetrate inside the CND. The CND appears to be the convergence of the innermost parts of large-scale gas streamers, which are responding to the central gravitational potential well. Rather than being a quasi-stationary structure, the CND may be dynamically evolving, incorporating inflow via streamers, and feeding gas toward the center.

  12. Soft gamma-ray constraints on a bright flare from the Galactic Center supermassive black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trap, G.; Goldwurm, A.; Terrier, R.; Dodds-Eden, K.; Gillessen, S.; Genzel, R.; Pantin, E.; Lagage, P. O.; Ferrando, P.; Bélanger, G.; Porquet, D.; Grosso, N.; Yusef-Zadeh, F.; Melia, F.

    2010-02-01

    Sagittarius A★(SgrA★) is the supermassive black hole residing at the center of the Milky Way. It has been the main target of an extensive multiwavelength campaign we carried out in April 2007. Herein, we report the detection of a bright flare from the vicinity of the horizon, observed simultaneously in X-rays (XMM-Newton/EPIC) and near infrared (VLT/NACO) on April 4th for 1-2 h. For the first time, such an event also benefitted from a soft γ-rays (INTEGRAL/ISGRI) and mid infrared (VLT/VISIR) coverage, which enabled us to derive upper limits at both ends of the flare spectral energy distribution (SED). We discuss the physical implications of the contemporaneous light curves as well as the SED, in terms of synchrotron, synchrotron self-Compton and external Compton emission processes.

  13. Compact symmetric objects and supermassive binary black holes in the VLBA Imaging and Polarimetry Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, S. E.; Taylor, G. B.; Ortiz, A. A.; Tremblay, C. D.; Helmboldt, J. F.; Romani, R. W.

    2016-06-01

    We present multifrequency Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) follow-up observations of VLBA Imaging and Polarimetry Survey sources identified as likely compact symmetric objects (CSOs) or supermassive binary black holes (SBBHs). We also present new spectroscopic redshifts for 11 sources observed with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. While no new SBBHs can be confirmed from these observations, we have identified 24 CSOs in the sample, 15 of which are newly designated, and refuted 52 candidates leaving 33 unconfirmed candidates. This is the first large uniform sample of CSOs which can be used to elicit some of the general properties of these sources, including morphological evolution and environmental interaction. We have detected polarized emission from two of these CSOs the properties of which are consistent with active galactic nuclei unification schemes.

  14. MULTIPLE TIDAL DISRUPTIONS AS AN INDICATOR OF BINARY SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Wegg, Christopher; Nate Bode, J.

    2011-09-01

    We find that the majority of systems hosting multiple tidal disruptions (TDs) are likely to contain hard binary supermassive black hole (SMBH) systems, and also show that the rates of these repeated events are high enough to be detected by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) over its lifetime. Therefore, these multiple TD events provide a novel method for identifying SMBH binary systems with parsec to subparsec separations. The rates of TDs are investigated using simulations of non-interacting stars initially orbiting a primary SMBH and the potential of the model stellar cusp. The stars are then evolved forward in time and perturbed by a secondary SMBH inspiraling from the edge of the cusp to its stalling radius. We find with conservative magnitude estimates that the next-generation transient survey LSST should detect multiple TDs in approximately three galaxies over five years of observation, though less conservative estimates could increase this rate by an order of magnitude.

  15. Gravitational waves from binary supermassive black holes missing in pulsar observations.

    PubMed

    Shannon, R M; Ravi, V; Lentati, L T; Lasky, P D; Hobbs, G; Kerr, M; Manchester, R N; Coles, W A; Levin, Y; Bailes, M; Bhat, N D R; Burke-Spolaor, S; Dai, S; Keith, M J; Osłowski, S; Reardon, D J; van Straten, W; Toomey, L; Wang, J-B; Wen, L; Wyithe, J S B; Zhu, X-J

    2015-09-25

    Gravitational waves are expected to be radiated by supermassive black hole binaries formed during galaxy mergers. A stochastic superposition of gravitational waves from all such binary systems would modulate the arrival times of pulses from radio pulsars. Using observations of millisecond pulsars obtained with the Parkes radio telescope, we constrained the characteristic amplitude of this background, A(c,yr), to be <1.0 × 10(-15) with 95% confidence. This limit excludes predicted ranges for A(c,yr) from current models with 91 to 99.7% probability. We conclude that binary evolution is either stalled or dramatically accelerated by galactic-center environments and that higher-cadence and shorter-wavelength observations would be more sensitive to gravitational waves. PMID:26404832

  16. Multi-messenger Efforts in the Search for Supermassive Black Hole Pairs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spolaor, Sarah; LAZIO, J.; Pulsar Timing Array, Parkes

    2013-01-01

    A number of electromagnetic phenomena have been suggested to imply the presence of a supermassive black hole (SMBH) binary in the emission's host galaxy. No systems have been conclusively demonstrated to be a close binary (i.e. orbital periods <100 years, orbital separations < 30pc), despite that a positive identification would contribute to knowledge of the expected gravitational waveform from these objects and their role in cosmic evolution. We consider several cases where radio imaging on pc to kpc scales can clarify purported signatures of SMBH pairs or binaries. In some cases, pulsar timing's limits on gravitational waves from these systems can provide a powerful means to constrain, support, or disprove a binary SMBH hypothesis, and/or provide constraints on the origin of larger-scale jet behaviours in AGN. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  17. On the detection of eccentric supermassive black hole binaries with pulsar timing arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huerta, Eliu; McWilliams, Sean; Gair, Jonathan; Taylor, Stephen

    2015-04-01

    It is believed that supermassive black holes (SMBHs) with masses between a million up to a few billion solar masses are ubiquitous in nearby galactic nuclei. Hence, the merger of a pair of galaxies hosting these compact objects may result in the formation of a compact binary that decays to small orbital separations via interactions with its stellar and gaseous environments. Recent studies suggest that these formation channels imply that SMBH binaries may have large orbital eccentricities when they become dominated by gravitational wave emission. In light of these considerations, we present a novel and comprehensive framework that we put at work to carry out an end-to-end analysis of the effect of eccentricity on the amplitude and spectrum of a stochastic, isotropic gravitational wave background from SMBH binaries and single resolvable sources that may be detected with Pulsar Timing Arrays.

  18. Hydrodynamics of galaxy mergers with supermassive black holes: is there a last parsec problem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapon, Damien; Mayer, Lucio; Teyssier, Romain

    2013-03-01

    We study the formation of a supermassive black hole (SMBH) binary and the shrinking of the separation of the two holes to sub-parsec scales starting from a realistic major merger between two gas-rich spiral galaxies with mass comparable to our Milky Way. The simulations, carried out with the adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) code RAMSES, are capable of resolving separations as small as 0.1 pc. The collision of the two galaxies produces a gravoturbulent rotating nuclear disc with mass (˜109 M⊙) and size (˜60 pc) in excellent agreement with previous smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations with particle splitting that used a similar set-up (Mayer et al. 2007) but were limited to separations of a few parsecs. The AMR results confirm that the two black holes sink rapidly as a result of dynamical friction on to the gaseous background, reaching a separation of 1 pc in less than 107 yr. We show that the dynamical friction wake is well resolved by our model and we find good agreement with analytical predictions of the drag force as a function of the Mach number. Below 1 pc, black hole pairing slows down significantly, as the relative velocity between the sinking SMBH becomes highly subsonic and the mass contained within their orbit falls below the mass of the binary itself, rendering dynamical friction ineffective. In this final stage, the black holes have not opened a gap as the gaseous background is highly pressurized in the centre. Non-axisymmetric gas torques do not arise to restart sinking in absence of efficient dynamical friction, at variance with previous calculations using idealized equilibrium nuclear disc models. We believe that the rather `hot' equation of state we used to model the multiphase turbulent interstellar medium in the nuclear region is playing an important role in preventing efficient SMBH sinking inside the central parsec. We conclude with a discussion of the way forward to address sinking in gaseous backgrounds at sub-parsec scales approaching

  19. The Role of Cold Gas in Low-level Supermassive Black Hole Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alfvin, Erik; Miller, Brendan; Gallo, Elena

    2015-01-01

    The connection between low-level supermassive black hole activity and galactic cold gas, if any, remains debated. It has been hypothesized that mechanical feedback can heat and potentially expel gas and quench star formation; alternatively, central black holes may feed at higher rates in gas-rich galaxies, either directly or as a secondary consequence of greater stellar-wind mass loss. We test this relationship in local spiral galaxies using new HI fluxes from the ongoing ALFALFA 21cm blind survey, in combination with radio data from the literature, and archival X-ray measurements from the Chandra X-ray observatory. We consider late-type galaxies with distances d < 50 Mpc and optical absolute magnitudes MB < -18 as selected from the HyperLeda database. After matching to radio and X-ray coverage and eliminating edge-on galaxies to reduce the complicating effects of internal extinction, our sample consists of 135 spirals. Of these, 75 host a nuclear X-ray source within 2'' of the optical galaxy center, a 56% detection fraction. We estimate the possibility of contamination from high-mass X-ray binaries for each galaxy as a function of the nuclear X-ray luminosity, the star formation rate, and the enclosing projected size of the Chandra point spread function. We perform linear regression (on logarithmic quantities) to fit nuclear X-ray luminosity as a function of galaxy optical luminosity and as a function of HI mass, taking into account measurement uncertainties in both variables and X-ray upper limits. There is a highly significant correlation between Lx and MB, and a tentative correlation (significant at the 2.5 sigma level) between Lx and HI mass. Specifically, we find that log Lx scales with log HI mass with a slope of 0.79+/-0.32, albeit with a large intrinsic scatter of 1.37+/-0.13 dex. These findings suggest that supermassive black holes may indeed accrete at a faster rate in an environment with more cold gas. This work has been supported by NSF grant AST

  20. To test dual supermassive black hole model for broad line active galactic nucleus with double-peaked narrow [O III] lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xue-Guang; Feng, Long-Long

    2016-04-01

    In this paper, we proposed an interesting method to test the dual supermassive black hole model for active galactic nucleus (AGN) with double-peaked narrow [O III] lines (double-peaked narrow emitters) through their broad optical Balmer line properties. Under the dual supermassive black hole model for double-peaked narrow emitters, we could expect statistically smaller virial black hole masses estimated by observed broad Balmer line properties than true black hole masses (total masses of central two black holes). Then, we compare the virial black hole masses between a sample of 37 double-peaked narrow emitters with broad Balmer lines and samples of Sloan Digital Sky Survey selected normal broad line AGN with single-peaked [O III] lines. However, we can find clearly statistically larger calculated virial black hole masses for the 37 broad line AGN with double-peaked [O III] lines than for samples of normal broad line AGN. Therefore, we give our conclusion that the dual supermassive black hole model is probably not statistically preferred to the double-peaked narrow emitters, and more efforts should be necessary to carefully find candidates for dual supermassive black holes by observed double-peaked narrow emission lines.

  1. The Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of the Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghez, Andrea M.

    Within the last year two results dramatically strengthened the case for a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way and our understanding the black hole's effect on its environment. First, orbital solutions for multiple stars have been obtained, using adaptive optics and speckle imaging to study the motions of stars in the plane of sky over the past decade. The three most remarkable orbits are those of the newly identified stars S0-16, which passed a mere 60 AU from the central dark mass at a velocity of 9,000 km s-1 in 2000, and S0-19, which at one time was posited to be the near-infrared counterpart to Sgr A*, and the previously recognized S0-2, which has an orbital period of a mere 16 years. A simultaneous orbital analysis yields the most accurate and precise values of the location and mass of the Galaxy's central dark matter. The location is consistent with the inferred infrared position of Sgr A* but with an uncertainty that is a factor of 7 smaller (± 1.5 milliarcsec). The estimated mass from orbital motion is 3.7 (± 0.4) × 106 (R0 8kpc)3 Modot and is a more direct measure of mass than that obtained from velocity dispersion measurements, which are as much as a factor of 2 times smaller; this brings the Milky Way into better agreement with the Mbullet-σ relationship. Furthermore, by confining the mass to within a radius of a mere 0.0003 pc or 1,000 RSch, this orbital analysis increases the inferred dark mass density by four orders of magnitude compared to earlier analyses based on velocity and acceleration vectors, making the Milky Way the strongest existing case for a supermassive black hole at the center of any normal type galaxy. Second, with the introduction of an adaptive-optics-fed spectrometer, the first detection of spectral absorption lines in one of the high-velocity stars, S0-2, was obtained one month after its closest approach to the Galaxy's central supermassive black hole. Both Br γ λ2.1661 microns and He I λ2.1126 microns are

  2. SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES, PSEUDOBULGES, AND THE NARROW-LINE SEYFERT 1 GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Mathur, Smita; Peterson, Bradley M.; Fields, Dale; Grupe, Dirk E-mail: peterson@astronomy.ohio-state.edu E-mail: grupe@astro.psu.edu

    2012-08-01

    We present Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) observations of 10 galaxies that host narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) nuclei, believed to contain relatively smaller mass black holes accreting at high Eddington ratios. We deconvolve each ACS image into a nuclear point source (AGN), a bulge, and a disk, and fitted the bulge with a Sersic profile and the disk with an exponential profile. We find that at least five galaxies can be classified as having pseudobulges. All 10 galaxies lie below the M{sub BH}-L{sub bulge} relation, confirming earlier results. Their locus is similar to that occupied by pseudobulges. This leads us to conclude that the growth of BHs in NLS1s is governed by secular processes rather than merger driven. Active galaxies in pseudobulges point to an alternative track of black hole-galaxy co-evolution. Because of the intrinsic scatter in black hole mass-bulge properties scaling relations caused by a combination of factors such as the galaxy morphology, orientation, and redshift evolution, application of scaling relations to determine BH masses may not be as straightforward as has been hoped.

  3. Cosmic black-hole hair growth and quasar OJ287

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horbatsch, M. W.; Burgess, C. P.

    2012-05-01

    An old result (astro-ph/9905303) by Jacobson implies that a black hole with Schwarzschild radius rs acquires scalar hair, Qproptors2μ, when the (canonically normalized) scalar field in question is slowly time-dependent far from the black hole, ∂tphi simeq μMp with μrs << 1 time-independent. Such a time dependence could arise in scalar-tensor theories either from cosmological evolution, or due to the slow motion of the black hole within an asymptotic spatial gradient in the scalar field. Most remarkably, the amount of scalar hair so induced is independent of the strength with which the scalar couples to matter. We argue that Jacobson's Miracle Hair-Growth Formula© implies, in particular, that an orbiting pair of black holes can radiate dipole radiation, provided only that the two black holes have different masses. Quasar OJ287, situated at redshift z simeq 0.306, has been argued to be a double black-hole binary system of this type, whose orbital decay recently has been indirectly measured and found to agree with the predictions of General Relativity to within 6%. We argue that the absence of observable scalar dipole radiation in this system yields the remarkable bound |μ| < (16 days)-1 on the instantaneous time derivative at this redshift (as opposed to constraining an average field difference, Δphi, over cosmological times), provided only that the scalar is light enough to be radiated — i.e. mlsim10-23 eV — independent of how the scalar couples to matter. This can also be interpreted as constraining (in a more model-dependent way) the binary's motion relative to any spatial variation of the scalar field within its immediate vicinity within its host galaxy.

  4. Cosmic black-hole hair growth and quasar OJ287

    SciTech Connect

    Horbatsch, M.W.; Burgess, C.P. E-mail: cburgess@perimeterinstitute.ca

    2012-05-01

    An old result (astro-ph/9905303) by Jacobson implies that a black hole with Schwarzschild radius r{sub s} acquires scalar hair, Q∝r{sub s}{sup 2}μ, when the (canonically normalized) scalar field in question is slowly time-dependent far from the black hole, ∂{sub t}φ ≅ μM{sub p} with μr{sub s} << 1 time-independent. Such a time dependence could arise in scalar-tensor theories either from cosmological evolution, or due to the slow motion of the black hole within an asymptotic spatial gradient in the scalar field. Most remarkably, the amount of scalar hair so induced is independent of the strength with which the scalar couples to matter. We argue that Jacobson's Miracle Hair-Growth Formula{sup ©} implies, in particular, that an orbiting pair of black holes can radiate dipole radiation, provided only that the two black holes have different masses. Quasar OJ287, situated at redshift z ≅ 0.306, has been argued to be a double black-hole binary system of this type, whose orbital decay recently has been indirectly measured and found to agree with the predictions of General Relativity to within 6%. We argue that the absence of observable scalar dipole radiation in this system yields the remarkable bound |μ| < (16 days){sup −1} on the instantaneous time derivative at this redshift (as opposed to constraining an average field difference, Δφ, over cosmological times), provided only that the scalar is light enough to be radiated — i.e. m∼<10{sup −23} eV — independent of how the scalar couples to matter. This can also be interpreted as constraining (in a more model-dependent way) the binary's motion relative to any spatial variation of the scalar field within its immediate vicinity within its host galaxy.

  5. Black Hole Safari: Tracking Populations and Hunting Big Game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McConnell, N. J.

    2013-10-01

    Understanding the physical connection, or lack thereof, between the growth of galaxies and supermassive black holes is a key challenge in extragalactic astronomy. Dynamical studies of nearby galaxies are building a census of black hole masses across a broad range of galaxy types and uncovering statistical correlations between galaxy bulge properties and black hole masses. These local correlations provide a baseline for studying galaxies and black holes at higher redshifts. Recent measurements have probed the extremes of the supermassive black hole population and introduced surprises that challenge simple models of black hole and galaxy co-evolution. Future advances in the quality and quantity of dynamical black hole mass measurements will shed light upon the growth of massive galaxies and black holes in different cosmic environments.

  6. RESOLVING THE BONDI ACCRETION FLOW TOWARD THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE OF NGC 3115 WITH CHANDRA

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, Ka-Wah; Irwin, Jimmy A.; Yukita, Mihoko; Million, Evan T.; Mathews, William G.

    2011-07-20

    Gas undergoing Bondi accretion onto a supermassive black hole (SMBH) becomes hotter toward smaller radii. We searched for this signature with a Chandra observation of the hot gas in NGC 3115, which optical observations show has a very massive SMBH. Our analysis suggests that we are resolving, for the first time, the accretion flow within the Bondi radius of an SMBH. We show that the temperature is rising toward the galaxy center as expected in all accretion models in which the black hole is gravitationally capturing the ambient gas. There is no hard central point source that could cause such an apparent rise in temperature. The data support that the Bondi radius is at about 4''-5'' (188-235 pc), suggesting an SMBH of 2 x 10{sup 9} M{sub sun} that is consistent with the upper end of the optical results. The density profile within the Bondi radius has a power-law index of 1.03{sup +0.23}{sub -0.21}, which is consistent with gas in transition from the ambient medium and the accretion flow. The accretion rate at the Bondi radius is determined to be M-dot{sub B} = 2.2x10{sup -2} M{sub sun} yr{sup -1}. Thus, the accretion luminosity with 10% radiative efficiency at the Bondi radius (10{sup 44} erg s{sup -1}) is about six orders of magnitude higher than the upper limit of the X-ray luminosity of the nucleus.

  7. Kinematically Identified Recoiling Supermassive Black Hole Candidates in SDSS QSOs with z > 0.25

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, D.-C.; Evans, A. S.; Stierwalt, S.; Privon, G. C.

    2016-06-01

    We have performed a spectral decomposition to search for recoiling supermassive black holes (rSMBHs) in Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) with z < 0.25. Out of 1271 QSOs, we have identified 26 rSMBH candidates that are recoiling toward us. The projected recoil velocities range from ‑76 to ‑307 km s‑1 with a mean of ‑149 ± 58 km s‑1. Most of the rSMBH candidates are hosted by gas-rich luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs)/ultra-luminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs), but only 23% of them show signs of tidal features, which suggests that a majority of them are advanced mergers. We find that the black hole masses M BH of the rSMBH candidates are on average ∼5 times smaller than those of their stationary counterparts and cause a scatter in the {M}{BH}-{σ }\\ast relation. The Eddington ratios of all of the rSMBH candidates are larger than 0.1, with a mean of 0.52 ± 0.27, suggesting that they are actively accreting mass. Velocity shifts in high-excitation coronal lines suggest that the rSMBH candidates are recoiling with an average velocity of about ‑265 km s‑1. The electron density in the narrow line region of the H ii rSMBH candidates is about 1/10 of that in active galactic nucleus (AGN) rSMBH candidates, probably because the AGN in the former was more spatially offset than that in the latter. The estimated spatial offsets between the rSMBH candidate and the center of the host galaxy range from 0.″21 to 1.″97 and need to be confirmed spatially with high-resolution adaptive optics imaging observations.

  8. SEARCH FOR SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARIES IN THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY SPECTROSCOPIC SAMPLE

    SciTech Connect

    Ju, Wenhua; Greene, Jenny E.; Rafikov, Roman R.; Bickerton, Steven J.; Badenes, Carles

    2013-11-01

    Supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries are expected in a ΛCDM cosmology given that most (if not all) massive galaxies contain a massive black hole (BH) at their center. So far, however, direct evidence for such binaries has been elusive. We use cross-correlation to search for temporal velocity shifts in the Mg II broad emission lines of 0.36 < z < 2 quasars with multiple observations in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. For ∼10{sup 9} M{sub ☉} BHs in SMBH binaries, we are sensitive to velocity drifts for binary separations of ∼0.1 pc with orbital periods of ∼100 yr. We find seven candidate sub-parsec-scale binaries with velocity shifts >3.4σ ∼ 280 km s{sup –1}, where σ is our systematic error. Comparing the detectability of SMBH binaries with the number of candidates (N ≤ 7), we can rule out that most 10{sup 9} M{sub ☉} BHs exist in ∼0.03-0.2 pc scale binaries, in a scenario where binaries stall at sub-parsec scales for a Hubble time. We further constrain that ≤16% (one-third) of quasars host SMBH binaries after considering gas-assisted sub-parsec evolution of SMBH binaries, although this result is very sensitive to the assumed size of the broad line region. We estimate the detectability of SMBH binaries with ongoing or next-generation surveys (e.g., Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph), taking into account the evolution of the sub-parsec binary in circumbinary gas disks. These future observations will provide longer time baselines for searches similar to ours and may in turn constrain the evolutionary scenarios of SMBH binaries.

  9. The Formation of Galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes: Insights and Puzzles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somerville, Rachel S.

    2014-01-01

    Galaxies exist at a nexus of physical scales, molded by physics ranging from the “small” scales of star formation and accretion onto nuclear black holes, up to the very large scales of the cosmic web. It is this special property that makes galaxies so fascinating and so challenging to study, both observationally and theoretically. The past two decades have seen enormous progress in our understanding of how galaxies form and evolve. We have surveyed slices of the sky at many wavelengths, and built sophisticated models and simulations that attempt to capture the complex array of physics that influences galaxy evolution. We are only now coming into possession of large samples of galaxies for which we can study the internal structure as well as the large scale environment in detail, from the epoch of ‘cosmic high noon’ ( 2) to the present. At the same time, numerical simulations set within a cosmological framework have only recently succeeded in building galaxies with realistic internal structures. It has been known for several years that galaxies are growing in mass and radius, experiencing morphological transformation, and ‘downsizing’ their star formation activity over cosmic time. Now, new observations are painting a picture in which the internal structure of galaxies (size and morphology) is intimately linked with their star formation activity and formation history. There are hints that the co-evolution of supermassive black holes with their host galaxies may be the driving force behind these correlations - but this remains controversial. While cosmological simulations set within the hierarchical formation scenario of Cold Dark Matter currently offer a plausible story for interpreting these observations, many puzzles remain. I will review recent insights gleaned from deep multi-wavelength surveys and state-of-the-art theoretical models and simulations, as well as highlight the open questions and challenges for the future.

  10. Quasars in the Time Domain: Supermassive Black Hole Binaries and Extreme Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, Matthew; Djorgovski, Stanislav G.; Stern, Daniel; Drake, Andrew J.; Mahabal, Ashish A.; Glikman, Eilat

    2016-01-01

    Quasar variability can offer insights into the physics of AGN, as it is driven by the variations in the accretion rate, changes in obscuration, and/or instabilities and propagation effects of the relativistic jets. Large synoptic sky surveys such as CRTS (crts.caltech.edu) offer new possibilities in this domain.We use the data set of CRTS light curves of ~335,000 known, spectroscopically confirmed quasars. They have up to a few hundred data points each, with baselines of up to 10 years. This is an unprecedented data set for the studies of quasar variability.We have previously identified a characteristic time scale of stochastic quasar variability, ~54 days (restframe), which anticorrelates with luminosity and black hole mass. While the origin of this phenomenon is not yet understood, it may lead to new insights into the physics of AGN accretion disks and quasars in general. While most quasars show such a characteristic time scale and trends, a subset exhibit a time scale that is significantly different than expected given their physical parameters. We have also found a number of other objects that show extreme variability (in RMS amplitude, or other measures). For a number of these objects we have now detected significant spectroscopic changes that correlate with the photometric variability. We will describe some of the more interesting cases.An even more interesting is the recent detection of periodically variable quasars, which are interpreted as a signature of close (milliparsec scale) supermassive black hole binaries (SMBH) en route to a merger. This population may offer new insights into the assembly of SMBH and their physics in the gravitational wave regime. We have initiate a spectroscopic monitoring program of these objects, and have already detected some spectroscopic changes for some of them. We will describe these results and their possible interpretations.

  11. Evidence for a Super-massive Black Hole at the Center of the Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, Mark

    2012-03-01

    While the concept of a black hole formed by the explosive collapse of a dying star is astounding, the possibility that matter from billions of stars can condense into a single super-massive black hole (SMBH) is even more fantastic. Yet astronomers are now confident that they exist at the centers of most galaxies and hold more than 0.01% of the baryonic mass of the Universe. Early evidence for SMBHs came from ``radio galaxies'' with two lobes symmetrically placed about the parent galaxy. These lobes are immense and minimum energy estimates require the total conversion of 10^7 stars to energy! The source of energy was traced to galaxy's center and observed to vary on time scales <1 year. Since nuclear reactions convert less than 1% of mass to energy, this would require channeling >10^9 stars through a region smaller than that between the Sun and the nearest star. A very compact radio source was discovered toward the center of the Milky Way and named Sgr A*, leading to speculation that it might be a SMBH. Infrared observations of stars on elliptical orbits give clear evidence of an unseen gravitational source of 4x10^6 solar masses. One star has been seen moving at 5000 km/s in its 16 year eccentric orbit. Sgr A* has been located at the position of the gravitational focus of the stellar orbits. However, in contrast to the rapidly moving stars, Sgr A* is motionless (<1 km/s), requiring the source to be extremely massive. For comparison, gravitational ``Brownian motion'' of a SMBH at the center of a dense stellar cluster would be comparable to the measured limits. Recent radio interferometric observations show that the radio emission from Sgr A* comes from a region comparable in size to the Schwarzschild radius (2GM/c^2) of 0.1 AU (1.5x10^7 km)! Placing any known concentration of 4x10^6 solar masses within this tiny volume would rapidly condense to a black hole.

  12. The evolving corona and evidence for jet launching from the supermassive black hole in Markarian 335

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkins, Daniel; Gallo, Luigi C.

    2015-01-01

    Through detailed analysis of the X-rays that are reflected from the accretion disc, it is possible to probe structures right down to the innermost stable circular orbit and event horizon around the supermassive black holes in AGN. By measuring the illumination pattern of the accretion disc, along with reverberation time lags between variability in the X-ray continuum and reflection, unprecedented detail of the geometry and spatial extent of the corona that produces the X-ray continuum has emerged when the observed data are combined with insight gained from general relativistic ray tracing simulations.We conducted detailed analysis of both the X-ray continuum and its reflection from the accretion disc in the narrow line Seyfert 1 galaxy Markarian 335, over observations spanning nearly a decade to measure the underlying changes in the structure of the X-ray emitting corona that gave rise to more than an order of magnitude variation in luminosity.Underlying this long timescale variability lies much more complex patterns of behaviour on short timescales. We are, for the first time, able to observe and measure the changes in the structure of the corona that give rise to transient phenomena including a flare in the X-ray emission seen during a low flux state by Suzaku in July 2013. This flaring event was found to mark a reconfiguration of the corona while there is evidence that the flare itself was cased by an aborted jet-launching event. More recently, detailed analysis of a NuSTAR target of opportunity observation is letting us understand the sudden increase in X-ray flux by a factor of 15 in Markarian 335 seen in September 2014.These observations allow us to trace, from observations, the evolution of the X-ray emitting corona that gives rise to not only the extreme variability seen in the X-ray emission from AGN, but also the processes by which jets and other outflow are launched from the extreme environments around black holes. This gives us important insight into

  13. Enhanced Accretion Rates of Stars on Supermassive Black Holes by Star-Disk Interactions in Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Just, Andreas; Yurin, Denis; Makukov, Maxim; Berczik, Peter; Omarov, Chingis; Spurzem, Rainer; Vilkoviskij, Emmanuil Y.

    2012-10-01

    We investigate the dynamical interaction of a central star cluster surrounding a supermassive black hole (SMBH) and a central accretion disk (AD). The dissipative force acting on stars in the disk leads to an enhanced mass flow toward the SMBH and to an asymmetry in the phase space distribution due to the rotating AD. The AD is considered as a stationary Keplerian rotating disk, which is vertically extended in order to employ a fully self-consistent treatment of stellar dynamics including the dissipative force originating from star-gas ram pressure effects. The stellar system is treated with a direct high-accuracy N-body integration code. A star-by-star representation, desirable in N-body simulations, cannot be extended to real particle numbers yet. Hence, we carefully discuss the scaling behavior of our model with regard to particle number and tidal accretion radius. The main idea is to find a family of models for which the ratio of two-body relaxation time and dissipation time (for kinetic energy of stellar orbits) is constant, which then allows us to extrapolate our results to real parameters of galactic nuclei. Our model is derived from basic physical principles and as such it provides insight into the role of physical processes in galactic nuclei, but it should be regarded as a first step toward more realistic and more comprehensive simulations. Nevertheless, the following conclusions appear to be robust: the star accretion rate onto the AD and subsequently onto the SMBH is enhanced by a significant factor compared to purely stellar dynamical systems neglecting the disk. This process leads to enhanced fueling of central disks in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and to an enhanced rate of tidal stellar disruptions. Such disruptions may produce electromagnetic counterparts in the form of observable X-ray flares. Our models improve predictions for their rates in quiescent galactic nuclei. We do not yet model direct stellar collisions in the gravitational potential

  14. ENHANCED ACCRETION RATES OF STARS ON SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES BY STAR-DISK INTERACTIONS IN GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Just, Andreas; Yurin, Denis; Makukov, Maxim; Berczik, Peter; Omarov, Chingis; Spurzem, Rainer; Vilkoviskij, Emmanuil Y.

    2012-10-10

    We investigate the dynamical interaction of a central star cluster surrounding a supermassive black hole (SMBH) and a central accretion disk (AD). The dissipative force acting on stars in the disk leads to an enhanced mass flow toward the SMBH and to an asymmetry in the phase space distribution due to the rotating AD. The AD is considered as a stationary Keplerian rotating disk, which is vertically extended in order to employ a fully self-consistent treatment of stellar dynamics including the dissipative force originating from star-gas ram pressure effects. The stellar system is treated with a direct high-accuracy N-body integration code. A star-by-star representation, desirable in N-body simulations, cannot be extended to real particle numbers yet. Hence, we carefully discuss the scaling behavior of our model with regard to particle number and tidal accretion radius. The main idea is to find a family of models for which the ratio of two-body relaxation time and dissipation time (for kinetic energy of stellar orbits) is constant, which then allows us to extrapolate our results to real parameters of galactic nuclei. Our model is derived from basic physical principles and as such it provides insight into the role of physical processes in galactic nuclei, but it should be regarded as a first step toward more realistic and more comprehensive simulations. Nevertheless, the following conclusions appear to be robust: the star accretion rate onto the AD and subsequently onto the SMBH is enhanced by a significant factor compared to purely stellar dynamical systems neglecting the disk. This process leads to enhanced fueling of central disks in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and to an enhanced rate of tidal stellar disruptions. Such disruptions may produce electromagnetic counterparts in the form of observable X-ray flares. Our models improve predictions for their rates in quiescent galactic nuclei. We do not yet model direct stellar collisions in the gravitational potential

  15. Intermediate mass black holes in AGN discs - I. Production and growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKernan, B.; Ford, K. E. S.; Lyra, W.; Perets, H. B.

    2012-09-01

    Here we propose a mechanism for efficiently growing intermediate mass black holes (IMBH) in discs around supermassive black holes. Stellar mass objects can efficiently agglomerate when facilitated by the gas disc. Stars, compact objects and binaries can migrate, accrete and merge within discs around supermassive black holes. While dynamical heating by cusp stars excites the velocity dispersion of nuclear cluster objects (NCOs) in the disc, gas in the disc damps NCO orbits. If gas damping dominates, NCOs remain in the disc with circularized orbits and large collision cross-sections. IMBH seeds can grow extremely rapidly by collisions with disc NCOs at low relative velocities, allowing for super-Eddington growth rates. Once an IMBH seed has cleared out its feeding zone of disc NCOs, growth of IMBH seeds can become dominated by gas accretion from the active galactic nucleus (AGN) disc. However, the IMBH can migrate in the disc and expand its feeding zone, permitting a super-Eddington accretion rate to continue. Growth of IMBH seeds via NCO collisions is enhanced by a pile-up of migrators. We highlight the remarkable parallel between the growth of IMBH in AGN discs with models of giant planet growth in protoplanetary discs. If an IMBH becomes massive enough it can open a gap in the AGN disc. IMBH migration in AGN discs may stall, allowing them to survive the end of the AGN phase and remain in galactic nuclei. Our proposed mechanisms should be more efficient at growing IMBH in AGN discs than the standard model of IMBH growth in stellar clusters. Dynamical heating of disc NCOs by cusp stars is transferred to the gas in an AGN disc helping to maintain the outer disc against gravitational instability. Model predictions, observational constraints and implications are discussed in a companion paper (Paper II).

  16. Supermassive black hole formation by cold accretion shocks in the first galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inayoshi, Kohei; Omukai, Kazuyuki

    2012-05-01

    We propose a new scenario for supermassive star (SMS: >rsim 105 M⊙) formation in shocked regions of colliding cold accretion flows near the centres of the first galaxies. Recent numerical simulations indicate that assembly of a typical first galaxy with virial temperature Tvir≳104 K proceeds via cold and dense flows penetrating deep to the centre, where supersonic streams collide with each other to develop a hot (˜104 K) and dense (˜103 cm-3) shocked gas. The post-shock layer first cools by efficient Lyα emission and contracts isobarically until ≃8000 K. Whether the layer continues its isobaric contraction depends on the density at this moment: if the density is high enough to excite H2 rovibrational levels collisionally (>rsim 104 cm-3), enhanced H2 collisional dissociation suppresses the gas from cooling further. In this case, the layer fragments into massive (>rsim 105 M⊙) clouds, which collapse isothermally (˜8000 K) by Lyα cooling without subsequent fragmentation. As an outcome, SMSs are expected to form and eventually evolve into the seeds of supermassive black holes (SMBHs). By calculating the thermal evolution of the post-shock gas, we delimit the range of post-shock conditions for SMS formation, which can be expressed as T≳6000 K (nH/104 cm-3)-1 for ? and T>rsim 5000 -6000 K for nH≳104 cm-3, depending somewhat on the initial ionization degree. We found that metal enrichment does not affect the above condition for metallicity below ≃10-3 Z⊙ if metals are in the gas phase, while condensation of several per cent of metals into dust decreases this critical value of metallicity by an order of magnitude. Unlike the previously proposed scenario for SMS formation, which postulates extremely strong ultraviolet radiation to quench H2 cooling, our scenario here naturally explains SMBH seed formation in the assembly process of the first galaxies, even without such strong radiation.

  17. Rapid growth of seed black holes in the early universe by supra-exponential accretion.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Tal; Natarajan, Priyamvada

    2014-09-12

    Mass accretion by black holes (BHs) is typically capped at the Eddington rate, when radiation's push balances gravity's pull. However, even exponential growth at the Eddington-limited e-folding time t(E) ~ few × 0.01 billion years is too slow to grow stellar-mass BH seeds into the supermassive luminous quasars that are observed when the universe is 1 billion years old. We propose a dynamical mechanism that can trigger supra-exponential accretion in the early universe, when a BH seed is bound in a star cluster fed by the ubiquitous dense cold gas flows. The high gas opacity traps the accretion radiation, while the low-mass BH's random motions suppress the formation of a slowly draining accretion disk. Supra-exponential growth can thus explain the puzzling emergence of supermassive BHs that power luminous quasars so soon after the Big Bang. PMID:25103410

  18. Rapid growth of seed black holes in the early universe by supra-exponential accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, Tal; Natarajan, Priyamvada

    2014-09-01

    Mass accretion by black holes (BHs) is typically capped at the Eddington rate, when radiation's push balances gravity's pull. However, even exponential growth at the Eddington-limited e-folding time tE ~ few × 0.01 billion years is too slow to grow stellar-mass BH seeds into the supermassive luminous quasars that are observed when the universe is 1 billion years old. We propose a dynamical mechanism that can trigger supra-exponential accretion in the early universe, when a BH seed is bound in a star cluster fed by the ubiquitous dense cold gas flows. The high gas opacity traps the accretion radiation, while the low-mass BH's random motions suppress the formation of a slowly draining accretion disk. Supra-exponential growth can thus explain the puzzling emergence of supermassive BHs that power luminous quasars so soon after the Big Bang.

  19. Inward Bound---The Search For Supermassive Black Holes In Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kormendy, John; Richstone, Douglas

    Dynamical searches reveal central dark objects with masses $\\sim 10^6$to $10^{9.5}$ \\msun in the Galaxy, \\m31, \\mm32, M87, NGC 3115, NGC 3377, NGC 4258, and NGC 4594. Indirect arguments suggest but do not prove that these are supermassive black holes (BHs) like those postulated as quasar engines. This paper reviews dynamical search techniques, the robustness of the evidence, and BH demographics. Stellar-dynamical evidence is generally more robust than gas-dynamical evidence (gas velocities can be nongravitational), but gas measurements reach closer to the Schwarzschild radius, and in NGC 4258 they show a Keplerian rotation curve. A statistical survey finds BHs in $\\sim 20\\%$ of nearby E--Sbc galaxies, consistent with predictions based on quasar energetics. BH masses are proportional to the mass of the bulge component. Most candidates are inactive; in some cases, the abundance of fuel is not easily reconciled with BH starvation. Flashes caused by the accretion of individual stars may provide a test of the BH picture.

  20. Gravitational Wave Driven Mergers and Coalescence Time of Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Fazeel Mahmood; Berczik, Peter; Just, Andreas

    2016-07-01

    The evolution of Supermassive Black Holes (SMBHs) initially embedded in the centers of merging galaxies is studied from the onset of galaxy mergers till coalescence. We performed direct N-body simulations using the highly efficient and massively parallel phi-GPU code capable to run on GPU supported high performance computer clusters. Post-Newtonian terms up to order 3.5 are used to drive the SMBH binary evolution in the relativistic regime. We find that SMBH binaries coalesce well within one billion year when our models are scaled to dense cuspy galaxies at low redshift. Here higher central densities provide larger supply of stars to efficiently extract energy from the SMBH binary orbit and shrink it to the phase where gravitational wave (GW) emission becomes dominant leading to the coalescence of the SMBHs. On the other hand, mergers of models that are representative of giant elliptical galaxies having central cores result in less efficient extraction of binary's orbit energy due to the lower stellar densities in the center. However, high value of eccentricities witnessed for SMBH binaries in such galaxy mergers ensure that the GW emission dominated phase sets in at larger values of the semi-major axis. This helps to compensate for the less efficient energy extraction during the phase dominated by stellar encounters resulting in mergers of SMBHs in about one billion years after the formation of binary.

  1. XMM-Newton reveals matter accreting onto the central supermassive black hole of NGC 2617

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giustini, M.

    2016-06-01

    NGC 2617 (z=0.042) underwent a strong broad-band outburst during 2013/14, concurrently switching from being a Seyfert 1.8 to be a Seyfert 1.0 sometimes during the previous 10 years. Thanks to the combination of the large effective area and the good spectral resolution of the EPIC-pn onboard XMM-Newton, striking insights about the very inner accretion flow of this AGN have been revealed. In particular, persistent Fe K absorption redshifted by ˜ 35,000 km/s was solidly detected in two observations spaced by one month: a highly ionised flow of mass toward the central supermassive black hole of NGC 2617 has started to be traced. So far NGC 2617 is a quasi-unique observational example: what are the perspectives of enlarging these studies in the future? Thanks to current large and prolonged optical surveys like the SDSS/BOSS, many "optically changing-look AGN" like NGC 2617 are being discovered month after month: XMM-Newton has the ideal instruments to perform a proper X-ray study of such objects in the near future. I will assess the impact of XMM-Newton on studying the dynamics of the inner accretion flow in AGN in a systematic way and in synergy with near- and mid-future X-ray instruments such as (ASTRO-H)Hitomi and ATHENA.

  2. Supermassive Black Holes, AGN Feedback, and Hot X-ray Coronae in Early Type Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forman, William R.; Anderson, Michael E.; Churazov, Eugene; Nulsen, Paul; Jones, Christine; Kraft, Ralph P.

    2016-06-01

    We present the analysis of a sample of more than 200 nearby, early type galaxies observed with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We exclude resolved point sources, and model the emission from both unresolved X-ray binaries and CVs and ABs to derive the residual thermal emission from the hot atmosphere around each galaxy. We compute the X-ray luminosity of the central supermassive black hole (SMBH). Using galaxy velocity dispersion (or stellar mass) as a proxy for SMBH mass, we derive the Eddington ratios for these low luminosity AGN. We present the X-ray luminosity and gas temperature of the hot coronae as a function of stellar mass (a proxy for dark matter halo mass) and central velocity dispersion to look for anomalously X-ray bright gaseous coronae and to determine the stellar (or halo) mass, below which galactic winds may be important. For hot coronae with X-ray cavities, we derive the "mechanical" power of SMBHs and compare these to their radiative luminosities.

  3. An estimate of the probability of capture of a binary star by a supermassive black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dremova, G. N.; Dremov, V. V.; Tutukov, A. V.

    2016-08-01

    A simple model for the dynamics of stars located in a sphere with a radius of one-tenth of the central parsec, designed to enable estimation of the probability of capture in the close vicinity ( r < 10-3 pc) of a supermassive black hole (SMBH) is presented. In the case of binary stars, such a capture with a high probability results in the formation of a hyper-velocity star. The population of stars in a sphere of radius <0.1 pc is calculated based on data for the Galactic rotation curve. To simulate the distortion of initially circular orbits of stars, these are subjected to a series of random shock encounters ("kicks"), whose net effect is to "push" these binary systems into the region of potential formation of hyper-velocity stars. The mean crossing time of the border of the close vicinity of the SMBH ( r < 10-3 pc) by the stellar orbit can be used to estimate the probability that a binary system is captured, followed by the possible ejection of a hyper-velocity star.

  4. Swift Coalescence of Supermassive Black Holes in Cosmological Mergers of Massive Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Fazeel Mahmood; Fiacconi, Davide; Mayer, Lucio; Berczik, Peter; Just, Andreas

    2016-09-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are ubiquitous in galaxies with a sizable mass. It is expected that a pair of SMBHs originally in the nuclei of two merging galaxies would form a binary and eventually coalesce via a burst of gravitational waves. So far, theoretical models and simulations, focusing only on limited phases of the orbital decay of SMBHs under idealized conditions of the galaxy hosts, have been unable to directly predict the SMBH merger timescale from ab-initio galaxy formation theory. The predicted SMBH merger timescales are long, of order Gyrs, which could be problematic for future gravitational wave (GW) searches. Here, we present the first multi-scale ΛCDM cosmological simulation that follows the orbital decay of a pair of SMBHs in a merger of two typical massive galaxies at z∼ 3, all the way to the final coalescence driven by GW emission. The two SMBHs, with masses ∼ {10}8 {M}ȯ , settle quickly in the nucleus of the merger remnant. The remnant is triaxial and extremely dense due to the dissipative nature of the merger and the intrinsic compactness of galaxies at high redshift. Such properties naturally allow a very efficient hardening of the SMBH binary. The SMBH merger occurs in only ∼10 Myr after the galactic cores have merged, which is two orders of magnitude smaller than the Hubble time.

  5. Infalling clouds on to supermassive black hole binaries - I. Formation of discs, accretion and gas dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goicovic, F. G.; Cuadra, J.; Sesana, A.; Stasyszyn, F.; Amaro-Seoane, P.; Tanaka, T. L.

    2016-01-01

    There is compelling evidence that most - if not all - galaxies harbour a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at their nucleus; hence binaries of these massive objects are an inevitable product of the hierarchical evolution of structures in the Universe, and represent an important but thus-far elusive phase of galaxy evolution. Gas accretion via a circumbinary disc is thought to be important for the dynamical evolution of SMBH binaries, as well as in producing luminous emission that can be used to infer their properties. One plausible source of the gaseous fuel is clumps of gas formed due to turbulence and gravitational instabilities in the interstellar medium, that later fall towards and interact with the binary. In this context, we model numerically the evolution of turbulent clouds in near-radial infall on to equal-mass SMBH binaries, using a modified version of the SPH (smoothed particle hydrodynamics) code GADGET-3. We present a total of 12 simulations that explore different possible pericentre distances and relative inclinations, and show that the formation of circumbinary discs and discs around each SMBH (`mini-discs') depend on those parameters. We also study the dynamics of the formed discs, and the variability of the feeding rate on to the SMBHs in the different configurations.

  6. Can supermassive black holes influence the evolution of their host galaxies?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tombesi, F.; Cappi, M.; Reeves, J.; Braito, V.; Veilleux, S.; Reynolds, C.; Lobban, A.

    2016-06-01

    Powerful winds driven by active galactic nuclei (AGN) are often invoked to play a fundamental role in the evolution of both supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host galaxies, quenching star formation and explaining the tight SMBH-galaxy relations. A strong support of this "quasar mode" feedback came from the recent X-ray observation of a mildly relativistic accretion disk wind in an ultraluminous infrared galaxy and its connection with a large-scale molecular outflow observed in the IR with Herschel, suggesting a direct link between the SMBH and the gas out of which stars form. Spectroscopic observations, especially in the X-ray band, suggest that such accretion disk winds may be common in local AGN and quasars. However, their origin and characteristics are still not fully understood. Detailed theoretical models and simulations focused on radiation, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) or a combination of these two processes, to investigate the possible acceleration mechanisms and dynamics of these winds. XMM-Newton provided a fundamental contribution to these studies and it will still provide the highest effective area in the critical Fe K band of the spectrum until the launch of Athena. Very important improvements are expected from the high energy resolution of the Hitomi X-ray Observatory.

  7. A possible close supermassive black-hole binary in a quasar with optical periodicity.

    PubMed

    Graham, Matthew J; Djorgovski, S G; Stern, Daniel; Glikman, Eilat; Drake, Andrew J; Mahabal, Ashish A; Donalek, Ciro; Larson, Steve; Christensen, Eric

    2015-02-01

    Quasars have long been known to be variable sources at all wavelengths. Their optical variability is stochastic and can be due to a variety of physical mechanisms; it is also well-described statistically in terms of a damped random walk model. The recent availability of large collections of astronomical time series of flux measurements (light curves) offers new data sets for a systematic exploration of quasar variability. Here we report the detection of a strong, smooth periodic signal in the optical variability of the quasar PG 1302-102 with a mean observed period of 1,884 ± 88 days. It was identified in a search for periodic variability in a data set of light curves for 247,000 known, spectroscopically confirmed quasars with a temporal baseline of about 9 years. Although the interpretation of this phenomenon is still uncertain, the most plausible mechanisms involve a binary system of two supermassive black holes with a subparsec separation. Such systems are an expected consequence of galaxy mergers and can provide important constraints on models of galaxy formation and evolution. PMID:25561176

  8. Detecting Eccentric Supermassive Black Hole Binaries with Pulsar Timing Arrays: Resolvable Source Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, S. R.; Huerta, E. A.; Gair, J. R.; McWilliams, S. T.

    2016-01-01

    The couplings between supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) and their environments within galactic nuclei have been well studied as part of the search for solutions to the final parsec problem. The scattering of stars by the binary or the interaction with a circumbinary disk may efficiently drive the system to sub-parsec separations, allowing the binary to enter a regime where the emission of gravitational waves can drive it to merger within a Hubble time. However, these interactions can also affect the orbital parameters of the binary. In particular, they may drive an increase in binary eccentricity which survives until the system’s gravitational-wave (GW) signal enters the pulsar-timing array (PTA) band. Therefore, if we can measure the eccentricity from observed signals, we can potentially deduce some of the properties of the binary environment. To this end, we build on previous techniques to present a general Bayesian pipeline with which we can detect and estimate the parameters of an eccentric SMBHB system with PTAs. Additionally, we generalize the PTA {{ F }}{{e}}-statistic to eccentric systems, and show that both this statistic and the Bayesian pipeline are robust when studying circular or arbitrarily eccentric systems. We explore how eccentricity influences the detection prospects of single GW sources, as well as the detection penalty incurred by employing a circular waveform template to search for eccentric signals, and conclude by identifying important avenues for future study.

  9. Can Supermassive Black Holes Influence the Evolution of their Host Galaxies?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tombesi, Francesco; Veilleux, Sylvain; Reeves, James; Reynolds, Christopher S.

    2016-04-01

    Powerful winds driven by active galactic nuclei (AGN) are often invoked to play a fundamental role in the evolution of both supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host galaxies, quenching star formation and explaining the tight SMBH-galaxy relations. A strong support of this "quasar-mode" feedback came from the recent X-ray observation of a mildly relativistic accretion disk wind in the ultraluminous infrared galaxy IRAS F11119+3257 hosting a luminous quasar at the center. Energetics arguments indicate a connection with a massive, large-scale molecular outflow observed in infrared with Herschel. This seems to be in agreement with theoretical models in which AGN winds drive hot bubbles in the host galaxy medium, thereby providing a link between the SMBH and the gas out of which stars form. This work was the “cover story” of the March 26th 2015 issue of Nature. Revolutionary improvements in this field are expected from ASTRO-H and Athena.

  10. VERY HIGH ENERGY {gamma}-RAY EMISSION FROM PASSIVE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES: CONSTRAINTS FOR NGC 1399

    SciTech Connect

    Pedaletti, G.; Wagner, S. J.; Rieger, F. M.

    2011-09-10

    Very high energy (VHE, >100 GeV) {gamma}-rays are expected to be emitted from the vicinity of supermassive black holes (SMBHs), irrespective of their activity state. In the magnetosphere of rotating SMBH, efficient acceleration of charged particles can take place through various processes. These particles could reach energies up to E {approx} 10{sup 19} eV. VHE {gamma}-ray emission from these particles is then feasible via leptonic or hadronic processes. Therefore, passive systems, where the lack of a strong photon field allows the VHE {gamma}-rays to escape, are expected to be detected by Cherenkov telescopes. We present results from recent VHE experiments on the passive SMBH in the nearby elliptical galaxy NGC 1399. No {gamma}-ray signal has been found, neither by the H.E.S.S. experiment nor in the Fermi data analyzed here. We discuss possible implications for the physical characteristics of the system. We conclude that in a scenario where particles are accelerated in vacuum gaps in the magnetosphere, only a fraction {approx}0.3 of the gap is available for particle acceleration, indicating that the system is unlikely to be able to accelerate protons up to E {approx} 10{sup 19} eV.

  11. Effects of High-energy Particles on Accretion Flows onto a Supermassive Black Hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Shigeo S.; Toma, Kenji; Takahara, Fumio

    2014-08-01

    We study the effects of high-energy particles (HEPs) on the accretion flows onto a supermassive black hole and luminosities of escaping particles such as protons, neutrons, gamma rays, and neutrinos. We formulate a one-dimensional model of the two-component accretion flow consisting of thermal particles and HEPs, supposing that some fraction of the released energy is converted to the acceleration of HEPs. The thermal component is governed by fluid dynamics while the HEPs obey the moment equations of the diffusion-convection equation. By solving the time evolution of these equations, we obtain advection-dominated flows as the steady state solutions. The effects of the HEPs on the flow structures turn out to be small even if the pressure of the HEPs dominates over the thermal pressure. For a model in which the escaping protons take away almost all the energy released, the HEPs have a large enough influence to make the flow have a Keplerian angular velocity at the inner region. We calculate the luminosities of the escaping particles for these steady solutions. The escaping particles can extract the energy from about 10^{-4}\\dot{M} c^2 to 10^{-2}\\dot{M} c^2, where \\dot{M} is the mass accretion rate. The luminosities of the escaping particles depend on parameters such as the injection Lorentz factors, the mass accretion rates, and the diffusion coefficients. We also discuss some implications on the relativistic jet production by the escaping particles.

  12. A Hamiltonian Monte-Carlo method for Bayesian inference of supermassive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Edward K.; Carré, Jérôme

    2014-07-01

    We investigate the use of a Hamiltonian Monte-Carlo to map out the posterior density function for supermassive black hole binaries. While previous Markov Chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) methods, such as Metropolis-Hastings MCMC, have been successfully employed for a number of different gravitational wave sources, these methods are essentially random walk algorithms. The Hamiltonian Monte-Carlo treats the inverse likelihood surface as a ‘gravitational potential’ and by introducing canonical positions and momenta, dynamically evolves the Markov chain by solving Hamilton's equations of motion. This method is not as widely used as other MCMC algorithms due to the necessity of calculating gradients of the log-likelihood, which for most applications results in a bottleneck that makes the algorithm computationally prohibitive. We circumvent this problem by using accepted initial phase-space trajectory points to analytically fit for each of the individual gradients. Eliminating the waveform generation needed for the numerical derivatives reduces the total number of required templates for a {{10}^{6}} iteration chain from \\sim {{10}^{9}} to \\sim {{10}^{6}}. The result is in an implementation of the Hamiltonian Monte-Carlo that is faster, and more efficient by a factor of approximately the dimension of the parameter space, than a Hessian MCMC.

  13. SPECTROPOLARIMETRIC EVIDENCE FOR A KICKED SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE IN THE QUASAR E1821+643

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, Andrew; Young, Stuart; Axon, David J.; Kharb, Preeti; Smith, James E.

    2010-07-10

    We report spectropolarimetric observations of the quasar E1821+643 (z = 0.297), which suggest that it may be an example of gravitational recoil due to anisotropic emission of gravitational waves following the merger of a supermassive black hole (SMBH) binary. In total flux, the broad Balmer lines are redshifted by {approx}1000 km s{sup -1} relative to the narrow lines and have highly red asymmetric profiles, whereas in polarized flux the broad H{alpha} line exhibits a blueshift of similar magnitude and a strong blue asymmetry. We show that these observations are consistent with a scattering model in which the broad-line region has two components, moving with different bulk velocities away from the observer and toward a scattering region at rest in the host galaxy. If the high-velocity system is identified as gas bound to the SMBH, this implies that the SMBH is itself moving with a velocity {approx}2100 km s{sup -1} relative to the host galaxy. We discuss some implications of the recoil hypothesis and also briefly consider whether our observations can be explained in terms of scattering of broad-line emission originating from the active component of an SMBH binary, or from an outflowing wind.

  14. Evidence for a supermassive black hole in the nucleus of the Seyfert galaxy NGC 5548

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crenshaw, D. Michael; Blackwell, James H., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    The international campaign to monitor the variable Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 5548 with the IUE has provided an extensive and well-sampled set of spectroscopic observations. These observations are used to study the response of the C IV 1550 A emission-line profile to changes in the photoionizing continuum. Near the end of the IUE campaign, the continuum flux at 1440 A and the total C IV flux dopped by factors of 2.9 and 1.8, respectively, in 16 days. The red wing of the C IV profile responded more rapidly to the sharp continuum drop than the blue wing, indicating that clouds in the inner broad-line region (BLR) are undergoing gravitational infall. These results provide direct evidence that the central engine is a supermassive object, presumably a black hole, with a mass on the order of 10 to the 7th solar masses. Analysis of the profile variations also demonstrates that excess emission in the blue wing of C IV is from a component that is physically distinct from the bulk of the BLR.

  15. Faint COSMOS AGNs at z∼3.3. I. Black Hole Properties and Constraints on Early Black Hole Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trakhtenbrot, B.; Civano, F.; Urry, C. Megan; Schawinski, K.; Marchesi, S.; Elvis, M.; Rosario, D. J.; Suh, H.; Mejia-Restrepo, J. E.; Simmons, B. D.; Faisst, A. L.; Onodera, M.

    2016-07-01

    We present new Keck/MOSFIRE K-band spectroscopy for a sample of 14 faint, X-ray-selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the COSMOS field. The data cover the spectral region surrounding the broad Balmer emission lines, which enables the estimation of black hole masses ({M}{BH}) and accretion rates (in terms of L/{L}{Edd}). We focus on 10 AGNs at z ≃ 3.3, where we observe the Hβ spectral region, while for the other four z ≃ 2.4 sources we use the {{H}}α broad emission line. Compared with previous detailed studies of unobscured AGNs at these high redshifts, our sources are fainter by an order of magnitude, corresponding to number densities of order ∼10‑6–10‑5 {{Mpc}}-3. The lower AGN luminosities also allow for a robust identification of the host galaxy emission, necessary to obtain reliable intrinsic AGN luminosities, BH masses and accretion rates. We find the AGNs in our sample to be powered by supermassive black holes (SMBHs) with a typical mass of {M}{BH}≃ 5× {10}8 {M}ȯ —significantly lower than the higher-luminosity, rarer quasars reported in earlier studies. The accretion rates are in the range L/{L}{Edd} ∼ 0.1–0.4, with an evident lack of sources with lower L/{L}{Edd} (and higher {M}{BH}), as found in several studies of faint AGNs at intermediate redshifts. Based on the early growth expected for the SMBHs in our sample, we argue that a significant population of faint z ∼ 5‑6 AGNs, with {M}{BH}∼ {10}6 {M}ȯ , should be detectable in the deepest X-ray surveys available, but this is not observed. We discuss several possible explanations for the apparent absence of such a population, concluding that the most probable scenario involves an evolution in source obscuration and/or radiative efficiencies.

  16. The connection between the formation of galaxies and that of their central supermassive black holes.

    PubMed

    Haehnelt, Martin G

    2005-03-15

    Massive black holes appear to be an essential ingredient of massive galactic bulges but little is known yet to what extent massive black holes reside in dwarf galaxies and globular clusters. Massive black holes most likely grow by a mixture of merging and accretion of gas in their hierarchically merging host galaxies. While the hierarchical merging of dark matter structures extends to sub-galactic scales and very high redshift, it is uncertain if the same is true for the build-up of massive black holes. I discuss here some of the relevant problems and open questions. PMID:15681288

  17. Supermassive black holes and central star clusters: Connection with the host galaxy kinematics and color

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zasov, A. V.; Cherepashchuk, A. M.

    2013-11-01

    The relationship between the masses of the central, supermassive black holes ( M bh) and of the nuclear star clusters ( M nc) of disk galaxies with various parameters galaxies are considered: the rotational velocity at R = 2 kpc V (2), the maximum rotational velocity V max, the indicative dynamical mass M 25, the integrated mass of the stellar population M *, and the integrated color index B-V. The rotational velocities andmasses of the central objects were taken from the literature. Themass M nc correlatesmore closely with the kinematic parameters and the disk mass than M bh, including with the velocity V max, which is closely related to the virial mass of the dark halo. On average, lenticular galaxies are characterized by higher masses M bh compared to other types of galaxies with similar characteristics. The dependence of the blackhole mass on the color index is bimodal: galaxies of the red group (red-sequence) with B-V >0.6-0.7 which are mostly early-type galaxies with weak star formation, differ appreciably from blue galaxies, which have higher values of M nc and M bh. At the dependences we consider between the masses of the central objects and the parameters of the host galaxies (except for the dependence of M bh on the central velocity dispersion), the red-group galaxies have systematically higher M bh values, even when the host-galaxy parameters are similar. In contrast, in the case of nuclear star clusters, the blue and red galaxies form unified sequences. The results agree with scenarios in which most red-group galaxies form as a result of the partial or complete loss of interstellar gas in a stage of high nuclear activity in galaxies whose central black-hole masses exceed 106-107 M ⊙ (depending on the mass of the galaxy itself). The bulk of disk galaxies with M bh > 107 M ⊙ are lenticular galaxies (types S0, E/S0) whose disks are practically devoid of gas.

  18. Connecting Star Formation Quenching with Galaxy Structure and Supermassive Black Holes through Gravitational Heating of Cooling Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Fulai

    2014-12-01

    Recent observations suggested that star formation quenching in galaxies is related to galaxy structure. Here we propose a new mechanism to explain the physical origin of this correlation. We assume that while quenching is maintained in quiescent galaxies by a feedback mechanism, cooling flows in the hot halo gas can still develop intermittently. We study cooling flows in a large suite of around 90 hydrodynamic simulations of an isolated galaxy group, and find that the flow development depends significantly on the gravitational potential well in the central galaxy. If the galaxy's gravity is not strong enough, cooling flows result in a central cooling catastrophe, supplying cold gas and feeding star formation to galactic bulges. When the bulge grows prominent enough, compressional heating starts to offset radiative cooling and maintains cooling flows in a long-term hot mode without producing a cooling catastrophe. Our model thus describes a self-limited growth channel for galaxy bulges and naturally explains the connection between quenching and bulge prominence. In particular, we explicitly demonstrate that M*/R_eff1.5 is a good structural predictor of quenching. We further find that the gravity from the central supermassive black hole also affects the bimodal fate of cooling flows, and we predict a more general quenching predictor to be M_bh1.6M*/R_eff1.5, which may be tested in future observational studies.

  19. CONNECTING STAR FORMATION QUENCHING WITH GALAXY STRUCTURE AND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES THROUGH GRAVITATIONAL HEATING OF COOLING FLOWS

    SciTech Connect

    Guo, Fulai

    2014-12-20

    Recent observations suggested that star formation quenching in galaxies is related to galaxy structure. Here we propose a new mechanism to explain the physical origin of this correlation. We assume that while quenching is maintained in quiescent galaxies by a feedback mechanism, cooling flows in the hot halo gas can still develop intermittently. We study cooling flows in a large suite of around 90 hydrodynamic simulations of an isolated galaxy group, and find that the flow development depends significantly on the gravitational potential well in the central galaxy. If the galaxy's gravity is not strong enough, cooling flows result in a central cooling catastrophe, supplying cold gas and feeding star formation to galactic bulges. When the bulge grows prominent enough, compressional heating starts to offset radiative cooling and maintains cooling flows in a long-term hot mode without producing a cooling catastrophe. Our model thus describes a self-limited growth channel for galaxy bulges and naturally explains the connection between quenching and bulge prominence. In particular, we explicitly demonstrate that M{sub ∗}/R{sub eff}{sup 1.5} is a good structural predictor of quenching. We further find that the gravity from the central supermassive black hole also affects the bimodal fate of cooling flows, and we predict a more general quenching predictor to be M{sub bh}{sup 1.6}M{sub ∗}/R{sub eff}{sup 1.5}, which may be tested in future observational studies.

  20. Near-infrared spectroscopy of quasars at z ˜ 3 and estimates of their supermassive black hole masses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Yuriko; Imanishi, Masatoshi; Minowa, Yosuke; Morokuma, Tomoki; Kawaguchi, Toshihiro; Sameshima, Hiroaki; Minezaki, Takeo; Oi, Nagisa; Nagao, Tohru; Kawatatu, Nozomu; Matsuoka, Kenta

    2016-02-01

    We present the results of new infrared spectroscopic observations of 37 quasars at z ˜ 3, selected based on the optical r '-band magnitude and the availability of nearby bright stars for future imaging follow-up with an adaptive optics system. The supermassive black hole (SMBH) masses (MBH) were successfully estimated in 28 out of 37 observed objects from the combination of the Hβ emission linewidth and continuum luminosity at rest-frame 5100 Å. Comparing these results with those from previous studies of quasars with similar redshift, our sample exhibited slightly lower Eddington ratios (˜-0.11 dex in median), and the SMBH masses are slightly higher (˜0.38 dex in median). The SMBH growth time, tgrow, was calculated by dividing the estimated SMBH mass by the mass accretion rate measured using optical luminosity. We found, given reasonable assumptions, that tgrow was smaller than the age of the universe at the redshift of individual quasars for a large fraction of observed sources, suggesting that the SMBHs in many of our observed quasars are in the growing phase with high accretion rates. A comparison of the SMBH masses derived from our Hβ data and archived C IV data indicated considerable scattering, as indicated in previous studies. All quasars with measured SMBH masses have at least one nearby bright star, such that they are suitable targets for adaptive optics observations to study the mass relationship between SMBHs and host galaxies' stellar components at high redshift.

  1. HIGH-FREQUENCY GRAVITATIONAL WAVES FROM SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES: PROSPECTS FOR LIGO-VIRGO DETECTIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Kocsis, Bence

    2013-02-15

    It is commonly assumed that ground-based gravitational wave (GW) instruments will not be sensitive to supermassive black holes (SMBHs) because the characteristic GW frequencies are far below the {approx}10-1000 Hz sensitivity bands of terrestrial detectors. Here, however, we explore the possibility of SMBH GWs to leak to higher frequencies. In particular, if the high-frequency spectral tail asymptotes to h-tilde (f){proportional_to}f{sup -{alpha}}, where {alpha} {<=} 2, then the spectral amplitude is a constant or increasing function of the mass M at a fixed frequency f >> c {sup 3}/GM. This will happen if the time-domain waveform or its derivative exhibits a discontinuity. Ground-based instruments could search for these universal spectral tails to detect or rule out such features irrespective of their origin. We identify the following processes which may generate high-frequency signals: (1) gravitational bremsstrahlung of ultrarelativistic objects in the vicinity of an SMBH, (2) ringdown modes excited by an external process that has a high-frequency component or terminates abruptly, and (3) gravitational lensing echoes and diffraction. We estimate the order of magnitude of the detection signal-to-noise ratio for each mechanism (1, 2, and 3) as a function of the waveform parameters. In particular for (3), SMBHs produce GW echoes of inspiraling stellar mass binaries in galactic nuclei with a delay of a few minutes to hours. The lensed primary signal and GW echo are both amplified if the binary is within a {approx}10 deg (r/100M){sup -1/2} cone behind the SMBH relative to the line of sight at a distance r from the SMBH. For the rest of the binaries near SMBHs, the amplitude of the GW echo is {approx}0.1(r/100M){sup -1} of the primary signal on average.

  2. Recurring flares from supermassive black hole binaries: implications for tidal disruption candidates and OJ 287

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Takamitsu L.

    2013-09-01

    I discuss the possibility that accreting supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries with sub-parsec separations produce periodically recurring luminous outbursts that interrupt periods of relative quiescence. This hypothesis is motivated by two characteristics found generically in simulations of binaries embedded in prograde accretion discs: (i) the formation of a central, low-density cavity around the binary and (ii) the leakage of gas into this cavity, occurring once per orbit via discrete streams on nearly radial trajectories. The first feature would reduce the emergent optical/UV flux of the system relative to active galactic nuclei powered by a single SMBH, while the second can trigger quasi-periodic fluctuations in luminosity. I argue that the quasi-periodic accretion signature may be much more dramatic than previously thought, because the infalling gas streams can strongly shock-heat via self-collision and tidal compression, thereby enhancing viscous accretion. Any optically thick gas that is circularized about either SMBH can accrete before the next pair of streams is deposited, fuelling transient, luminous flares that recur every orbit. Due to the diminished flux in between accretion episodes, such cavity-accretion flares could plausibly be mistaken for the tidal disruptions of stars in quiescent nuclei. The flares could be distinguished from tidal disruption events if their quasi-periodic recurrence is observed, or if they are produced by very massive (≳109 M⊙) SMBHs that cannot disrupt solar-type stars. They may be discovered serendipitously in surveys such as LSST or eROSITA. I present a heuristic toy model as a proof of concept for the production of cavity-accretion flares, and generate mock light curves and spectra. I also apply the model to the active galaxy OJ 287, whose production of quasi-periodic pairs of optical flares has long fuelled speculation that it hosts an SMBH binary.

  3. Accretion and Nuclear Activity of Quiescent Supermassive Black Holes. I. X-Ray Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soria, R.; Fabbiano, G.; Graham, Alister W.; Baldi, A.; Elvis, M.; Jerjen, H.; Pellegrini, S.; Siemiginowska, A.

    2006-03-01

    We have studied the nuclear activity in a sample of six quiescent early-type galaxies, with new Chandra data and archival HST optical images. Their nuclear sources have X-ray luminosities ~1038-1039 ergs s-1 (LX/LEdd~10-8 to 10-7) and colors or spectra consistent with accreting supermassive black holes (SMBHs), except for the nucleus of NGC 4486B, which is softer than typical AGN spectra. In a few cases, the X-ray morphology of the nuclear sources shows hints of marginally extended structures, in addition to the surrounding diffuse thermal emission from hot gas, which is detectable on scales >~1 kpc. In one case (NGC 5845), a dusty disk may partially obstruct our direct view of the SMBH. We have estimated the temperature and density of the hot interstellar medium, which is one major source of fuel for the accreting SMBH; typical central densities are ne~(0.02+/-0.01) cm-3. Assuming that the hot gas is captured by the SMBH at the Bondi rate, we show that the observed X-ray luminosities are too faint to be consistent with standard disk accretion, but brighter than predicted by radiatively inefficient solutions (e.g., advection-dominated accretion flows [ADAFs]). In total, there are ~20 galaxies for which SMBH mass, hot gas density, and nuclear X-ray luminosity are simultaneously known. In some cases, the nuclear sources are brighter than predicted by the ADAF model; in other cases, they are consistent or fainter. We discuss the apparent lack of correlations between Bondi rate and X-ray luminosity and suggest that, in order to understand the observed distribution, we need to know two additional parameters: the amount of gas supplied by the stellar population inside the accretion radius, and the fraction (possibly <<1) of the total gas available that is accreted by the SMBH. We leave a detailed study of these issues to a subsequent paper.

  4. Hunting a wandering supermassive black hole in the M31 halo hermitage

    SciTech Connect

    Miki, Yohei; Mori, Masao; Kawaguchi, Toshihiro; Saito, Yuriko

    2014-03-10

    In the hierarchical structure formation scenario, galaxies enlarge through multiple merging events with less massive galaxies. In addition, the Magorrian relation indicates that almost all galaxies are occupied by a central supermassive black hole (SMBH) of mass 10{sup –3} times the mass of its spheroidal component. Consequently, SMBHs are expected to wander in the halos of their host galaxies following a galaxy collision, although evidence of this activity is currently lacking. We investigate a current plausible location of an SMBH wandering in the halo of the Andromeda galaxy (M31). According to theoretical studies of N-body simulations, some of the many substructures in the M31 halo are remnants of a minor merger occurring about 1 Gyr ago. First, to evaluate the possible parameter space of the infalling orbit of the progenitor, we perform numerous parameter studies using a graphics processing unit cluster. To reduce uncertainties in the predicted position of the expected SMBH, we then calculate the time evolution of the SMBH in the progenitor dwarf galaxy from N-body simulations using the plausible parameter sets. Our results show that the SMBH lies within the halo (∼20-50 kpc from the M31 center), closer to the Milky Way than the M31 disk. Furthermore, the predicted current positions of the SMBH were restricted to an observational field of 0.°6 × 0.°7 in the northeast region of the M31 halo. We also discuss the origin of the infalling orbit of the satellite galaxy and its relationships with the recently discovered vast thin disk plane of satellite galaxies around M31.

  5. PHYSICS OF THE GALACTIC CENTER CLOUD G2, ON ITS WAY TOWARD THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE

    SciTech Connect

    Burkert, A.; Schartmann, M.; Alig, C.; Gillessen, S.; Genzel, R.; Fritz, T. K.; Eisenhauer, F.

    2012-05-01

    We investigate the origin, structure, and evolution of the small gas cloud G2, which is on an orbit almost straight into the Galactic central supermassive black hole (SMBH). G2 is a sensitive probe of the hot accretion zone of Sgr A*, requiring gas temperatures and densities that agree well with models of captured shock-heated stellar winds. Its mass is equal to the critical mass below which cold clumps would be destroyed quickly by evaporation. Its mass is also constrained by the fact that at apocenter its sound crossing timescale was equal to its infall timescale. Our numerical simulations show that the observed structure and evolution of G2 can be well reproduced if it forms in pressure equilibrium with its surroundings in 1995 at a distance from the SMBH of 7.6 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 16} cm. If the cloud had formed at apocenter in the 'clockwise' stellar disk as expected from its orbit, it would be torn into a very elongated spaghetti-like filament by 2011, which is not observed. This problem can be solved if G2 is the head of a larger, shell-like structure that formed at apocenter. Our numerical simulations show that this scenario explains not only G2's observed kinematical and geometrical properties but also the Br{gamma} observations of a low surface brightness gas tail that trails the cloud. In 2013, while passing the SMBH, G2 will break up into a string of droplets that within the next 30 years will mix with the surrounding hot gas and trigger cycles of active galactic nucleus activity.

  6. STRUCTURE AND EVOLUTION OF CIRCUMBINARY DISKS AROUND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Rafikov, Roman R.

    2013-09-10

    We explore properties of circumbinary disks around supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries in centers of galaxies by reformulating standard viscous disk evolution in terms of the viscous angular momentum flux F{sub J}. If the binary stops gas inflow and opens a cavity in the disk, then the inner disk evolves toward a constant-F{sub J} (rather than a constant M-dot ) state. We compute disk properties in different physical regimes relevant for SMBH binaries, focusing on the gas-assisted evolution of systems starting at separations 10{sup -4} - 10{sup -2} pc, and find the following. (1) Mass pileup at the inner disk edge caused by the tidal barrier accelerates binary inspiral. (2) Binaries can be forced to merge even by a disk with a mass below that of the secondary. (3) Torque on the binary is set non-locally, at radii far larger than the binary semi-major axis; its magnitude does not reflect disk properties in the vicinity of the binary. (4) Binary inspiral exhibits hysteresis-it depends on the past evolution of the disk. (5) The Eddington limit can be important for circumbinary disks even if they accrete at sub-Eddington rates, but only at late stages of the inspiral. (6) Gas overflow across the orbit of the secondary can be important for low secondary mass, high- M-dot systems, but mainly during the inspiral phase dominated by the gravitational wave emission. (7) Circumbinary disks emit more power and have harder spectra than constant M-dot disks; their spectra are very sensitive to the amount of overflow across the secondary orbit.

  7. Constraints on the Nature of CID-42: Recoil Kick or Supermassive Black Hole Pair?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blecha, Laura; Civano, Francesca; Elvis, Martin; Loeb, Abraham

    2012-01-01

    The galaxy CXOC J100043.1+020637, also known as CID-42, is a highly unusual object. An apparent galaxy merger remnant, it displays signatures of both an inspiraling, kiloparsecscale active galactic nucleus (AGN) pair and of a recoiling AGN with a kick velocity approximately greater than 1300 km s(exp -1). Among recoiling AGN candidates, CID-42 alone has both spatial offsets (in optical and X-ray bands) and spectroscopic offsets. In order to constrain the relative likelihood of both scenarios, we develop models using hydrodynamic galaxy merger simulations coupled with radiative transfer calculations. Our gas-rich, major merger models are generally well matched to the galactic morphology and to the inferred stellar mass and star formation rate. We show that a recoiling supermassive black hole (SMBH) in CID-42 should be observable as an AGN at the time of observation. However, in order for the recoiling AGN to produce narrow-line emission, it must be observed shortly after the kick while it still inhabits a dense gaseous region, implying a large total kick velocity (vk approximately greater than 2000 km s(exp -1)). For the dual AGN scenario, an unusually large broad-line offset is required, and the best match to the observed morphology requires a galaxy that is less luminous than CID-42. Further, the lack of X-ray emission from one of the two optical nuclei is not easily attributed to an intrinsically quiescent SMBH or to a Compton-thick galactic environment. While the current data do not allow either the recoiling or the dual AGN scenario for CID-42 to be excluded, our models highlight the most relevant parameters for distinguishing these possibilities with future observations. In particular, high-quality, spatially-resolved spectra that can pinpoint the origin of the broad and narrow line features will be critical for determining the nature of this unique source.

  8. EXPLORING THE CORRELATIONS BETWEEN GLOBULAR CLUSTER POPULATIONS AND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES IN GIANT GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Rhode, Katherine L.

    2012-11-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the correlation between the number of globular clusters (N{sub GC}) in giant galaxies and the mass of the galaxies' central supermassive black hole (M{sub SMBH}). I construct a sample of 20 elliptical, spiral, and S0 galaxies with known SMBH masses and with accurately measured GC system properties derived from wide-field imaging studies. The coefficients of the best-fitting N{sub GC}-M{sub SMBH} relation for the early-type galaxies are consistent with those from previous work but in some cases have smaller relative errors. I examine the correlation between N{sub GC} and M{sub SMBH} for various subsamples and find that elliptical galaxies show the strongest correlation, while S0 and pseudobulge galaxies exhibit increased scatter. I also compare the quality of the fit of the numbers of metal-poor GCs versus SMBH mass and the corresponding fit for metal-rich GCs. I supplement the 20 galaxy sample with 10 additional galaxies with reliable N{sub GC} determinations but without measured M{sub SMBH}. I use this larger sample to investigate correlations between N{sub GC} and host galaxy properties like total galaxy luminosity and stellar mass, and bulge luminosity and mass. I find that the tightest correlation is between N{sub GC} and total galaxy stellar mass. This lends support to the notion that N{sub GC} and M{sub SMBH} are not directly linked but are correlated because both quantities depend on the host galaxy potential. Finally, I use the N{sub GC}-M{sub SMBH} relation derived from the 20 galaxy sample to calculate predicted M{sub SMBH} values for the 10 galaxies with accurate N{sub GC} measurements but without measured SMBH masses.

  9. Supermassive black holes and their host galaxies. II. The correlation with near-infrared luminosity revisited

    SciTech Connect

    Läsker, Ronald; Van de Ven, Glenn; Ferrarese, Laura; Shankar, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    We present an investigation of the scaling relations between supermassive black hole (SMBH) masses, M {sub •}, and their host galaxies' K-band bulge (L {sub bul}) and total (L {sub tot}) luminosities. The wide-field WIRCam imager at the Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope was used to obtain the deepest and highest resolution near-infrared images available for a sample of 35 galaxies with securely measured M {sub •}, selected irrespective of Hubble type. For each galaxy, we derive bulge and total magnitudes using a two-dimensional image decomposition code that allows us to account, if necessary, for large- and small-scale disks, cores, bars, nuclei, rings, envelopes, and spiral arms. We find that the present-day M {sub •}-L {sub bul} and M {sub •}-L {sub tot} relations have consistent intrinsic scatter, suggesting that M {sub •} correlates equally well with bulge and total luminosity of the host. Our analysis provides only mild evidence of a decreased scatter if the fit is restricted to elliptical galaxies. The log-slopes of the M {sub •}-L {sub bul} and M {sub •}-L {sub tot} relations are 0.75 ± 0.10 and 0.92 ± 0.14, respectively. However, while the slope of the M {sub •}-L {sub bul} relation depends on the detail of the image decomposition, the characterization of M {sub •}-L {sub tot} does not. Given the difficulties and ambiguities of decomposing galaxy images into separate components, our results indicate that L {sub tot} is more suitable as a tracer of SMBH mass than L {sub bul}, and that the M {sub •}-L {sub tot} relation should be used when studying the co-evolution of SMBHs and galaxies.

  10. Estimating the fossil disc mass during supermassive black hole mergers: the importance of torque implementation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tazzari, M.; Lodato, G.

    2015-05-01

    In this paper, we revisit the issue of estimating the `fossil' disc mass in the circumprimary disc, during the merger of a supermassive black hole binary. As the binary orbital decay speeds up due to the emission of gravitational waves, the gas in the circumprimary disc might be forced to accrete rapidly and could in principle provide a significant electromagnetic counterpart to the gravitational wave emission. Since the luminosity of such flare is proportional to the gaseous mass in the circumprimary disc, estimating such mass accurately is important. Previous investigations of this issue have produced contradictory results, with some authors estimating super-Eddington flares and large disc mass, while others suggesting that the `fossil' disc mass is very low, even less than a Jupiter mass. Here, we perform simple 1D calculations to show that such very low estimates of the disc mass are an artefact of the specific implementation of the tidal torque in 1D models. In particular, for moderate mass ratios of the binary, the usual formula for the torque used in 1D models significantly overestimates the width of the gap induced by the secondary and this artificially leads to a very small leftover circumprimary disc. Using a modified torque, calibrated to reproduce the correct gap width as estimated by 3D models, leads to fossil disc masses of the order of one solar mass. The rapid accretion of the whole circumprimary disc would produce peak luminosities of the order of 1-20 times the Eddington luminosity. Even if a significant fraction of the gas escapes accretion by flowing out the secondary orbit during the merger (an effect not included in our calculations), we would still predict close to Eddington luminosities that might be easily detected.

  11. The coevolution of supermassive black holes and massive galaxies at high redshift

    SciTech Connect

    Lapi, A.; Raimundo, S.; Aversa, R.; Cai, Z.-Y.; Celotti, A.; De Zotti, G.; Danese, L.; Negrello, M.

    2014-02-20

    We exploit the recent, wide samples of far-infrared (FIR) selected galaxies followed up in X-rays and of X-ray/optically selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) followed up in the FIR band, along with the classic data on AGNs and stellar luminosity functions at high redshift z ≳ 1.5, to probe different stages in the coevolution of supermassive black holes (BHs) and host galaxies. The results of our analysis indicate the following scenario: (1) the star formation in the host galaxy proceeds within a heavily dust-enshrouded medium at an almost constant rate over a timescale ≲ 0.5-1 Gyr and then abruptly declines due to quasar feedback, over the same timescale; (2) part of the interstellar medium loses angular momentum, reaches the circum-nuclear regions at a rate proportional to the star formation, and is temporarily stored in a massive reservoir/proto-torus wherefrom it can be promptly accreted; (3) the BH grows by accretion in a self-regulated regime with radiative power that can slightly exceed the Eddington limit L/L {sub Edd} ≲ 4, particularly at the highest redshifts; (4) for massive BHs, the ensuing energy feedback at its maximum exceeds the stellar one and removes the interstellar gas, thus stopping the star formation and the fueling of the reservoir; (5) afterward, if the latter has retained enough gas, a phase of supply-limited accretion follows, exponentially declining with a timescale of about two e-folding times. We also discuss how the detailed properties and the specific evolution of the reservoir can be investigated via coordinated, high-resolution observations of star-forming, strongly lensed galaxies in the (sub-)mm band with ALMA and in the X-ray band with Chandra and the next-generation X-ray instruments.

  12. Hunting a Wandering Supermassive Black Hole in the M31 Halo Hermitage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miki, Yohei; Mori, Masao; Kawaguchi, Toshihiro; Saito, Yuriko

    2014-03-01

    In the hierarchical structure formation scenario, galaxies enlarge through multiple merging events with less massive galaxies. In addition, the Magorrian relation indicates that almost all galaxies are occupied by a central supermassive black hole (SMBH) of mass 10-3 times the mass of its spheroidal component. Consequently, SMBHs are expected to wander in the halos of their host galaxies following a galaxy collision, although evidence of this activity is currently lacking. We investigate a current plausible location of an SMBH wandering in the halo of the Andromeda galaxy (M31). According to theoretical studies of N-body simulations, some of the many substructures in the M31 halo are remnants of a minor merger occurring about 1 Gyr ago. First, to evaluate the possible parameter space of the infalling orbit of the progenitor, we perform numerous parameter studies using a graphics processing unit cluster. To reduce uncertainties in the predicted position of the expected SMBH, we then calculate the time evolution of the SMBH in the progenitor dwarf galaxy from N-body simulations using the plausible parameter sets. Our results show that the SMBH lies within the halo (~20-50 kpc from the M31 center), closer to the Milky Way than the M31 disk. Furthermore, the predicted current positions of the SMBH were restricted to an observational field of 0.°6 × 0.°7 in the northeast region of the M31 halo. We also discuss the origin of the infalling orbit of the satellite galaxy and its relationships with the recently discovered vast thin disk plane of satellite galaxies around M31.

  13. Physics of the Galactic Center Cloud G2, on Its Way toward the Supermassive Black Hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkert, A.; Schartmann, M.; Alig, C.; Gillessen, S.; Genzel, R.; Fritz, T. K.; Eisenhauer, F.

    2012-05-01

    We investigate the origin, structure, and evolution of the small gas cloud G2, which is on an orbit almost straight into the Galactic central supermassive black hole (SMBH). G2 is a sensitive probe of the hot accretion zone of Sgr A*, requiring gas temperatures and densities that agree well with models of captured shock-heated stellar winds. Its mass is equal to the critical mass below which cold clumps would be destroyed quickly by evaporation. Its mass is also constrained by the fact that at apocenter its sound crossing timescale was equal to its infall timescale. Our numerical simulations show that the observed structure and evolution of G2 can be well reproduced if it forms in pressure equilibrium with its surroundings in 1995 at a distance from the SMBH of 7.6 × 1016 cm. If the cloud had formed at apocenter in the "clockwise" stellar disk as expected from its orbit, it would be torn into a very elongated spaghetti-like filament by 2011, which is not observed. This problem can be solved if G2 is the head of a larger, shell-like structure that formed at apocenter. Our numerical simulations show that this scenario explains not only G2's observed kinematical and geometrical properties but also the Brγ observations of a low surface brightness gas tail that trails the cloud. In 2013, while passing the SMBH, G2 will break up into a string of droplets that within the next 30 years will mix with the surrounding hot gas and trigger cycles of active galactic nucleus activity.

  14. Prospects for gravitational-wave detection and supermassive black hole astrophysics with pulsar timing arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravi, V.; Wyithe, J. S. B.; Shannon, R. M.; Hobbs, G.

    2015-03-01

    Large-area sky surveys show that massive galaxies undergo at least one major merger in a Hubble time. Ongoing pulsar timing array (PTA) experiments are aimed at measuring the gravitational-wave (GW) emission from binary supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at the centres of galaxy merger remnants. In this paper, using the latest observational estimates for a range of galaxy properties and scaling relations, we predict the amplitude of the GW background generated by the binary SMBH population. We also predict the numbers of individual binary SMBH GW sources. We predict the characteristic strain amplitude of the GW background to lie in the range 5.1 × 10-16 < Ayr < 2.4 × 10-15 at a frequency of (1 yr)-1, with 95 per cent confidence. Higher values within this range, which correspond to the more commonly preferred choice of galaxy merger time-scale, will fall within the expected sensitivity ranges of existing PTA projects in the next few years. In contrast, we find that a PTA consisting of at least 100 pulsars observed with next-generation radio telescopes will be required to detect continuous-wave GWs from binary SMBHs. We further suggest that GW memory bursts from coalescing SMBH pairs are not viable sources for PTAs. Both the GW background and individual GW source counts are dominated by binaries formed in mergers between early-type galaxies of masses ≳5 × 1010 M⊙ at redshifts ≲1.5. Uncertainties in the galaxy merger time-scale and the SMBH mass-galaxy bulge mass relation dominate the uncertainty in our predictions.

  15. Constraints on the nature of CID-42: recoil kick or supermassive black hole pair?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blecha, Laura; Civano, Francesca; Elvis, Martin; Loeb, Abraham

    2013-01-01

    The galaxy CXOC J100043.1+020637, also known as CID-42, is a highly unusual object. As an apparent galaxy merger remnant, it displays signatures of both an inspiraling, kiloparsec-scale active galactic nucleus (AGN) pair and of a recoiling AGN with a kick velocity of ≳ 1300 km s-1. Among recoiling AGN candidates, CID-42 alone has both spatial offsets (in optical and X-ray bands) and spectroscopic offsets. In order to constrain the relative likelihood of both scenarios, we develop models using hydrodynamic galaxy merger simulations coupled with radiative transfer calculations. Our gas-rich, major merger models are generally well matched to the galactic morphology and to the inferred stellar mass and star formation rate. We show that a recoiling supermassive black hole (SMBH) in CID-42 should be observable as an AGN at the time of observation. However, in order for the recoiling AGN to produce narrow-line emission, it must be observed shortly after the kick while it still inhabits a dense gaseous region, implying a large total kick velocity (vk ≳ 2000 km s-1). For the dual AGN scenario, an unusually large broad-line offset is required, and the best match to the observed morphology requires a galaxy that is less luminous than CID-42. Further, the lack of X-ray emission from one of the two optical nuclei is not easily attributed to an intrinsically quiescent SMBH or to a Compton thick galactic environment. While the current data do not allow either the recoiling or the dual AGN scenario for CID-42 to be excluded, our models highlight the most relevant parameters for distinguishing these possibilities with future observations. In particular, high-quality, spatially resolved spectra that can pinpoint the origin of the broad-line and narrow-line features will be critical for determining the nature of this unique source.

  16. Targeting supermassive black hole binaries and gravitational wave sources for the pulsar timing array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosado, Pablo A.; Sesana, Alberto

    2014-04-01

    This paper presents a technique to search for supermassive black hole binaries (MBHBs) in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The search is based on the peculiar properties of merging galaxies that are found in a mock galaxy catalogue from the Millennium Simulation. MBHBs are expected to be the main gravitational wave (GW) sources for pulsar timing arrays (PTAs); however, it is still unclear if the observed GW signal will be produced by a few single MBHBs, or if it will have the properties of a stochastic background. The goal of this work is to produce a map of the sky in which each galaxy is assigned a probability of having suffered a recent merger, and of hosting a MBHB that could be detected by PTAs. This constitutes a step forward in the understanding of the expected PTA signal: the skymap can be used to investigate the clustering properties of PTA sources and the spatial distribution of the observable GW signal power; moreover, galaxies with the highest probabilities could be used as inputs in targeted searches for individual GW sources. We also investigate the distribution of neighbouring galaxies around galaxies hosting MBHBs, finding that the most likely detectable PTA sources are located in dense galaxy environments. Different techniques are used in the search, including Bayesian and machine learning algorithms, with consistent outputs. Our method generates a list of galaxies classified as MBHB hosts, that can be combined with other searches to effectively reduce the number of misclassifications. The spectral coverage of the SDSS reaches less than a fifth of the sky, and the catalogue becomes severely incomplete at large redshifts; however, this technique can be applied in the future to larger catalogues to obtain complete, observationally based information of the expected GW signal detectable by PTAs.

  17. Accretion and Orbital Inspiral in Gas-assisted Supermassive Black Hole Binary Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafikov, Roman R.

    2016-08-01

    Many galaxies are expected to harbor binary supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in their centers. Their interaction with the surrounding gas results in the accretion and exchange of angular momentum via tidal torques, facilitating binary inspiral. Here, we explore the non-trivial coupling between these two processes and analyze how the global properties of externally supplied circumbinary disks depend on the binary accretion rate. By formulating our results in terms of the angular momentum flux driven by internal stresses, we come up with a very simple classification of the possible global disk structures, which differ from the standard constant \\dot{M} accretion disk solution. The suppression of accretion by the binary tides, leading to a significant mass accumulation in the inner disk, accelerates binary inspiral. We show that once the disk region strongly perturbed by the viscously transmitted tidal torque exceeds the binary semimajor axis, the binary can merge in less than its mass-doubling time due to accretion. Thus, unlike the inspirals driven by stellar scattering, the gas-assisted merger can occur even if the binary is embedded in a relatively low-mass disk (lower than its own mass). This is important for resolving the “last parsec” problem for SMBH binaries and understanding powerful gravitational wave sources in the universe. We argue that the enhancement of accretion by the binary found in some recent simulations cannot persist for a long time and should not affect the long-term orbital inspiral. We also review existing simulations of SMBH binary–disk coupling and propose a numerical setup which is particularly well suited to verifying our theoretical predictions.

  18. Black holes in binary stellar systems and galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherepashchuk, A. M.

    2014-04-01

    In the last 40 years, following pioneering papers by Ya B Zeldovich and E E Salpeter, in which a powerful energy release from nonspherical accretion of matter onto a black hole (BH) was predicted, many observational studies of black holes in the Universe have been carried out. To date, the masses of several dozen stellar-mass black holes (M_BH = (4{-}20) M_\\odot) in X-ray binary systems and of several hundred supermassive black holes (M_BH = (10^{6}{-}10^{10}) M_\\odot) in galactic nuclei have been measured. The estimated radii of these massive and compact objects do not exceed several gravitational radii. For about ten stellar-mass black holes and several dozen supermassive black holes, the values of the dimensionless angular momentum a_* have been estimated, which, in agreement with theoretical predictions, do not exceed the limiting value a_* = 0.998. A new field of astrophysics, so-called black hole demography, which studies the birth and growth of black holes and their evolutionary connection to other objects in the Universe, namely stars, galaxies, etc., is rapidly developing. In addition to supermassive black holes, massive stellar clusters are observed in galactic nuclei, and their evolution is distinct from that of supermassive black holes. The evolutionary relations between supermassive black holes in galactic centers and spheroidal stellar components (bulges) of galaxies, as well as dark-matter galactic haloes are brought out. The launch into Earth's orbit of the space radio interferometer RadioAstron opened up the real possibility of finally proving that numerous discovered massive and highly compact objects with properties very similar to those of black holes make up real black holes in the sense of Albert Einstein's General Relativity. Similar proofs of the existence of black holes in the Universe can be obtained by intercontinental radio interferometry at short wavelengths \\lambda \\lesssim 1 mm (the international program, Event Horizon Telescope).

  19. Subaru and e-Merlin observations of NGC 3718. Diaries of a supermassive black hole recoil?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markakis, K.; Dierkes, J.; Eckart, A.; Nishiyama, S.; Britzen, S.; García-Marín, M.; Horrobin, M.; Muxlow, T.; Zensus, J. A.

    2015-08-01

    photometric and spectroscopic characteristics. These characteristics combined with the observed spatial NIR and radio emission offsets, the relative redshift between the broad and the narrow Hα line, the limited star formation activity, and AGN feedback strongly imply the existence of a supermassive black hole recoil. Finally, we discuss a possible interpretation that could naturally incorporate all these findings into one physically consistent picture. Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.orgBased on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  20. Hunting for Supermassive Black Holes in Nearby Galaxies With the Hobby-Eberly Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van den Bosch, Remco C. E.; Gebhardt, Karl; Gültekin, Kayhan; Yıldırım, Akin; Walsh, Jonelle L.

    2015-05-01

    We have conducted an optical long-slit spectroscopic survey of 1022 galaxies using the 10 m Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at McDonald Observatory. The main goal of the HET Massive Galaxy Survey (HETMGS) is to find nearby galaxies that are suitable for black hole mass measurements. In order to measure accurately the black hole mass, one should kinematically resolve the region where the black hole dominates the gravitational potential. For most galaxies, this region is much less than an arcsecond. Thus, black hole masses are best measured in nearby galaxies with telescopes that obtain high spatial resolution. The HETMGS focuses on those galaxies predicted to have the largest sphere-of-influence, based on published stellar velocity dispersions or the galaxy fundamental plane. To ensure coverage over galaxy types, the survey targets those galaxies across a face-on projection of the fundamental plane. We present the sample selection and resulting data products from the long-slit observations, including central stellar kinematics and emission line ratios. The full data set, including spectra and resolved kinematics, is available online. Additionally, we show that the current crop of black hole masses are highly biased toward dense galaxies and that especially large disks and low dispersion galaxies are under-represented. This survey provides the necessary groundwork for future systematic black hole mass measurement campaigns.

  1. Science with the space-based interferometer eLISA: Supermassive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Antoine; Barausse, Enrico; Sesana, Alberto; Petiteau, Antoine; Berti, Emanuele; Babak, Stanislav; Gair, Jonathan; Aoudia, Sofiane; Hinder, Ian; Ohme, Frank; Wardell, Barry

    2016-01-01

    We compare the science capabilities of different eLISA mission designs, including four-link (two-arm) and six-link (three-arm) configurations with different arm lengths, low-frequency noise sensitivities and mission durations. For each of these configurations we consider a few representative massive black hole formation scenarios. These scenarios are chosen to explore two physical mechanisms that greatly affect eLISA rates, namely (i) black hole seeding, and (ii) the delays between the merger of two galaxies and the merger of the black holes hosted by those galaxies. We assess the eLISA parameter estimation accuracy using a Fisher matrix analysis with spin-precessing, inspiral-only waveforms. We quantify the information present in the merger and ringdown by rescaling the inspiral-only Fisher matrix estimates using the signal-to-noise ratio from nonprecessing inspiral-merger-ringdown phenomenological waveforms, and from a reduced set of precessing numerical relativity/post-Newtonian hybrid waveforms. We find that all of the eLISA configurations considered in our study should detect some massive black hole binaries. However, configurations with six links and better low-frequency noise will provide much more information on the origin of black holes at high redshifts and on their accretion history, and they may allow the identification of electromagnetic counterparts to massive black hole mergers.

  2. Small Seed Black Hole Growth in Various Accretion Regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerling-Dunsmore, Hannalore J.; Hopkins, Philip F.

    2016-03-01

    Observational evidence indicates a population of super massive black holes (SMBHs) (~109 -1010M⊙) formed within 1 Gyr after the Big Bang. One proposed means of SMBH formation is accretion onto small seed black holes (BHs) (~ 100M⊙). However, the existence of SMBHs within 1 Gyr requires rapid growth, but conventional models of accretion fail to grow the seed BHs quickly enough. Super Eddington accretion (Ṁ >ṀEddington) may aid in improving growth efficiency. We study small seed BH growth via accretion in 3D, using the magneto-hydrodynamics+gravity code GIZMO. In particular, we consider a BH in a high density turbulent star-forming cloud, and ask whether or not the BH can capture sufficient gas to grow rapidly. We consider both Eddington-limited and super Eddington regimes, and resolve physics on scales from 0.1 pc to 1 kpc while including detailed models for stellar feedback physics, including stellar winds, supernovae, radiation pressure, and photo-ionization. We present results on the viability of different small seed BHs growing into SMBH candidates.

  3. Properties of galaxies around AGNs with the most massive supermassive black holes revealed by clustering analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirasaki, Yuji; Komiya, Yutaka; Ohishi, Masatoshi; Mizumoto, Yoshihiko

    2016-04-01

    We present results of the clustering analysis between active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and galaxies at redshift 0.1-1.0, which was performed to investigate the properties of galaxies associated with the AGNs and reveal the nature of the fueling mechanism of supermassive black holes (SMBHs). We used 8059 AGNs/quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) for which virial masses of individual SMBHs were measured, and divided them into four mass groups.Cross-correlation analysis was performed to reconfirm our previous result that cross-correlation length increases with SMBH mass MBH; we obtained consistent results. A linear bias of AGN for each mass group was measured as 1.47 for MBH = 107.5-108.2 M⊙ and 3.08 for MBH = 109-1010 M⊙. The averaged color and luminosity distributions of galaxies around the AGNs/QSOs were also derived for each mass group. The galaxy color Dopt-IR was estimated from a spectral energy distribution (SED) constructed from a catalog derived by merging the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) catalogs. The distributions of color and luminosity were derived by a subtraction method, which does not require redshift information of galaxies. The main results of this work are as follows. (1) A linear bias increases by a factor of two from the lower-mass group to the highest-mass group. (2) The environment around AGNs with the most massive SMBHs (MBH > 109 M⊙) is dominated by red sequence galaxies. (3) Marginal indication of decline in luminosity function at dimmer side of MIR > -19.5 is found for galaxies around AGNs with MBH = 108.2-109 M⊙ and nearest redshift group (z = 0.1-0.3). These results indicate that AGNs with the most massive SMBHs reside in haloes where a large fraction of galaxies have been transited to the red sequence. The accretion of hot halo gas as well as recycled gas from evolving stars can be one of the plausible mechanisms to fuel the SMBHs above ˜ 109 M⊙.

  4. DUAL SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE CANDIDATES IN THE AGN AND GALAXY EVOLUTION SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Comerford, Julia M.; Schluns, Kyle; Greene, Jenny E.; Cool, Richard J.

    2013-11-01

    Dual supermassive black holes (SMBHs) with kiloparsec-scale separations in merger-remnant galaxies are informative tracers of galaxy evolution, but the avenue for identifying them in large numbers for such studies is not yet clear. One promising approach is to target spectroscopic signatures of systems where both SMBHs are fueled as dual active galactic nuclei (AGNs), or where one SMBH is fueled as an offset AGN. Dual AGNs may produce double-peaked narrow AGN emission lines, while offset AGNs may produce single-peaked narrow AGN emission lines with line-of-sight velocity offsets relative to the host galaxy. We search for such dual and offset systems among 173 Type 2 AGNs at z < 0.37 in the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES), and we find two double-peaked AGNs and five offset AGN candidates. When we compare these results to a similar search of the DEEP2 Galaxy Redshift Survey and match the two samples in color, absolute magnitude, and minimum velocity offset, we find that the fraction of AGNs that are dual SMBH candidates increases from z = 0.25 to z = 0.7 by a factor of ∼6 (from 2/70 to 16/91, or 2.9{sup +3.6}{sub -1.9}% to 18{sup +5}{sub -5}%). This may be associated with the rise in the galaxy merger fraction over the same cosmic time. As further evidence for a link with galaxy mergers, the AGES offset and dual AGN candidates are tentatively ∼3 times more likely than the overall AGN population to reside in a host galaxy that has a companion galaxy (from 16/173 to 2/7, or 9{sup +3}{sub -2}% to 29{sub -19}{sup +26}%). Follow-up observations of the seven offset and dual AGN candidates in AGES will definitively distinguish velocity offsets produced by dual SMBHs from those produced by narrow-line region kinematics, and will help sharpen our observational approach to detecting dual SMBHs.

  5. Are X-ray emitting coronae around supermassive black holes outflowing?

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Teng; Wang, Jun-Xian; Yang, Huan; Zhu, Fei-Fan; Zhou, You-Yuan E-mail: jxw@ustc.edu.cn

    2014-03-10

    Hard X-ray emission in radio-quiet active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is believed to be produced via inverse Compton scattering by hot and compact coronae near the supermassive black hole. However, the origin and physical properties of the coronae, including geometry, kinematics, and dynamics, remain poorly known. In this work, taking [O IV] 25.89 μm emission line as an isotropic indicator of AGNs' intrinsic luminosity, we compare the intrinsic corona X-ray emission between Seyfert 1 and Compton-thin Seyfert 2 galaxies, which are viewed at different inclinations according to the unification scheme. We compile a sample of 130 Compton-thin Seyfert galaxies with both [O IV] 25.89 μm line luminosities measured with the Spitzer Infrared Spectrometer and X-ray spectra observed by XMM-Newton, Chandra, Suzaku, or Swift. Known radio-loud sources are excluded. We fit the X-ray spectra to obtain the absorption-corrected 2-10 keV continuum luminosities. We find that Seyfert 1 galaxies are intrinsically brighter in intrinsic 2-10 keV emission by a factor of 2.8{sub −0.4}{sup +0.5} (2.2{sub −0.3}{sup +0.9} in Swift Burst Alert Telescope 14-195 keV emission), compared with Compton-thin Seyfert 2 galaxies. The Seyfert 1 and Compton-thin Seyfert 2 galaxies follow a statistically identical correlation between the absorption-corrected 2-10 keV luminosity and the 14-195 keV luminosity, indicating that our absorption correction to the 2-10 keV flux is sufficient. The difference in X-ray emission between the two populations is thus unlikely to be due to X-ray absorption, and instead implies an intrinsic anisotropy in the corona X-ray emission. This striking anisotropy of X-ray emission can be explained by a bipolar outflowing corona with a bulk velocity of ∼0.3-0.5c. This would provide a natural link between the so-called coronae and weak jets in these systems. Other consequences of outflowing coronae are also discussed.

  6. European Pulsar Timing Array limits on continuous gravitational waves from individual supermassive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babak, S.; Petiteau, A.; Sesana, A.; Brem, P.; Rosado, P. A.; Taylor, S. R.; Lassus, A.; Hessels, J. W. T.; Bassa, C. G.; Burgay, M.; Caballero, R. N.; Champion, D. J.; Cognard, I.; Desvignes, G.; Gair, J. R.; Guillemot, L.; Janssen, G. H.; Karuppusamy, R.; Kramer, M.; Lazarus, P.; Lee, K. J.; Lentati, L.; Liu, K.; Mingarelli, C. M. F.; Osłowski, S.; Perrodin, D.; Possenti, A.; Purver, M. B.; Sanidas, S.; Smits, R.; Stappers, B.; Theureau, G.; Tiburzi, C.; van Haasteren, R.; Vecchio, A.; Verbiest, J. P. W.

    2016-01-01

    We have searched for continuous gravitational wave (CGW) signals produced by individually resolvable, circular supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) in the latest European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA) data set, which consists of ultraprecise timing data on 41-ms pulsars. We develop frequentist and Bayesian detection algorithms to search both for monochromatic and frequency-evolving systems. None of the adopted algorithms show evidence for the presence of such a CGW signal, indicating that the data are best described by pulsar and radiometer noise only. Depending on the adopted detection algorithm, the 95 per cent upper limit on the sky-averaged strain amplitude lies in the range 6 × 10-15 < A < 1.5 × 10-14 at 5 nHz < f < 7 nHz. This limit varies by a factor of five, depending on the assumed source position and the most constraining limit is achieved towards the positions of the most sensitive pulsars in the timing array. The most robust upper limit - obtained via a full Bayesian analysis searching simultaneously over the signal and pulsar noise on the subset of ours six best pulsars - is A ≈ 10-14. These limits, the most stringent to date at f < 10 nHz, exclude the presence of sub-centiparsec binaries with chirp mass M_c>10^9 M_{⊙} out to a distance of about 25 Mpc, and with M_c>10^{10} M_{⊙} out to a distance of about 1Gpc (z ≈ 0.2). We show that state-of-the-art SMBHB population models predict <1 per cent probability of detecting a CGW with the current EPTA data set, consistent with the reported non-detection. We stress, however, that PTA limits on individual CGW have improved by almost an order of magnitude in the last five years. The continuing advances in pulsar timing data acquisition and analysis techniques will allow for strong astrophysical constraints on the population of nearby SMBHBs in the coming years.

  7. A statistical method to search for recoiling supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raffai, P.; Haiman, Z.; Frei, Z.

    2016-01-01

    We propose an observational test for gravitationally recoiling supermassive black holes (BHs) in active galactic nuclei, based on a correlation between the velocities of BHs relative to their host galaxies, |Δv|, and their obscuring dust column densities, Σdust (both measured along the line of sight). We use toy models for the distribution of recoil velocities, BH trajectories, and the geometry of obscuring dust tori in galactic centres, to simulate 2.5 × 105 random observations of recoiling quasars. BHs with recoil velocities comparable to the escape velocity from the galactic centre remain bound to the nucleus, and do not fully settle back to the centre of the torus due to dynamical friction in a typical quasar lifetime. We find that |Δv| and Σdust for these BHs are positively correlated. For obscured (Σdust > 0) and for partially obscured (0 < Σdust ≲ 2.3 g m-2) quasars with |Δv| ≥ 45 km s-1, the sample correlation coefficient between log10(|Δv|) and Σdust is r45 = 0.28 ± 0.02 and r45 = 0.13 ± 0.02, respectively. Allowing for random ± 100 km s- 1 errors in |Δv| unrelated to the recoil dilutes the correlation for the partially obscured quasars to r45 = 0.026 ± 0.004 measured between |Δv| and Σdust. A random sample of ≳ 3500 obscured quasars with |Δv| ≥ 45 km s-1 would allow rejection of the no-correlation hypothesis with 3σ significance 95 per cent of the time. Finally, we find that the fraction of obscured quasars, {F_obs} (|Δv|), decreases with |Δv| from {F_obs} (<10 km s-1) ≳ 0.8 to {F_obs} (>103 km s-1) ≲ 0.4. This predicted trend can be compared to the observed fraction of type II quasars, and can further test combinations of recoil, trajectory, and dust torus models.

  8. THE OBSERVED M-{sigma} RELATIONS IMPLY THAT SUPER-MASSIVE BLACK HOLES GROW BY COLD CHAOTIC ACCRETION

    SciTech Connect

    Nayakshin, Sergei; King, Andrew R.; Power, Chris

    2012-07-01

    We argue that current observations of M-{sigma} relations for galaxies can be used to constrain theories of super-massive black holes (SMBHs) feeding. In particular, assuming that SMBH mass is limited only by the feedback on the gas that feeds it, we show that SMBHs fed via a planar galaxy-scale gas flow, such as a disk or a bar, should be much more massive than their counterparts fed by quasi-spherical inflows. This follows from the relative inefficiency of active galactic nucleus feedback on a flattened inflow. We find that even under the most optimistic conditions for SMBH feedback on flattened inflows, the mass at which the SMBH expels the gas disk and terminates its own growth is a factor of several higher than the one established for quasi-spherical inflows. Any beaming of feedback away from the disk and any disk self-shadowing strengthen this result further. Contrary to this theoretical expectation, recent observations have shown that SMBHs in pseudobulge galaxies (which are associated with barred galaxies) are typically under- rather than overmassive when compared with their classical bulge counterparts at a fixed value of {sigma}. We conclude from this that SMBHs are not fed by large (100 pc to many kpc) scale gas disks or bars, most likely because such planar flows are turned into stars too efficiently to allow any SMBH growth. Based on this and other related observational evidence, we argue that most SMBHs grow by chaotic accretion of gas clouds with a small and nearly randomly distributed direction of angular momentum.

  9. Near-infrared flares from accreting gas around the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre.

    PubMed

    Genzel, R; Schödel, R; Ott, T; Eckart, A; Alexander, T; Lacombe, F; Rouan, D; Aschenbach, B

    2003-10-30

    Recent measurements of stellar orbits provide compelling evidence that the compact radio source Sagittarius A* (refs 4, 5) at the Galactic Centre is a 3.6-million-solar-mass black hole. Sgr A* is remarkably faint in all wavebands other than the radio region, however, which challenges current theories of matter accretion and radiation surrounding black holes. The black hole's rotation rate is not known, and therefore neither is the structure of space-time around it. Here we report high-resolution infrared observations of Sgr A* that reveal 'quiescent' emission and several flares. The infrared emission originates from within a few milliarcseconds of the black hole, and traces very energetic electrons or moderately hot gas within the innermost accretion region. Two flares exhibit a 17-minute quasi-periodic variability. If the periodicity arises from relativistic modulation of orbiting gas, the emission must come from just outside the event horizon, and the black hole must be rotating at about half of the maximum possible rate. PMID:14586462

  10. Imaging the supermassive black hole shadow and jet base of M87 with the event horizon telescope

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Ru-Sen; Fish, Vincent L.; Doeleman, Sheperd S.; Pankratius, Victor; Broderick, Avery E.; Baron, Fabien; Monnier, John D.

    2014-06-20

    The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a project to assemble a Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) network of millimeter wavelength dishes that can resolve strong field general relativistic signatures near a supermassive black hole. As planned, the EHT will include enough dishes to enable imaging of the predicted black hole 'shadow', a feature caused by severe light bending at the black hole boundary. The center of M87, a giant elliptical galaxy, presents one of the most interesting EHT targets as it exhibits a relativistic jet, offering the additional possibility of studying jet genesis on Schwarzschild radius scales. Fully relativistic models of the M87 jet that fit all existing observational constraints now allow horizon-scale images to be generated. We perform realistic VLBI simulations of M87 model images to examine the detectability of the black shadow with the EHT, focusing on a sequence of model images with a changing jet mass load radius. When the jet is launched close to the black hole, the shadow is clearly visible both at 230 and 345 GHz. The EHT array with a resolution of 20-30 μas resolution (∼2-4 Schwarzschild radii) is able to image this feature independent of any theoretical models and we show that imaging methods used to process data from optical interferometers are applicable and effective for EHT data sets. We demonstrate that the EHT is also capable of tracing real-time structural changes on a few Schwarzschild radii scales, such as those implicated by very high-energy flaring activity of M87. While inclusion of ALMA in the EHT is critical for shadow imaging, the array is generally robust against loss of a station.

  11. Jet drifts and flips in radio galaxies as probes of the historical evolution of spin axis in supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saripalli, Lakshmi; Subrahmanyan, Ravi; Hall Roberts, David

    2015-08-01

    Jets in radio galaxies create twin lobes of synchrotron plasma on opposite sides of the host elliptical. The jets are believed to emerge along the spin axis of the central supermassive black hole. The history of evolution in spin axis is traced in the off axis distortions in the radio structure. We have analyzed the radio structures in a large sample of distorted radio galaxies to examine black hole spin axis behavior. These sources are selected specifically to have low axial-ratio structures and hence off-axis distortions that are, however, unbiased with respect to the nature of the distortions.We have imaged 52 radio galaxies having length to width ratio less than 1 to obtain detailed radio structures that enable a tracing of the origin of the off-axis radio emission. The unique sample consists of radio sources where the off axis radio emission originates from strategic locations - regions closer to the host galaxy and from the outer ends of the jets. A third category consists of sources where there is only a swathe of radio emission nearly orthogonal to the radio axis and passing through the central radio core.Our study has highlighted the potential of radio galaxies in tracing black hole spin axis changes over time; we use the occurrence rates of the different categories of sources to derive occurrence rates of drifts and flips in black hole axis. Since the host galaxies are an unbiased sampling of luminous elliptical galaxies, the rates derived are relevant to this parent population (Roberts, Cohen, Lu, Saripalli and Subrahmanyan, 2015, arXiv150203954; Roberts, Saripalli, Subrahmanyan, 2015, arXiv150302021).

  12. A milliparsec supermassive black hole binary candidate in the galaxy SDSS J120136.02+300305.5

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, F. K.; Li, Shuo; Komossa, S.

    2014-05-10

    Galaxy mergers play a key role in the evolution of galaxies and the growth of their central supermassive black holes (SMBHs). A search for (active) SMBH binaries (SMBHBs) at the centers of the merger remnants is currently ongoing. Perhaps the greatest challenge is to identify the inactive SMBHBs, which might be the most abundant, but are also the most difficult to identify. Liu et al. predicted characteristic drops in the light curves of tidal disruption events (TDEs), caused by the presence of a secondary SMBH. Here, we apply that model to the light curve of the optically inactive galaxy SDSS J120136.02+300305.5, which was identified as a candidate TDE with XMM-Newton. We show that the deep dips in its evolving X-ray light curve can be well explained by the presence of a SMBHB at its core. A SMBHB model with a mass of the primary of M {sub BH} = 10{sup 7} M {sub ☉}, a mass ratio q ≅ 0.08, and a semi-major axis a {sub b} ≅ 0.6 mpc is in good agreement with the observations. Given that primary mass, introducing an orbital eccentricity is needed, with e {sub b} ≅ 0.3. Alternatively, a lower mass primary of M {sub BH} = 10{sup 6} M {sub ☉} in a circular orbit fits the light curve well. Tight binaries like this one, which have already overcome the 'final parsec problem', are prime sources of gravitational wave radiation once the two SMBHs coalesce. Future transient surveys, which will detect TDEs in large numbers, will place tight constraints on the SMBHB fraction in otherwise non-active galaxies.

  13. ALMA FOLLOWS STREAMING OF DENSE GAS DOWN TO 40 pc FROM THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE IN NGC 1097

    SciTech Connect

    Fathi, Kambiz; Pinol-Ferrer, Nuria; Lundgren, Andreas A.; Wiklind, Tommy; Kohno, Kotaro; Izumi, Takuma; Martin, Sergio; Espada, Daniel; Hatziminaoglou, Evanthia; Imanishi, Masatoshi; Krips, Melanie; Matsushita, Satoki; Meier, David S.; Nakai, Naomasa; Sheth, Kartik; Turner, Jean; Van de Ven, Glenn

    2013-06-20

    We present a kinematic analysis of the dense molecular gas in the central 200 pc of the nearby galaxy NGC 1097, based on Cycle 0 observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). We use the HCN(4-3) line to trace the densest interstellar molecular gas (n{sub H{sub 2}}{approx}10{sup 8} cm{sup -3}), and quantify its kinematics, and estimate an inflow rate for the molecular gas. We find a striking similarity between the ALMA kinematic data and the analytic spiral inflow model that we have previously constructed based on ionized gas velocity fields on larger scales. We are able to follow dense gas streaming down to 40 pc distance from the supermassive black hole in this Seyfert 1 galaxy. In order to fulfill marginal stability, we deduce that the dense gas is confined to a very thin disk, and we derive a dense gas inflow rate of 0.09 M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1} at 40 pc radius. Combined with previous values from the H{alpha} and CO gas, we calculate a combined molecular and ionized gas inflow rate of {approx}0.2 M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1} at 40 pc distance from the central supermassive black hole of NGC 1097.

  14. Supermassive recoil velocities for binary black-hole mergers with antialigned spins.

    PubMed

    González, José A; Hannam, Mark; Sperhake, Ulrich; Brügmann, Bernd; Husa, Sascha

    2007-06-01

    Recent calculations of the recoil velocity in binary black-hole mergers have found the kick velocity to be of the order of a few hundred km/s in the case of nonspinning binaries and about 500 km/s in the case of spinning configurations, and have lead to predictions of a maximum kick of up to 1300 km/s. We test these predictions and demonstrate that kick velocities of at least 2500 km/s are possible for equal-mass binaries with antialigned spins in the orbital plane. Kicks of that magnitude are likely to have significant repercussions for models of black-hole formation, the population of intergalactic black holes, and the structure of host galaxies. PMID:17677893

  15. Are Compton-thick AGNs the Missing Link between Mergers and Black Hole Growth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kocevski, Dale D.; Brightman, Murray; Nandra, Kirpal; Koekemoer, Anton M.; Salvato, Mara; Aird, James; Bell, Eric F.; Hsu, Li-Ting; Kartaltepe, Jeyhan S.; Koo, David C.; Lotz, Jennifer M.; McIntosh, Daniel H.; Mozena, Mark; Rosario, David; Trump, Jonathan R.

    2015-12-01

    We examine the host morphologies of heavily obscured active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at z∼ 1 to test whether obscured super-massive black hole growth at this epoch is preferentially linked to galaxy mergers. Our sample consists of 154 obscured AGNs with {N}{{H}}\\gt {10}23.5 {{cm}}-2 and z\\lt 1.5. Using visual classifications, we compare the morphologies of these AGNs to control samples of moderately obscured (1022 cm{}-2\\lt {N}{{H}}\\lt {10}23.5 {{cm}}-2) and unobscured ({N}{{H}}\\lt {10}22 {{cm}}-2) AGN. These control AGNs have similar redshifts and intrinsic X-ray luminosities to our heavily obscured AGN. We find that heavily obscured AGNs are twice as likely to be hosted by late-type galaxies relative to unobscured AGNs ({65.3}-4.6+4.1% versus {34.5}-2.7+2.9%) and three times as likely to exhibit merger or interaction signatures ({21.5}-3.3+4.2% versus {7.8}-1.3+1.9%). The increased merger fraction is significant at the 3.8σ level. If we exclude all point sources and consider only extended hosts, we find that the correlation between the merger fraction and obscuration is still evident, although at a reduced statistical significance (2.5σ ). The fact that we observe a different disk/spheroid fraction versus obscuration indicates that the viewing angle cannot be the only thing differentiating our three AGN samples, as a simple unification model would suggest. The increased fraction of disturbed morphologies with obscuration supports an evolutionary scenario, in which Compton-thick AGNs are a distinct phase of obscured super-massive black hole (SMBH) growth following a merger/interaction event. Our findings also suggest that some of the merger-triggered SMBH growth predicted by recent AGN fueling models may be hidden among the heavily obscured, Compton-thick population.

  16. NASA's Chandra Finds Black Holes Are "Green"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-04-01

    Black holes are the most fuel efficient engines in the Universe, according to a new study using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. By making the first direct estimate of how efficient or "green" black holes are, this work gives insight into how black holes generate energy and affect their environment. The new Chandra finding shows that most of the energy released by matter falling toward a supermassive black hole is in the form of high-energy jets traveling at near the speed of light away from the black hole. This is an important step in understanding how such jets can be launched from magnetized disks of gas near the event horizon of a black hole. Illustration of Fuel for a Black Hole Engine Illustration of Fuel for a Black Hole Engine "Just as with cars, it's critical to know the fuel efficiency of black holes," said lead author Steve Allen of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University, and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. "Without this information, we cannot figure out what is going on under the hood, so to speak, or what the engine can do." Allen and his team used Chandra to study nine supermassive black holes at the centers of elliptical galaxies. These black holes are relatively old and generate much less radiation than quasars, rapidly growing supermassive black holes seen in the early Universe. The surprise came when the Chandra results showed that these "quiet" black holes are all producing much more energy in jets of high-energy particles than in visible light or X-rays. These jets create huge bubbles, or cavities, in the hot gas in the galaxies. Animation of Black Hole in Elliptical Galaxy Animation of Black Hole in Elliptical Galaxy The efficiency of the black hole energy-production was calculated in two steps: first Chandra images of the inner regions of the galaxies were used to estimate how much fuel is available for the black hole; then Chandra images were used to estimate the power required to produce

  17. OBSERVATIONAL CONSTRAINTS ON THE CO-EVOLUTION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES AND GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Zheng, X. Z.; Bell, E. F.; Somerville, R. S.; Rix, H.-W.; Jahnke, K.; Fontanot, F.; Meisenheimer, K.; Rieke, G. H.; Schiminovich, D.

    2009-12-20

    The star formation rate (SFR) and black hole accretion rate (BHAR) functions are measured to be proportional to each other at z approx< 3. This close correspondence between SF and BHA would naturally yield a BH mass-galaxy mass correlation, whereas a BH mass-bulge mass correlation is observed. To explore this apparent contradiction, we study the SF in spheroid-dominated galaxies between z = 1 and the present day. We use 903 galaxies from the COMBO-17 survey with M{sub *} > 2 x 10{sup 10} M{sub sun}, ultraviolet and infrared-derived SFRs from Spitzer and Galaxy Evolution Explorer, and morphologies from GEMS Hubble Space Telescope/Advanced Camera for Surveys imaging. Using stacking techniques, we find that <25% of all SF occurs in spheroid-dominated galaxies (Sersic index n > 2.5), while the BHAR that we would expect if the global scalings held is 3 times higher. This rules out the simplest picture of co-evolution, in which SF and BHA trace each other at all times. These results could be explained if SF and BHA occur in the same events, but offset in time, for example at different stages of a merger event. However, one would then expect to see the corresponding star formation activity in early-stage mergers, in conflict with observations. We conclude that the major episodes of SF and BHA occur in different events, with the bulk of SF happening in isolated disks and most BHA occurring in major mergers. The apparent global co-evolution results from the regulation of the BH growth by the potential well of the galactic spheroid, which includes a major contribution from disrupted disk stars.

  18. Supermassive Black Hole Formation at High Redshifts via Direct Collapse: Physical Processes in the Early Stage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Jun-Hwan; Shlosman, Isaac; Begelman, Mitchell C.

    2013-09-01

    We use numerical simulations to explore whether direct collapse can lead to the formation of supermassive black hole (SMBH) seeds at high redshifts. Using the adaptive mesh refinement code ENZO, we follow the evolution of gas within slowly tumbling dark matter (DM) halos of M vir ~ 2 × 108 M ⊙ and R vir ~ 1 kpc. For our idealized simulations, we adopt cosmologically motivated DM and baryon density profiles and angular momentum distributions. Our principal goal is to understand how the collapsing flow overcomes the centrifugal barrier and whether it is subject to fragmentation which can potentially lead to star formation, decreasing the seed SMBH mass. We find that the collapse proceeds from inside out and leads either to a central runaway or to off-center fragmentation. A disk-like configuration is formed inside the centrifugal barrier, growing via accretion. For models with a more cuspy DM distribution, the gas collapses more and experiences a bar-like perturbation and a central runaway on scales of <~ 1-10 pc. We have followed this inflow down to ~10-4 pc (~10 AU), where it is estimated to become optically thick. The flow remains isothermal and the specific angular momentum, j, is efficiently transferred by gravitational torques in a cascade of nested bars. This cascade is triggered by finite perturbations from the large-scale mass distribution and by gas self-gravity, and supports a self-similar, disk-like collapse where the axial ratios remain constant. The mass accretion rate shows a global minimum on scales of ~1-10 pc at the time of the central runaway. In the collapsing phase, virial supersonic turbulence develops and fragmentation is damped. Models with progressively larger initial DM cores evolve similarly, but the timescales become longer. In models with more organized initial rotation—when the rotation of spherical shells is constrained to be coplanar—a torus forms on scales ~20-50 pc outside the disk, and appears to be supported by turbulent

  19. NASA Observatory Confirms Black Hole Limits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-02-01

    The very largest black holes reach a certain point and then grow no more, according to the best survey to date of black holes made with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Scientists have also discovered many previously hidden black holes that are well below their weight limit. These new results corroborate recent theoretical work about how black holes and galaxies grow. The biggest black holes, those with at least 100 million times the mass of the Sun, ate voraciously during the early Universe. Nearly all of them ran out of 'food' billions of years ago and went onto a forced starvation diet. Focus on Black Holes in the Chandra Deep Field North Focus on Black Holes in the Chandra Deep Field North On the other hand, black holes between about 10 and 100 million solar masses followed a more controlled eating plan. Because they took smaller portions of their meals of gas and dust, they continue growing today. "Our data show that some supermassive black holes seem to binge, while others prefer to graze", said Amy Barger of the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the University of Hawaii, lead author of the paper describing the results in the latest issue of The Astronomical Journal (Feb 2005). "We now understand better than ever before how supermassive black holes grow." One revelation is that there is a strong connection between the growth of black holes and the birth of stars. Previously, astronomers had done careful studies of the birthrate of stars in galaxies, but didn't know as much about the black holes at their centers. DSS Optical Image of Lockman Hole DSS Optical Image of Lockman Hole "These galaxies lose material into their central black holes at the same time that they make their stars," said Barger. "So whatever mechanism governs star formation in galaxies also governs black hole growth." Astronomers have made an accurate census of both the biggest, active black holes in the distance, and the relatively smaller, calmer ones closer by. Now, for the first

  20. Rapid growth of black holes in massive star-forming galaxies.

    PubMed

    Alexander, D M; Smail, I; Bauer, F E; Chapman, S C; Blain, A W; Brandt, W N; Ivison, R J

    2005-04-01

    The tight relationship between the masses of black holes and galaxy spheroids in nearby galaxies implies a causal connection between the growth of these two components. Optically luminous quasars host the most prodigious accreting black holes in the Universe, and can account for greater than or approximately equal to 30 per cent of the total cosmological black-hole growth. As typical quasars are not, however, undergoing intense star formation and already host massive black holes (> 10(8)M(o), where M(o) is the solar mass), there must have been an earlier pre-quasar phase when these black holes grew (mass range approximately (10(6)-10(8))M(o)). The likely signature of this earlier stage is simultaneous black-hole growth and star formation in distant (redshift z > 1; >8 billion light years away) luminous galaxies. Here we report ultra-deep X-ray observations of distant star-forming galaxies that are bright at submillimetre wavelengths. We find that the black holes in these galaxies are growing almost continuously throughout periods of intense star formation. This activity appears to be more tightly associated with these galaxies than any other coeval galaxy populations. We show that the black-hole growth from these galaxies is consistent with that expected for the pre-quasar phase. PMID:15815623

  1. Erratic Black Hole Regulates Itself

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-03-01

    't entirely understand, the other one gets the upper hand." GRS 1915+105 Chandra X-ray Image of GRS 1915+105 The latest Chandra results also show that the wind and the jet carry about the same amount of matter away from the black hole. This is evidence that the black hole is somehow regulating its accretion rate, which may be related to the toggling between mass expulsion via either a jet or a wind from the accretion disk. Self-regulation is a common topic when discussing supermassive black holes, but this is the first clear evidence for it in stellar-mass black holes. "It is exciting that we may be on the track of explaining two mysteries at the same time: how black hole jets can be shut down and also how black holes regulate their growth," said co-author Julia Lee, assistant professor in the Astronomy department at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "Maybe black holes can regulate themselves better than the financial markets!" Although micro-quasars and quasars differ in mass by factors of millions, they should show a similarity in behavior when their very different physical scales are taken into account. People Who Read This Also Read... Chandra Data Reveal Rapidly Whirling Black Holes Jet Power and Black Hole Assortment Revealed in New Chandra Image Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy Ghost Remains After Black Hole Eruption "If quasars and micro-quasars behave very differently, then we have a big problem to figure out why, because gravity treats them the same," said Neilsen. "So, our result is actually very reassuring, because it's one more link between these different types of black holes." The timescale for changes in behavior of a black hole should vary in proportion to the mass. For example, an hour-long timescale for changes in GRS 1915 would correspond to about 10,000 years for a supermassive black hole that weighs a billion times the mass of the Sun. "We cannot hope to explore at this level of detail in any single supermassive black hole

  2. A rapidly spinning supermassive black hole at the centre of NGC 1365

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Risaliti, G.; Harrison, F. A.; Madsen, K. K.; Walton, D. J.; Boggs, S. E.; Christensen, F. E.; Craig, W. W.; Grefenstette, B. W.; Hailey, C. J.; Nardini, E.; Stern, Daniel; Zhang, W. W.

    2013-02-01

    Broad X-ray emission lines from neutral and partially ionized iron observed in active galaxies have been interpreted as fluorescence produced by the reflection of hard X-rays off the inner edge of an accretion disk. In this model, line broadening and distortion result from rapid rotation and relativistic effects near the black hole, the line shape being sensitive to its spin. Alternative models in which the distortions result from absorption by intervening structures provide an equally good description of the data, and there has been no general agreement on which is correct. Recent claims that the black hole (2 × 106 solar masses) at the centre of the galaxy NGC 1365 is rotating at close to its maximum possible speed rest on the assumption of relativistic reflection. Here we report X-ray observations of NGC 1365 that reveal the relativistic disk features through broadened Fe-line emission and an associated Compton scattering excess of 10-30 kiloelectronvolts. Using temporal and spectral analyses, we disentangle continuum changes due to time-variable absorption from reflection, which we find arises from a region within 2.5 gravitational radii of the rapidly spinning black hole. Absorption-dominated models that do not include relativistic disk reflection can be ruled out both statistically and on physical grounds.

  3. Precession of Fast S0 Stars in the Vicinity of Supermassive Black Hole in the Galactic Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dokuchaev, V. I.; Eroshenko, Yu. N.; Klimkov, K. S.

    2015-09-01

    We elaborate the model of the influence of the diffuse dark matter, invisible stars or stellar mass black holes on the motion of the observed fast moving S0 stars [1-4] around the supermassive black hole SgrA* in the Galactic center with a mass MBH = 4×10^6 Full-size image (<1 K). We will call all this invisible mass as a dark matter. The additional mass perturbs the elliptical orbits of the S0 mass resulting in the so called Newtonian precession of the elliptical orbits. The major aim of our research is the fitting of the published dates on the observed orbital positions of the S0 stars by the theoretically modeling orbit with a power-law profile of the additional (dark matter) mass. Nowadays the observational data provide only the upper limit on the additional mass. In the nearest years the observations of the S0 stars may provide the real weighing of the dark matter inside the orbits of these S0 stars in the Galactic center. This method is a very perspective for the elucidation of the formation and evolution of the dark matter in the Galactic nucleus.

  4. Disruption of a Red Giant Star by a Supermassive Black Hole and the Case of PS1-10jh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogdanović, Tamara; Cheng, Roseanne M.; Amaro-Seoane, Pau

    2014-06-01

    The development of a new generation of theoretical models for tidal disruptions is timely, as increasingly diverse events are being captured in surveys of the transient sky. Recently, Gezari et al. reported a discovery of a new class of tidal disruption events: the disruption of a helium-rich stellar core, thought to be a remnant of a red giant (RG) star. Motivated by this discovery and in anticipation of others, we consider tidal interaction of an RG star with a supermassive black hole (SMBH) which leads to the stripping of the stellar envelope and subsequent inspiral of the compact core toward the black hole. Once the stellar envelope is removed the inspiral of the core is driven by tidal heating as well as the emission of gravitational radiation until the core either falls into the SMBH or is tidally disrupted. In the case of the tidal disruption candidate PS1-10jh, we find that there is a set of orbital solutions at high eccentricities in which the tidally stripped hydrogen envelope is accreted by the SMBH before the helium core is disrupted. This places the RG core in a portion of parameter space where strong tidal heating can lift the degeneracy of the compact remnant and disrupt it before it reaches the tidal radius. We consider how this sequence of events explains the puzzling absence of the hydrogen emission lines from the spectrum of PS1-10jh and gives rise to its other observational features.

  5. Disruption of a red giant star by a supermassive black hole and the case of PS1-10jh

    SciTech Connect

    Bogdanović, Tamara; Cheng, Roseanne M.; Amaro-Seoane, Pau E-mail: rcheng@gatech.edu

    2014-06-20

    The development of a new generation of theoretical models for tidal disruptions is timely, as increasingly diverse events are being captured in surveys of the transient sky. Recently, Gezari et al. reported a discovery of a new class of tidal disruption events: the disruption of a helium-rich stellar core, thought to be a remnant of a red giant (RG) star. Motivated by this discovery and in anticipation of others, we consider tidal interaction of an RG star with a supermassive black hole (SMBH) which leads to the stripping of the stellar envelope and subsequent inspiral of the compact core toward the black hole. Once the stellar envelope is removed the inspiral of the core is driven by tidal heating as well as the emission of gravitational radiation until the core either falls into the SMBH or is tidally disrupted. In the case of the tidal disruption candidate PS1-10jh, we find that there is a set of orbital solutions at high eccentricities in which the tidally stripped hydrogen envelope is accreted by the SMBH before the helium core is disrupted. This places the RG core in a portion of parameter space where strong tidal heating can lift the degeneracy of the compact remnant and disrupt it before it reaches the tidal radius. We consider how this sequence of events explains the puzzling absence of the hydrogen emission lines from the spectrum of PS1-10jh and gives rise to its other observational features.

  6. The Properties of Hypervelocity Stars and S-stars Originating from an Eccentric Disk around a Supermassive Black Hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Šubr, Ladislav; Haas, Jaroslav

    2016-09-01

    Hypervelocity stars (HVSs), which are observed in the Galactic halo, are believed to be accelerated to large velocities by a process of tidal disruption of binary stars passing close to the supermassive black hole (SMBH) which resides in the center of the Galaxy. It is, however, still unclear where these relatively young stars were born and what dynamical process pushed them to nearly radial orbits around the SMBH. In this paper we investigate the possibility that the young binaries originated from a thin eccentric disk, similar to the one currently observed in the Galactic center. By means of direct N-body simulations, we follow the dynamical evolution of an initially thin and eccentric disk of stars with a 100% binary fraction orbiting around the SMBH. Such a configuration leads to Kozai–Lidov oscillations of orbital elements, bringing a considerable number of binaries to the close vicinity of the black hole. Subsequent tidal disruption of these binaries accelerates one of their components to velocities well above the escape velocity from the SMBH, while the second component becomes tightly bound to the SMBH. We describe the main kinematic properties of the escaping and tightly bound stars within our model, and compare them qualitatively to the properties of the observed HVSs and S-stars, respectively. The most prominent feature is strong anisotropy in the directions of the escaping stars, which is observed for Galactic HVSs but has not yet been explained.

  7. Accretion of gaseous clumps from the Galactic Centre Mini-spiral onto Milky Way's supermassive black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karas, Vladimir; Kunneriath, Devaky; Czerny, Bozena; Rozanska, Agata; Adhikari, Tek P.

    2016-07-01

    Evidence for reflection of X-rays on molecular clouds in the vicinity of Sagittarius A* super-massive black hole (Sgr A* SMBH) suggests that the center of Galaxy was active in its recent history. We investigate the idea of gaseous Mini-spiral pattern as the origin of material triggering this enhanced activity. Collisions between clumps of gas in the Mini-spiral can reduce their angular momentum and set some of the clumps on a plunging trajectory towards Sgr A* SMBH. It turns out that the amount of material in the Mini-spiral region is sufficient to sustain the required level of luminosity. We examine a possibility of Thermal Instability onset to describe the mechanism for elevated accretion during the past period. Our contribution extends a recent paper by including the effect of the Nuclear Star Cluster, which provides additional important contribution to the energy balance of the inter-stellar medium.

  8. Active galaxies. A fast and long-lived outflow from the supermassive black hole in NGC 5548.

    PubMed

    Kaastra, J S; Kriss, G A; Cappi, M; Mehdipour, M; Petrucci, P-O; Steenbrugge, K C; Arav, N; Behar, E; Bianchi, S; Boissay, R; Branduardi-Raymont, G; Chamberlain, C; Costantini, E; Ely, J C; Ebrero, J; Di Gesu, L; Harrison, F A; Kaspi, S; Malzac, J; De Marco, B; Matt, G; Nandra, K; Paltani, S; Person, R; Peterson, B M; Pinto, C; Ponti, G; Pozo Nuñez, F; De Rosa, A; Seta, H; Ursini, F; de Vries, C P; Walton, D J; Whewell, M

    2014-07-01

    Supermassive black holes in the nuclei of active galaxies expel large amounts of matter through powerful winds of ionized gas. The archetypal active galaxy NGC 5548 has been studied for decades, and high-resolution x-ray and ultraviolet (UV) observations have previously shown a persistent ionized outflow. An observing campaign in 2013 with six space observatories shows the nucleus to be obscured by a long-lasting, clumpy stream of ionized gas not seen before. It blocks 90% of the soft x-ray emission and causes simultaneous deep, broad UV absorption troughs. The outflow velocities of this gas are up to five times faster than those in the persistent outflow, and, at a distance of only a few light days from the nucleus, it may likely originate from the accretion disk. PMID:24994647

  9. Cosmic swarms: a search for supermassive black holes in the LISA data stream with a hybrid evolutionary algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gair, Jonathan R.; Porter, Edward K.

    2009-11-01

    We describe a hybrid evolutionary algorithm that can simultaneously search for multiple supermassive black hole binary (SMBHB) inspirals in LISA data. The algorithm mixes evolutionary computation, Metropolis-Hastings methods and Nested Sampling. The inspiral of SMBHBs presents an interesting problem for gravitational wave data analysis since, due to the LISA response function, the sources have a bi-modal sky solution. We show here that it is possible not only to detect multiple SMBHBs in the data stream, but also to investigate simultaneously all the various modes of the global solution. In all cases, the algorithm returns parameter determinations within 5σ (as estimated from the Fisher matrix) of the true answer, for both the actual and antipodal sky solutions.

  10. Current and Future X-ray Studies of High-Redshift AGNs and the First Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Niel

    2016-01-01

    X-ray observations of high-redshift AGNs at z = 4-7 have played a critical role in understanding the physical processes at work inthese objects as well as their basic demographics. Since 2000, Chandra and XMM-Newton have provided new X-ray detections for more than 120 such objects, and well-defined samples of z > 4 AGNs now allow reliable X-ray population studies. Once luminosity effectsare considered, the basic X-ray continuum properties of most high-redshift AGNs appear remarkably similar to those of local AGNs, although there are some notable apparent exceptions (e.g., highly radio-loud quasars). Furthermore, the X-ray absorption found in some objects has been used as a diagnostic of outflowing winds and circumnuclear material. Demographically, the X-ray data now support an exponential decline in the number density of luminous AGNs above z ~ 3, and quantitative space-density comparisons for optically selected and X-ray selected quasars indicate basic statistical agreement.The current X-ray discoveries point the way toward the future breakthroughs that will be possible with, e.g., Athena and the X-raySurveyor. These missions will execute powerful blank-field surveys to elucidate the demographics of the first growing supermassive black holes (SMBHs), including highly obscured systems, up to z ~ 10. They will also carry out complementary X-ray spectroscopic and variability investigations of high-redshift AGNs by targeting the most-luminous z = 7-10 quasars found in wide-field surveys by, e.g., Euclid, LSST, and WFIRST. X-ray spectroscopic and variability studies of the X-ray continuum and reflection signatures will help determine Eddington ratios and disk/corona properties; measuring these will clarify how the first quasars grew so quickly. Furthermore, absorption line/edge studies will reveal how outflows from the first SMBHs influenced the growth of the first galaxies. I will suggest some efficient observational strategies for Athena and the X-ray Surveyor.

  11. NASA Observatory Confirms Black Hole Limits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-02-01

    The very largest black holes reach a certain point and then grow no more, according to the best survey to date of black holes made with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Scientists have also discovered many previously hidden black holes that are well below their weight limit. These new results corroborate recent theoretical work about how black holes and galaxies grow. The biggest black holes, those with at least 100 million times the mass of the Sun, ate voraciously during the early Universe. Nearly all of them ran out of 'food' billions of years ago and went onto a forced starvation diet. Focus on Black Holes in the Chandra Deep Field North Focus on Black Holes in the Chandra Deep Field North On the other hand, black holes between about 10 and 100 million solar masses followed a more controlled eating plan. Because they took smaller portions of their meals of gas and dust, they continue growing today. "Our data show that some supermassive black holes seem to binge, while others prefer to graze", said Amy Barger of the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the University of Hawaii, lead author of the paper describing the results in the latest issue of The Astronomical Journal (Feb 2005). "We now understand better than ever before how supermassive black holes grow." One revelation is that there is a strong connection between the growth of black holes and the birth of stars. Previously, astronomers had done careful studies of the birthrate of stars in galaxies, but didn't know as much about the black holes at their centers. DSS Optical Image of Lockman Hole DSS Optical Image of Lockman Hole "These galaxies lose material into their central black holes at the same time that they make their stars," said Barger. "So whatever mechanism governs star formation in galaxies also governs black hole growth." Astronomers have made an accurate census of both the biggest, active black holes in the distance, and the relatively smaller, calmer ones closer by. Now, for the first

  12. Particle acceleration from an inner accretion disc into compact corona and further out: case of an organised magnetic field near a supermassive black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karas, Vladimir; Kopacek, Ondrej; Kunneriath, Devaky; Kovar, Jiri; Slany, Petr

    2016-04-01

    Upcoming observational techniques in X-rays and millimeter spectral bands will allow to probe the inner corona of accretion discs near supermassive black holes. Size of this region only a few gravitational radii has been inferred from various circumstantial evidence. To populate ithe region with particles, pair-creation in ergosphere and transport of particles via accretion have been invoked.Electromagnetic fields are a likely agent of acceleration in strong gravity of a rotating black hole. We put forward a scenario with an organised component of the magnetic field near a supermassive black hole. An emergent flow of particles may be induced in a preferentially bi-polar direction. Our mechanism does not seem to be capable of producing ultra-high energy cosmic rays but it does expel particles along unbound trajectories.The mentioned concept is relevant also from a purely theoretical viewpoint of dynamical properties of particle motion in General Relativity, namely, the onset of chaos near a black hole. We conclude that the role of black-hole spin in setting the chaos is more complicated than initially thought (based on http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.2452).

  13. Torque-limited Growth of Massive Black Holes in Galaxies across Cosmic Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anglés-Alcázar, Daniel; Özel, Feryal; Davé, Romeel; Katz, Neal; Kollmeier, Juna A.; Oppenheimer, Benjamin D.

    2015-02-01

    We combine cosmological hydrodynamic simulations with analytic models to evaluate the role of galaxy-scale gravitational torques on the evolution of massive black holes at the centers of star-forming galaxies. We confirm and extend our earlier results to show that torque-limited growth yields black holes and host galaxies evolving on average along the M BH-M bulge relation from early times down to z = 0 and that convergence onto the scaling relation occurs independent of the initial conditions and with no need for mass averaging through mergers or additional self-regulation processes. Smooth accretion dominates the long-term evolution, with black hole mergers with mass ratios gsim 1:5 representing typically a small fraction of the total growth. Winds from the accretion disk are required to eject significant mass to suppress black hole growth, but there is no need for coupling this wind to galactic-scale gas to regulate black holes in a nonlinear feedback loop. Torque-limited growth yields a close-to-linear < \\dot{M}_BH > \\propto star formation rate (SFR) relation for the black hole accretion rate averaged over galaxy evolution timescales. However, the SFR-AGN connection has significant scatter owing to strong variability of black hole accretion at all resolved timescales. Eddington ratios can be described by a broad lognormal distribution with median value evolving roughly as λMSvprop(1 + z)1.9, suggesting a main sequence for black hole growth similar to the cosmic evolution of specific SFRs. Our results offer an attractive scenario consistent with available observations in which cosmological gas infall and transport of angular momentum in the galaxy by gravitational instabilities regulate the long-term co-evolution of black holes and star-forming galaxies.

  14. The Merger-Free Co-Evolution of Galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simmons, Brooke; Smethurst, Rebecca Jane; Lintott, Chris; Galaxy Zoo Team

    2016-06-01

    Calm, "secular" accretion and evolutionary processes, once thought to be relegated to the sidelines of galaxy evolution, are now understood to play a significant role in the buildup of stellar mass in galaxies. Most galaxies are formed and evolve via a mix of secular-driven evolution and more violent processes like strong disk instabilities and galaxy mergers; this makes isolating the effects of secular evolution in galaxies very difficult. Massive pure disk galaxies, lacking the classical or "pseudo" bulge components that arise naturally from mergers and disk instabilities (respectively), are a unique opportunity to study galaxy evolution in the absence of violent processes. Previous studies have disagreed on whether the black hole-galaxy mass correlation is driven by galaxy-galaxy interactions or something more fundamental. Here we present new evidence using a statistically significant sample of AGN hosted in bulgeless disk galaxies at z < 0.2 to constrain black hole-galaxy co-evolution in the absence of mergers.

  15. An ordinary supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center: pro and contra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Alexander

    2016-07-01

    Now there are two basic observational techniques to investigate a gravitational potential at the Galactic Center, namely, a) monitoring the orbits of bright stars near the Galactic Center to reconstruct a gravitational potential; b) measuring a size and a shape of shadows around black hole giving an alternative possibility to evaluate black hole parameters in mm-band with VLBI-technique. At the moment one can use a small relativistic correction approach for stellar orbit analysis (however, in the future the approximation will not be not precise enough due to enormous progress of observational facilities) while now for smallest structure analysis in VLBI observations one really needs a strong gravitational field approximation. We discuss results of observations, their conventional interpretations, tensions between observations and models and possible hints for a new physics from the observational data and tensions between observations and interpretations. We will discuss an opportunity to use a Schwarzschild metric for data interpretation or we have to use more exotic models such as Yukawa potential, Reissner -- Nordstrom or Schwarzschild -- de-Sitter metrics for better fits.

  16. Is there an ordinary supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, A. F.

    Now there are two basic observational techniques to investigate a gravitational potential at the Galactic Center, namely, a) monitoring the orbits of bright stars near the Galactic Center to reconstruct a gravitational potential; b) measuring a size and a shape of shadows around black hole giving an alternative possibility to evaluate black hole parameters in mm-band with VLBI-technique. At the moment one can use a small relativistic correction approach for stellar orbit analysis (however, in the future the approximation will not be not precise enough due to enormous progress of observational facilities) while now for smallest structure analysis in VLBI observations one really needs a strong gravitational field approximation. We discuss results of observations, their conventional interpretations, tensions between observations and models and possible hints for a new physics from the observational data and tensions between observations and interpretations. We will discuss an opportunity to use a Schwarzschild metric for data interpretation or we have to use more exotic models such as Reissner - Nordström or Schwarzschild - de-Sitter metrics for better fits.

  17. Possible Alternatives to the Supermassive Black Hole at the Galactic Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, A. F.

    2015-12-01

    Now there are two basic observational techniques to investigate a gravitational potential at the Galactic Center, namely, (a) monitoring the orbits of bright stars near the Galactic Center to reconstruct a gravitational potential; (b) measuring the size and shape of shadows around black hole giving an alternative possibility to evaluate black hole parameters in mm-band with VLBI-technique. At the moment, one can use a small relativistic correction approach for stellar orbit analysis (however, in the future the approximation will not be precise enough due to enormous progress of observational facilities) while for smallest structure analysis in VLBI observations one really needs a strong gravitational field approximation. We discuss results of observations, their conventional interpretations, tensions between observations and models and possible hints for a new physics from the observational data and tensions between observations and interpretations. We discuss an opportunity to use a Schwarzschild metric for data interpretation or we have to use more exotic models such as Reissner-Nordstrom or Schwarzschild-de-Sitter metrics for better fits.

  18. Black hole growth in the early Universe is self-regulated and largely hidden from view.

    PubMed

    Treister, Ezequiel; Schawinski, Kevin; Volonteri, Marta; Natarajan, Priyamvada; Gawiser, Eric

    2011-06-16

    The formation of the first massive objects in the infant Universe remains impossible to observe directly and yet it sets the stage for the subsequent evolution of galaxies. Although some black holes with masses more than 10(9) times that of the Sun have been detected in luminous quasars less than one billion years after the Big Bang, these individual extreme objects have limited utility in constraining the channels of formation of the earliest black holes; this is because the initial conditions of black hole seed properties are quickly erased during the growth process. Here we report a measurement of the amount of black hole growth in galaxies at redshift z = 6-8 (0.95-0.7 billion years after the Big Bang), based on optimally stacked, archival X-ray observations. Our results imply that black holes grow in tandem with their host galaxies throughout cosmic history, starting from the earliest times. We find that most copiously accreting black holes at these epochs are buried in significant amounts of gas and dust that absorb most radiation except for the highest-energy X-rays. This suggests that black holes grew significantly more during these early bursts than was previously thought, but because of the obscuration of their ultraviolet emission they did not contribute to the re-ionization of the Universe. PMID:21677753

  19. Erratic Black Hole Regulates Itself

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-03-01

    't entirely understand, the other one gets the upper hand." GRS 1915+105 Chandra X-ray Image of GRS 1915+105 The latest Chandra results also show that the wind and the jet carry about the same amount of matter away from the black hole. This is evidence that the black hole is somehow regulating its accretion rate, which may be related to the toggling between mass expulsion via either a jet or a wind from the accretion disk. Self-regulation is a common topic when discussing supermassive black holes, but this is the first clear evidence for it in stellar-mass black holes. "It is exciting that we may be on the track of explaining two mysteries at the same time: how black hole jets can be shut down and also how black holes regulate their growth," said co-author Julia Lee, assistant professor in the Astronomy department at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "Maybe black holes can regulate themselves better than the financial markets!" Although micro-quasars and quasars differ in mass by factors of millions, they should show a similarity in behavior when their very different physical scales are taken into account. People Who Read This Also Read... Chandra Data Reveal Rapidly Whirling Black Holes Jet Power and Black Hole Assortment Revealed in New Chandra Image Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy Ghost Remains After Black Hole Eruption "If quasars and micro-quasars behave very differently, then we have a big problem to figure out why, because gravity treats them the same," said Neilsen. "So, our result is actually very reassuring, because it's one more link between these different types of black holes." The timescale for changes in behavior of a black hole should vary in proportion to the mass. For example, an hour-long timescale for changes in GRS 1915 would correspond to about 10,000 years for a supermassive black hole that weighs a billion times the mass of the Sun. "We cannot hope to explore at this level of detail in any single supermassive black hole

  20. A systematic search for close supermassive black hole binaries in the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, Matthew J.; Djorgovski, S. G.; Stern, Daniel; Drake, Andrew J.; Mahabal, Ashish A.; Donalek, Ciro; Glikman, Eilat; Larson, Steve; Christensen, Eric

    2015-10-01

    Hierarchical assembly models predict a population of supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries. These are not resolvable by direct imaging but may be detectable via periodic variability (or nanohertz frequency gravitational waves). Following our detection of a 5.2-year periodic signal in the quasar PG 1302-102, we present a novel analysis of the optical variability of 243 500 known spectroscopically confirmed quasars using data from the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey (CRTS) to look for close (<0.1 pc) SMBH systems. Looking for a strong Keplerian periodic signal with at least 1.5 cycles over a baseline of nine years, we find a sample of 111 candidate objects. This is in conservative agreement with theoretical predictions from models of binary SMBH populations. Simulated data sets, assuming stochastic variability, also produce no equivalent candidates implying a low likelihood of spurious detections. The periodicity seen is likely attributable to either jet precession, warped accretion discs or periodic accretion associated with a close SMBH binary system. We also consider how other SMBH binary candidates in the literature appear in CRTS data and show that none of these are equivalent to the identified objects. Finally, the distribution of objects found is consistent with that expected from a gravitational-wave-driven population. This implies that circumbinary gas is present at small orbital radii and is being perturbed by the black holes. None of the sources is expected to merge within at least the next century. This study opens a new unique window to study a population of close SMBH binaries that must exist according to our current understanding of galaxy and SMBH evolution.

  1. The XMM-Newton spectrum of a candidate recoiling supermassive black hole: An elusive inverted P-Cygni profile

    SciTech Connect

    Lanzuisi, G.; Civano, F.; Marchesi, S.; Hickox, R.; Comastri, A.; Cappelluti, N.; Costantini, E.; Elvis, M.; Fruscione, A.; Mainieri, V.; Jahnke, K.; Komossa, S.; Piconcelli, E.; Vignali, C.; Brusa, M.

    2013-11-20

    We present a detailed spectral analysis of new XMM-Newton data of the source CXOC J100043.1+020637, also known as CID-42, detected in the COSMOS survey at z = 0.359. Previous works suggested that CID-42 is a candidate recoiling supermassive black hole (SMBH) showing also an inverted P-Cygni profile in the X-ray spectra at ∼6 keV (rest) with an iron emission line plus a redshifted absorption line (detected at 3σ in previous XMM-Newton and Chandra observations). Detailed analysis of the absorption line suggested the presence of ionized material flowing into the black hole at high velocity. In the new long XMM-Newton observation, while the overall spectral shape remains constant, the continuum 2-10 keV flux decrease of ∼20% with respect to previous observation and the absorption line is undetected. The upper limit on the intensity of the absorption line is EW < 162 eV. Extensive Monte Carlo simulations show that the nondetection of the line is solely due to variation in the properties of the inflowing material, in agreement with the transient nature of these features, and that the intensity of the line is lower than the previously measured with a probability of 98.8%. In the scenario of CID-42 as a recoiling SMBH, the absorption line can be interpreted as being due to an inflow of gas with variable density that is located in the proximity of the SMBH and recoiling with it. New monitoring observations will be requested to further characterize this line.

  2. The AGN Corona and Supermassive Black Hole of NGC 4151 as Revealed by NuSTAR and Suzaku

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keck, Mason; Brenneman, Laura; Elvis, Martin; Fuerst, Felix; Madejski, Grzegorz Maria; Matt, Giorgio; Harrison, Fiona; Stern, Daniel; McDowell, Jonathan C.; Risaliti, Guido

    2014-06-01

    Through timing and spectral analyses of simultaneous, 150 ks Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and Suzaku X-ray observations of the Seyfert 1.5 galaxy NGC 4151, we disentangle the continuum, reflection, and absorption properties of the innermost regions of the active galactic nucleus (AGN). Utilizing NuSTAR's broadband (3-79 keV) X-ray sensitivity and Suzaku's CCD energy resolution from 0.7-10 keV, we robustly determine properties of the AGN corona and supermassive black hole (SMBH). We constrain the coronal temperature and optical depth to be kTe = 44-29+9 keV and τ=1.4-0.3+2.0, respectively, assuming a coronal slab geometry. Additionally, we determine the dimensionless spin, a≥0.99, of the SMBH in NGC 4151 for the first time through a spectral analysis. Finally, we show evidence that the coronal flux varies on time-scales as short as four hours. We discuss constraints our results put on the coronal geometry. To robustly test for the presence of relativistic reflection from the inner accretion disks of Seyfert 1 AGNs, we develop a library of time-dependent spectra and light curves from simulated eclipses of an accretion disk by clumpy, absorbing material covering a large range of disk, black hole, and absorber parameters. When applied to a high signal-to-noise observation of a Compton-thick eclipse of the accretion disk, these simulations will enable observational tests for the presence of inner accretion disk reflection in Seyfert 1 AGN emission using current X-ray observatories and standard X-ray data analysis software.

  3. Emission Signatures from Sub-parsec Binary Supermassive Black Holes. I. Diagnostic Power of Broad Emission Lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Khai; Bogdanović, Tamara

    2016-09-01

    Motivated by advances in observational searches for sub-parsec supermassive black hole binaries (SBHBs) made in the past few years, we develop a semi-analytic model to describe spectral emission-line signatures of these systems. The goal of this study is to aid the interpretation of spectroscopic searches for binaries and to help test one of the leading models of binary accretion flows in the literature: SBHB in a circumbinary disk. In this work, we present the methodology and a comparison of the preliminary model with the data. We model SBHB accretion flows as a set of three accretion disks: two mini-disks that are gravitationally bound to the individual black holes and a circumbinary disk. Given a physically motivated parameter space occupied by sub-parsec SBHBs, we calculate a synthetic database of nearly 15 million broad optical emission-line profiles and explore the dependence of the profile shapes on characteristic properties of SBHBs. We find that the modeled profiles show distinct statistical properties as a function of the semimajor axis, mass ratio, eccentricity of the binary, and the degree of alignment of the triple disk system. This suggests that the broad emission-line profiles from SBHB systems can in principle be used to infer the distribution of these parameters and as such merit further investigation. Calculated profiles are more morphologically heterogeneous than the broad emission lines in observed SBHB candidates and we discuss improved treatment of radiative transfer effects, which will allow a direct statistical comparison of the two groups.

  4. Testing the nature of the supermassive black hole candidate in SgrA* with light curves and images of hot spots

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Zilong; Kong, Lingyao; Bambi, Cosimo

    2014-06-01

    General relativity makes clear predictions about the spacetime geometry around black holes. In the near future, new facilities will have the capability to explore the metric around SgrA*, the supermassive black hole candidate at the center of our Galaxy, and to open a new window to test the Kerr black hole hypothesis. In this paper, we compute light curves and images associated with compact emission regions (hot spots) orbiting around Kerr and non-Kerr black holes. We study how the analysis of the properties of the radiation emitted by a hot spot can be used to test the Kerr nature of SgrA*. We find that the sole observation of the hot spot light curve can at most constrain a combination of the black hole spin and of possible deviations from the Kerr solution. This happens because the same orbital frequency around a Kerr black hole can be found for a non-Kerr object with a different spin parameter. Second order corrections in the light curve due to the background geometry are typically too small to be identified. While the observation of the hot spot centroid track can potentially bound possible deviations from the Kerr solution, that is out of reach for the near future for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer instrument GRAVITY. The Kerr black hole hypothesis could really be tested in the case of the discovery of a radio pulsar in a compact orbit around SgrA*. Radio observations of such a pulsar would provide precise estimates of the mass and the spin of SgrA*, and the combination of these measurements (probing the weak field) with the hot spot light curve information (probing the strong field) may constrain/find possible deviations from the Kerr solution with quite good precision.

  5. Formation of Supermassive Black Holes in Galactic Bulges: A Rotating Collapse Model Consistent with the M(sub BH-sigma) Relation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Fred C.; Graff, David S.; Mbonye, Manasse; Richstone, Douglas O.

    2003-01-01

    Motivated by the observed correlation between black hole masses M(sub BH) and the velocity dispersion sigma of host galaxies, we develop a theoretical model of black hole formation in galactic bulges (this paper generalizes an earlier ApJ Letter). The model assumes an initial state specified by a uniform rotation rate OMEGA and a density distribution of the form rho = a(sup 2)(sub eff)per2piGR(sup 2)(so that a(sub eff)is an effective transport speed). The black hole mass is determined when the centrifugal radius of the collapse flow exceeds the capture radius of the central black hole (for Schwarzschild geometry). This model reproduces the observed correlation between the estimated black hole masses and the velocity dispersions of galactic bulges, i.e., M(sub BH) approximately equal to 10(sup 8) solar mass(sigma per 200 kilometers per second)(sup 4) where sigma = the square root of 2a(sub eff). To obtain this normalization, the rotation rate OMEGA approximately equal to 2 x 10(exp -15) rad per second. The model also defines a bulge mass scale M(sub B). If we identify the scale M(sub B) with the bulge mass, the model determines the ratio mu(sub B) of black hole mass to the host mass: mu(sub B) approximately equal to 0.0024(sigma per 200 kilometer per second), again in reasonable agreement with observed values. In this scenario, supermassive black holes form quickly (in approximately 10(exp 5) yr) and are born rapidly rotating (with a per M approximately 0.9). This paper also shown how these results depend on the assumed initial conditions; the most important quantity is the initial distribution of specific angular momentum in the precollapse state.

  6. Self-regulating the early growth of black holes through global warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haiman, Zoltán; Tanaka, Takamitsu; Perna, Rosalba

    2012-09-01

    A decade after their first discovery, the origin of giant supermassive black holes (SMBHs), with masses in excess of 109 Msolar, at redshifts as early as z > 6, remains a puzzle. One possibility is that stellar-mass ``seed'' BHs, left behind by the first stars, accrete gas at close to the Eddington limit during a large fraction (>~ 50%) of the time. While maintaining such a high accretion rate may itself be difficult, here we focus on another, less commonly discussed problem in this scenario: unless BH seed formation and growth are preferentially suppressed in less massive protogalaxies, the mass density in M~106Msolar SMBHs at z ~ 6 already exceeds the locally observed SMBH mass density by several orders of magnitude. We show that the X-rays from the earliest accreting BHs themselves can cause a self-regulation, by partially ionizing and heating the intergalactic medium (IGM). This ``global warming'' suppresses the formation and growth of subsequent generations of BHs in low-mass halos, and can produce excellent agreement with recent estimates of the z = 6 SMBH mass function, without impeding the growth of the largest (M>~109Msolar) holes, which reside in the most massive galaxies that formed first. The proposed gravitational-wave observatory eLISA could detect several tens of major mergers between SMBHs at z > 6.

  7. Accreting supermassive black holes in the COSMOS field and the connection to their host galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bongiorno, A.; Merloni, A.; Brusa, M.; Magnelli, B.; Salvato, M.; Mignoli, M.; Zamorani, G.; Fiore, F.; Rosario, D.; Mainieri, V.; Hao, H.; Comastri, A.; Vignali, C.; Balestra, I.; Bardelli, S.; Berta, S.; Civano, F.; Kampczyk, P.; Le Floc'h, E.; Lusso, E.; Lutz, D.; Pozzetti, L.; Pozzi, F.; Riguccini, L.; Shankar, F.; Silverman, J.

    2012-12-01

    Using the wide multiband photometry available in the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) field, we explore the host galaxy properties of a large sample of active galactic nuclei (AGNs; ˜1700 objects) with Lbol ranging from 1043 to 1047 erg s-1, obtained by combining X-ray and optical spectroscopic selections. Based on a careful study of their spectral energy distributions, which have been parametrized using a two-component (AGN+galaxy) model fit, we have derived dust-corrected rest-frame magnitudes, colours and stellar masses of the obscured and unobscured AGN hosts up to high redshift (z≲3). Moreover, for the sample of obscured AGNs, we have also derived reliable star formation rates (SFRs). We find that AGN hosts span a large range of stellar masses and SFRs. No colour-bimodality is seen at any redshift in the AGN hosts, which are found to be mainly massive, red galaxies. Once we have accounted for the colour-mass degeneracy in well-defined mass-matched samples, we find a residual (marginal) enhancement of the incidence of AGNs in redder galaxies with lower specific SFRs. We argue that this result might emerge because of our ability to properly account for AGN light contamination and dust extinction, compared to surveys with a more limited multiwavelength coverage. However, because these colour shifts are relatively small, systematic effects could still be considered responsible for some of the observed trends. Interestingly, we find that the probability for a galaxy to host a black hole that is growing at any given 'specific accretion rate' (i.e. the ratio of X-ray luminosity to the host stellar mass) is almost independent of the host galaxy mass, while it decreases as a power law with LX/M*. By analysing the normalization of such a probability distribution, we show how the incidence of AGNs increases with redshift as rapidly as (1 + z)4, which closely resembles the overall evolution of the specific SFR of the entire galaxy population. We provide analytical

  8. Magnetohydrodynamic Accretion Around Supermassive Black Holes : Short-Length Disc for Stronger Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biswas, Ritabrata

    2016-07-01

    Thin accretion flow, i.e., geometrically thin accretion disc was first studied by Shakura and Sunyaev. Relativistic fluid flows around a black hole produce enormous energy on the cost of permanent lost of the gravitational potential due to the fall into a infinitely sloped gravitational well or to be specific, into a space time singularity. This energy is actually observed in different wavelengths and we specify the source as Active Galactic Nuclei, quasars, Gamma-ray burst sources etc. Eventually, two popular kind of accretion disc models are there. The first one is advection dominated, known as geometrically thin optically thick accretion disc. The other is geometrically thick but optically thin as it does not capture photons inside! The jets formed by accretion phenomena are still not well explained. Size of the accretion disc, power of the jets can be powered by magnetic fields generated by the ionized particles of the accretion flow. We show the exact dependency of the disc size upon the magnetic field present along with the quantity of the central gravitating mass.

  9. Orbital kinematics of edge-on bars with and without supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbott, Caleb; Valluri, Monica; Shen, Juntai; Debattista, Victor P.

    2016-01-01

    Observations of external disk galaxies with bars frequently show boxy or peanut shaped bulges, which have a distinct X-shaped structure when the system is viewed edge-on. Such features are also well documented in N-body simulations, where they arise from the buckling of the bar. The precise nature of the orbits that create this structure is still uncertain. Some studies argue that the bulge/X-shape structure is formed and supported by resonant 2:1 "banana" orbit family, while other argue that they arise from 5:3 "brezel" orbits. Here we examine a set of N-body models of a barred disk galaxy (with and without a central black hole). We generate 2-D maps of projected kinematics both for specific orbit families as well as the full simulation of the bars at different orientations. By examining the line-of-sight velocities, velocity dispersions and 3rd and 4th Gauss-Hermite polynomials we attempt to deduce the type of orbits most likely to produce the X-shaped features. We also generate mock kinematics for the Milky Way bar and predict the kinematical features associated with the X-shape that will be observed with upcoming stellar surveys.

  10. X-RAY AND RADIO VARIABILITY OF M31*, THE ANDROMEDA GALAXY NUCLEAR SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia, Michael R.; Hextall, Richard; Galache, Jose; Murray, Stephen S.; Primini, F. A.; Baganoff, Frederick K.; Melia, Fulvio; Sjouwerman, Lorant O.; Williams, Ben

    2010-02-10

    We confirm our earlier tentative detection of M31* in X-rays and measure its light curve and spectrum. Observations in 2004-2005 find M31* rather quiescent in the X-ray and radio. However, X-ray observations in 2006-2007 show M31* to be highly variable at times. A separate variable X-ray source is found near P1, the brighter of the two optical nuclei. The apparent angular Bondi radius of M31* is the largest of any black hole and large enough to be well resolved with Chandra. The diffuse emission within this Bondi radius is found to have an X-ray temperature {approx}0.3 keV and density 0.1 cm{sup -3}, indistinguishable from the hot gas in the surrounding regions of the bulge given the statistics allowed by the current observations. The X-ray source at the location of M31* is consistent with a point source and a power-law spectrum with energy slope 0.9 +- 0.2. Our identification of this X-ray source with M31* is based solely on positional coincidence.

  11. Forming supermassive black hole seeds under the influence of a nearby anisotropic multifrequency source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regan, John A.; Johansson, Peter H.; Wise, John H.

    2016-07-01

    The photodissociation of H2 by a nearby anisotropic source of radiation is seen as a critical component in creating an environment in which a direct collapse black hole may form. Employing radiative transfer we model the effect of multifrequency (0.76-60 eV) radiation on a collapsing halo at high redshift. We vary both the shape of the spectrum which emits the radiation and the distance to the emitting galaxy. We use blackbody spectra with temperatures of T = 104 K and 105 K and a realistic stellar spectrum. We find that an optimal zone exists between 1 and 4 kpc from the emitting galaxy. If the halo resides too close to the emitting galaxy the photoionizing radiation creates a large H II region which effectively disrupts the collapsing halo, too far from the source and the radiation flux drops below the level of the expected background and the H2 fraction remains too high. When the emitting galaxy is initially placed between 1 and 2 kpc from the collapsing halo, with a spectral shape consistent with a star-forming high-redshift galaxy, then a large central core forms. The mass of the central core is between 5000 and 10 000 M⊙ at a temperature of approximately 1000 K. This core is however surrounded by a reservoir of hotter gas at approximately 8000 K, which leads to mass inflow rates of the order of ˜0.1 M⊙ yr-1.

  12. Supermassive black hole tests of general relativity with eLISA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huwyler, Cédric; Porter, Edward K.; Jetzer, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Motivated by the parametrized post-Einsteinian (ppE) scheme devised by Yunes and Pretorius, which introduces corrections to the post-Newtonian coefficients of the frequency domain gravitational waveform in order to emulate alternative theories of gravity, we compute analytical time domain waveforms that, after a numerical Fourier transform, aim to represent (phase corrected only) ppE waveforms. In this formalism, alternative theories manifest themselves via corrections to the phase and frequency, as predicted by general relativity (GR), at different post-Newtonian (PN) orders. To present a generic test of alternative theories of gravity, we assume that the coupling constant of each alternative theory is manifestly positive, allowing corrections to the GR waveforms to be either positive or negative. By exploring the capabilities of massive black hole binary GR waveforms in the detection and parameter estimation of corrected time domain ppE signals, using the current eLISA configuration (as presented for the European Space Agency Cosmic Vision L3 mission), we demonstrate that for corrections arising at higher than 1PN order in phase and frequency GR waveforms are sufficient for both detecting and estimating the parameters of alternative theory signals. However, for theories introducing corrections at the 0 and 0.5PN orders, GR waveforms are not capable of covering the entire parameter space, requiring the use of non-GR waveforms for detection and parameter estimation.

  13. SUPER-CRITICAL GROWTH OF MASSIVE BLACK HOLES FROM STELLAR-MASS SEEDS

    SciTech Connect

    Madau, Piero; Haardt, Francesco; Dotti, Massimo

    2014-04-01

    We consider super-critical accretion with angular momentum onto stellar-mass black holes as a possible mechanism for growing billion-solar-mass black holes from light seeds at early times. We use the radiatively inefficient ''slim disk'' solution—advective, optically thick flows that generalize the standard geometrically thin disk model—to show how mildly super-Eddington intermittent accretion may significantly ease the problem of assembling the first massive black holes when the universe was less than 0.8 Gyr old. Because of the low radiative efficiencies of slim disks around non-rotating as well as rapidly rotating black holes, the mass e-folding timescale in this regime is nearly independent of the spin parameter. The conditions that may lead to super-critical growth in the early universe are briefly discussed.

  14. Growth of black holes and dark matter accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munyaneza, Faustin; Biermann, Peter L.

    2006-12-01

    We investigate the distribution of fermion dark matter in the Milky Way galaxy and find that dark matter could gravitationally condensate in a degenerate core of mass of 3 × 106Mdot o embedded in a dark matter halo of 3 × 1012Mdot o with a size of about 200 kpc. We then show that the galactic black hole of mass of about 3 × 106Mdot o might have grown from a stellar seed black hole by mainly accreting dark matter from the compact degenerate fermion core. This leads to a lower limit on the mass of the fermion dark matter of about (6 10) keV. It is then argued that the constrained dark matter could be a sterile neutrino.

  15. Rich Kozai–Lidov Dynamics in an Initially Thin and Eccentric Stellar Disk around a Supermassive Black Hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, Jaroslav; Šubr, Ladislav

    2016-05-01

    There is growing evidence of star formation in the vicinity of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in galactic nuclei. A viable scenario for this process assumes infall of a massive gas cloud toward the SMBH and subsequent formation of a dense accretion disk, which gives birth to the young stars. Numerical hydrodynamical models indicate that this star formation process is rather fast and precedes full circularization of the accretion flow, i.e., the new stars are born on elliptic orbits. By means of direct numerical N-body modeling, we show in this paper that the nonzero eccentricity of the stellar disks around the SMBH leads to an onset of various types of the Kozai–Lidov oscillations of a non-negligible subset of individual orbits in the disk, showing a remarkable robustness of this classical mechanism. Among others, we demonstrate that under certain circumstances, the presence of an additional spherical cluster (which is generally known to damp Kozai–Lidov oscillations) may trigger such oscillations as a result of affecting the internal flow of the angular momentum through the disk. We conclude that the Kozai–Lidov oscillations are capable of substantially modifying the initial structure of the disk (its thickness and distribution of eccentricities, in particular).

  16. Inflow Generated X-ray Corona Around Supermassive Black Holes and Unified Model for X-ray Emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lile; Cen, Renyue

    2016-01-01

    Three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations, covering the spatial domain from hundreds of Schwarzschild radii to 2 pc around the central supermassive black hole of mass 108 M⊙, with detailed radiative cooling processes, are performed. Generically found is the existence of a significant amount of shock heated, high temperature (≥108 K) coronal gas in the inner (≤104 rsch) region. It is shown that the composite bremsstrahlung emission spectrum due to coronal gas of various temperatures are in reasonable agreement with the overall ensemble spectrum of AGNs and hard X-ray background. Taking into account inverse Compton processes, in the context of the simulation-produced coronal gas, our model can readily account for the wide variety of AGN spectral shape, which can now be understood physically. The distinguishing feature of our model is that X-ray coronal gas is, for the first time, an integral part of the inflow gas and its observable characteristics are physically coupled to the concomitant inflow gas. One natural prediction of our model is the anti-correlation between accretion disk luminosity and spectral hardness: as the luminosity of SMBH accretion disk decreases, the hard X-ray luminosity increases relative to the UV/optical luminosity.

  17. Supermassive black holes (SMBH) at work: M87, a case study of the effects of SMBH outbursts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forman, William; Churazov, Eugene; Jones, Christine; Vikhlinin, Alexey

    2015-03-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) play key roles in galaxy and cluster evolution. This is most clearly seen in the ``fossil record'' that is imprinted in the gas rich atmospheres of early type galaxies, groups, and clusters by powerful SMBH outbursts. From a detailed X-ray study of M87, we present the properties of a typical SMBH outburst, its evolution, and the energy partition between shocks and the enthalpy of the gas cavities inflated by the SMBH. About 12 Myr ago, the SMBH in M87 inflated a cavity of relativistic plasma which is still centered near the galaxy nucleus. This outburst drove a shock into the surrounding gas. For M87, we show that the outburst duration is a few Myr and that about 50% of the total energy (5 × 1057 ergs) resides in the bubble inflated by the jet from the SMBH, that 25% of the outburst energy is deposited directly into the ambient atmosphere by the shock, and that 25% of the outburst energy is lost from the radiatively bright core as the weak shock moves to large radii. We conclude by describing a future X-ray mission, SMART-X, with < 1'' angular resolution that would allow us to study the evolution of SMBHs and the hot, X-ray emitting atmospheres from high redshifts to the present for M87-like systems.

  18. What X-ray polarimetry can teach us about the central supermassive black hole of the Milky Way galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marin, Frédéric; Karas, Vladimir; Muleri, Fabio; Soffitta, Paolo; Kunneriath, Devaky

    2016-07-01

    Was Sgr A*, the central supermassive black hole of our own Galaxy, a low luminosity AGN in the past? Despite numerous attempts with spectroscopic and timing analyses, the question remains opened as the origin of irradiation and fluorescence of the 6.4 keV bright giant molecular clouds surrounding Sgr A* is still debated. A possible interpretation, based on Compton scattering processes, implies that the high X-ray luminosity of the nebulae arise from reprocessing of a past outburst of Sgr A*. If true, the reflection nebulae should show strong scattering-induced polarization signatures. Detecting such imprints requires opening a new observational window: X-ray polarimetry. In this presentation, I will summarize the results from past and present polarimetric simulations of the Galactic Center in order to show how a future X-ray polarimeter equipped with imaging detectors, such as XIPE (ESA M4) or IXPE (NASA-SMEX), could prove or rejected the hypothesis of the past active phase of Sgr A*.

  19. Inflow Generated X-Ray Corona around Supermassive Black Holes and a Unified Model for X-Ray Emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lile; Cen, Renyue

    2016-02-01

    Three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations are performed, which cover the spatial domain from hundreds of Schwarzschild radii to 2 pc around the central supermassive black hole of mass {10}8{M}⊙ , with detailed radiative cooling processes. The existence of a significant amount of shock heated, high temperature (≥slant {10}8 {{K}}) coronal gas in the inner (≤slant {10}4{r}{sch}) region is generally found. It is shown that the composite bremsstrahlung emission spectrum due to coronal gas of various temperatures is in reasonable agreement with the overall ensemble spectrum of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and hard X-ray background. Taking into account inverse Compton processes, in the context of the simulation-produced coronal gas, our model can readily account for the wide variety of AGN spectral shapes, which can now be understood physically. The distinguishing feature of our model is that X-ray coronal gas is, for the first time, an integral part of the inflow gas and its observable characteristics are physically coupled to the concomitant inflow gas. One natural prediction of our model is the anti-correlation between accretion disk luminosity and spectral hardness: as the luminosity of SMBH accretion disk decreases, the hard X-ray luminosity increases relative to the UV/optical luminosity.

  20. The M {sub BH} versus M {sub G}σ{sup 2} relation and the accretion of supermassive black holes

    SciTech Connect

    Feoli, A.

    2014-03-20

    We propose a possible scenario that can explain the physical processes underlying the relation log{sub 10}(M {sub BH}) = b + mlog{sub 10}(M {sub G}σ{sup 2}/c {sup 2}) between the mass M {sub BH} of supermassive black holes, growing in the center of many galaxies, and the kinetic energy of the corresponding bulges (M {sub G} being the bulge mass and σ the velocity dispersion). In a series of papers, this scaling law proved to be very useful to describe the evolution of galaxies thanks to its close similarity to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. Studying the relation with different samples of galaxies, we have generally found a slope that can vary between two extremal theoretical possibilities, m = 3/4 and m = 1. We will try to describe a possible scenario compatible with the second one. Finally, we also examine a case of a relation that is linear, not in kinetic energy, but in momentum parameter.

  1. Spectroscopic Indication of a Centi-parsec Supermassive Black Hole Binary in the Galactic Center of NGC 5548

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yan-Rong; Wang, Jian-Min; Ho, Luis C.; Lu, Kai-Xing; Qiu, Jie; Du, Pu; Hu, Chen; Huang, Ying-Ke; Zhang, Zhi-Xiang; Wang, Kai; Bai, Jin-Ming

    2016-05-01

    As a natural consequence of cosmological hierarchical structure formation, sub-parsec supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) should be common in galaxies but thus far have eluded spectroscopic identification. Based on four decades of optical spectroscopic monitoring, we report that the nucleus of NGC 5548, a nearby Seyfert galaxy long suspected to have experienced a major merger about 1 billion yr ago, exhibits long-term variability with a period of ∼14 yr in the optical continuum and broad Hβ emission line. Remarkably, the double-peaked profile of Hβ shows systematic velocity changes with a similar period. These pieces of observations plausibly indicate that an SMBHB resides in the center of NGC 5548. The complex, secular variations in the line profiles can be explained by orbital motion of a binary with equal mass and a semimajor axis of ∼22 light-days (corresponding to ∼18 milli-parsec). At a distance of 75 Mpc, NGC 5548 is one of the nearest sub-parsec SMBHB candidates that offers an ideal laboratory for gravitational wave detection.

  2. Detection of eccentric supermassive black hole binaries with pulsar timing arrays: Signal-to-noise ratio calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huerta, E. A.; McWilliams, Sean T.; Gair, Jonathan R.; Taylor, Stephen R.

    2015-09-01

    We present a detailed analysis of the expected signal-to-noise ratios of supermassive black hole binaries on eccentric orbits observed by pulsar timing arrays. We derive several analytical relations that extend the results of Peters and Mathews [Phys. Rev. D 131, 435 (1963)] to quantify the impact of eccentricity in the detection of single resolvable binaries in the pulsar timing array band. We present ready-to-use expressions to compute the increase/loss in signal-to-noise ratio of eccentric single resolvable sources whose dominant harmonic is located in the low/high frequency sensitivity regime of pulsar timing arrays. Building upon the work of Phinney (arXiv:astro-ph/0108028) and Enoki and Nagashima [Prog. Theor. Phys. 117, 241 (2007)], we present an analytical framework that enables the construction of rapid spectra for a stochastic gravitational-wave background generated by a cosmological population of eccentric sources. We confirm previous findings which indicate that, relative to a population of quasicircular binaries, the strain of a stochastic, isotropic gravitational-wave background generated by a cosmological population of eccentric binaries will be suppressed in the frequency band of pulsar timing arrays. We quantify this effect in terms of signal-to-noise ratios in a pulsar timing array.

  3. High-velocity OH megamasers in IRAS 20100-4156: Evidence for a Supermassive Black Hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvey-Smith, L.; Allison, J. R.; Green, J. A.; Bannister, K. W.; Chippendale, A.; Edwards, P. G.; Heywood, I.; Hotan, A. W.; Lenc, E.; Marvil, J.; McConnell, D.; Phillips, C. P.; Sault, R. J.; Serra, P.; Stevens, J.; Voronkov, M.; Whiting, M.

    2016-05-01

    We report the discovery of new, high-velocity narrow-line components of the OH megamaser in IRAS 20100-4156. Results from the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP)'s Boolardy Engineering Test Array (BETA) and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) provide two independent measurements of the OH megamaser spectrum. We found evidence for OH megamaser clumps at -409 and -562 km s-1 (blue-shifted) from the systemic velocity of the galaxy, in addition to the lines previously known. The presence of such high velocities in the molecular emission from IRAS 20100-4156 could be explained by a ˜50 pc molecular ring enclosing a ˜3.8 billion solar mass black hole. We also discuss two alternatives, i.e. that the narrow-line masers are dynamically coupled to the wind driven by the active galactic nucleus or they are associated with two separate galactic nuclei. The comparison between the BETA and ATCA spectra provides another scientific verification of ASKAP's BETA. Our data, combined with previous measurements of the source enabled us to study the variability of the source over a twenty-six year period. The flux density of the brightest OH maser components has reduced by more than a factor of two between 1988 and 2015, whereas a secondary narrow-line component has more than doubled in the same time. Plans for high-resolution VLBI follow-up of this source are discussed, as are prospects for discovering new OH megamasers during the ASKAP early science program.

  4. Forming supermassive black hole seeds under the influence of a nearby anisotropic multifrequency source

    PubMed Central

    Regan, John A.; Johansson, Peter H.; Wise, John H.

    2016-01-01

    The photodissociation of H2 by a nearby anisotropic source of radiation is seen as a critical component in creating an environment in which a direct collapse black hole may form. Employing radiative transfer we model the effect of multifrequency (0.76–60 eV) radiation on a collapsing halo at high redshift. We vary both the shape of the spectrum which emits the radiation and the distance to the emitting galaxy. We use blackbody spectra with temperatures of T = 104 K and 105 K and a realistic stellar spectrum. We find that an optimal zone exists between 1 and 4 kpc from the emitting galaxy. If the halo resides too close to the emitting galaxy the photoionizing radiation creates a large H ii region which effectively disrupts the collapsing halo, too far from the source and the radiation flux drops below the level of the expected background and the H2 fraction remains too high. When the emitting galaxy is initially placed between 1 and 2 kpc from the collapsing halo, with a spectral shape consistent with a star-forming high-redshift galaxy, then a large central core forms. The mass of the central core is between 5000 and 10 000 M⊙ at a temperature of approximately 1000 K. This core is however surrounded by a reservoir of hotter gas at approximately 8000 K, which leads to mass inflow rates of the order of ∼0.1 M⊙ yr−1. PMID:27279787

  5. High-velocity OH megamasers in IRAS 20100-4156: evidence for a supermassive black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvey-Smith, L.; Allison, J. R.; Green, J. A.; Bannister, K. W.; Chippendale, A.; Edwards, P. G.; Heywood, I.; Hotan, A. W.; Lenc, E.; Marvil, J.; McConnell, D.; Phillips, C. J.; Sault, R. J.; Serra, P.; Stevens, J.; Voronkov, M.; Whiting, M.

    2016-08-01

    We report the discovery of new, high-velocity narrow-line components of the OH megamaser in IRAS 20100-4156. Results from the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP)'s Boolardy Engineering Test Array (BETA) and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) provide two independent measurements of the OH megamaser spectrum. We found evidence for OH megamaser clumps at -409 and -562 km s-1 (blue-shifted) from the systemic velocity of the galaxy, in addition to the lines previously known. The presence of such high velocities in the molecular emission from IRAS 20100-4156 could be explained by a ˜50 pc molecular ring enclosing a ˜3.8 billion solar mass black hole. We also discuss two alternatives, i.e. that the narrow-line masers are dynamically coupled to the wind driven by the active galactic nucleus or they are associated with two separate galactic nuclei. The comparison between the BETA and ATCA spectra provides another scientific verification of ASKAP's BETA. Our data, combined with previous measurements of the source enabled us to study the variability of the source over a 26 yr period. The flux density of the brightest OH maser components has reduced by more than a factor of 2 between 1988 and 2015, whereas a secondary narrow-line component has more than doubled in the same time. Plans for high-resolution very long baseline interferometry follow-up of this source are discussed, as are prospects for discovering new OH megamasers during the ASKAP early science programme.

  6. Selection bias in dynamically measured supermassive black hole samples: its consequences and the quest for the most fundamental relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shankar, Francesco; Bernardi, Mariangela; Sheth, Ravi K.; Ferrarese, Laura; Graham, Alister W.; Savorgnan, Giulia; Allevato, Viola; Marconi, Alessandro; Läsker, Ronald; Lapi, Andrea

    2016-08-01

    We compare the set of local galaxies having dynamically measured black holes with a large, unbiased sample of galaxies extracted from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We confirm earlier work showing that the majority of black hole hosts have significantly higher velocity dispersions σ than local galaxies of similar stellar mass. We use Monte Carlo simulations to illustrate the effect on black hole scaling relations if this bias arises from the requirement that the black hole sphere of influence must be resolved to measure black hole masses with spatially resolved kinematics. We find that this selection effect artificially increases the normalization of the Mbh-σ relation by a factor of at least ˜3; the bias for the Mbh-Mstar relation is even larger. Our Monte Carlo simulations and analysis of the residuals from scaling relations both indicate that σ is more fundamental than Mstar or effective radius. In particular, the Mbh-Mstar relation is mostly a consequence of the Mbh-σ and σ-Mstar relations, and is heavily biased by up to a factor of 50 at small masses. This helps resolve the discrepancy between dynamically based black hole-galaxy scaling relations versus those of active galaxies. Our simulations also disfavour broad distributions of black hole masses at fixed σ. Correcting for this bias suggests that the calibration factor used to estimate black hole masses in active galaxies should be reduced to values of fvir ˜ 1. Black hole mass densities should also be proportionally smaller, perhaps implying significantly higher radiative efficiencies/black hole spins. Reducing black hole masses also reduces the gravitational wave signal expected from black hole mergers.

  7. Selection bias in dynamically measured supermassive black hole samples: its consequences and the quest for the most fundamental relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shankar, Francesco; Bernardi, Mariangela; Sheth, Ravi K.; Ferrarese, Laura; Graham, Alister W.; Savorgnan, Giulia; Allevato, Viola; Marconi, Alessandro; Läsker, Ronald; Lapi, Andrea

    2016-08-01

    We compare the set of local galaxies having dynamically measured black holes with a large, unbiased sample of galaxies extracted from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We confirm earlier work showing that the majority of black hole hosts have significantly higher velocity dispersions sigma than local galaxies of similar stellar mass. We use Monte-Carlo simulations to illustrate the effect on black hole scaling relations if this bias arises from the requirement that the black hole sphere of influence must be resolved to measure black hole masses with spatially resolved kinematics. We find that this selection effect artificially increases the normalization of the Mbh-sigma relation by a factor of at least ~3; the bias for the Mbh-Mstar relation is even larger. Our Monte Carlo simulations and analysis of the residuals from scaling relations both indicate that sigma is more fundamental than Mstar or effective radius. In particular, the Mbh-Mstar relation is mostly a consequence of the Mbh-sigma and sigma-Mstar relations, and is heavily biased by up to a factor of 50 at small masses. This helps resolve the discrepancy between dynamically-based black hole-galaxy scaling relations versus those of active galaxies. Our simulations also disfavour broad distributions of black hole masses at fixed sigma. Correcting for this bias suggests that the calibration factor used to estimate black hole masses in active galaxies should be reduced to values of fvir~1. Black hole mass densities should also be proportionally smaller, perhaps implying significantly higher radiative efficiencies/black hole spins. Reducing black hole masses also reduces the gravitational wave signal expected from black hole mergers.

  8. SDSS J0159+0105: A Radio-Quiet Quasar with a Centi-Parsec Supermassive Black Hole Binary Candidate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Zhen-Ya; Butler, Nathaniel R.; Shen, Yue; Jiang, Linhua; Wang, Jun-Xian; Chen, Xian; Cuadra, Jorge

    2016-08-01

    We report a candidate centi-parsec supermassive black hole binary (SMBHB) in the radio-quiet quasar SDSS J0159+0105 at z = 0.217. With a modified Lomb–Scargle code (GLSdeDRW) and auto-correlation analysis, we detect two significant (at P > 99%) periodic signals at ˜741 day and ˜1500 day from the 8.1 yr Catalina V-band light curve of this quasar. The period ratio, which is close to 1:2, is typical of a black hole binary system with a mass ratio of 0.05 < q < 0.8 according to recent numerical simulations. SDSS J0159+0105 has two SDSS spectroscopic observations separated by ˜10 yr. There is a significant change in the broad Hβ profile between the two epochs, which can be explained by a single broad-line region (BLR) around the binary system illuminated by the aforementioned mini-disks, or a stream of gas flowing from the circumbinary disk to one of the SMBHs. From the single BLR assumption and the orbital period t orb ˜ 1500 day, we estimate the total virial masses of M SMBHB ˜ 1.3 × 108 M ⊙, the average distances of BLR of ˜0.04 pc (˜50 lt-day, with ±0.3 dex uncertainty), and an SMBHB separation of d = (0.01 pc){M}8,{tot}1/3 (T rest/3.3 yr)2/3 ˜ 0.013 pc (15 lt-day). Based on analytical work, the postulated circumbinary disk has an inner radius of 2d = 0.026 pc (30 lt-day). SDSS J0159+0105 also displays unusual spectral energy distribution. The unique properties of SDSS J0159+0105 are consistent with it being a centi-parsec SMBHB. This paper uses data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), Catalina Real-time Transient Survey (CRTS), SWIFT, GALEX, 2MASS, and WISE archive.

  9. SDSS J0159+0105: A Radio-Quiet Quasar with a Centi-Parsec Supermassive Black Hole Binary Candidate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Zhen-Ya; Butler, Nathaniel R.; Shen, Yue; Jiang, Linhua; Wang, Jun-Xian; Chen, Xian; Cuadra, Jorge

    2016-08-01

    We report a candidate centi-parsec supermassive black hole binary (SMBHB) in the radio-quiet quasar SDSS J0159+0105 at z = 0.217. With a modified Lomb–Scargle code (GLSdeDRW) and auto-correlation analysis, we detect two significant (at P > 99%) periodic signals at ∼741 day and ∼1500 day from the 8.1 yr Catalina V-band light curve of this quasar. The period ratio, which is close to 1:2, is typical of a black hole binary system with a mass ratio of 0.05 < q < 0.8 according to recent numerical simulations. SDSS J0159+0105 has two SDSS spectroscopic observations separated by ∼10 yr. There is a significant change in the broad Hβ profile between the two epochs, which can be explained by a single broad-line region (BLR) around the binary system illuminated by the aforementioned mini-disks, or a stream of gas flowing from the circumbinary disk to one of the SMBHs. From the single BLR assumption and the orbital period t orb ∼ 1500 day, we estimate the total virial masses of M SMBHB ∼ 1.3 × 108 M ⊙, the average distances of BLR of ∼0.04 pc (∼50 lt-day, with ±0.3 dex uncertainty), and an SMBHB separation of d = (0.01 pc){M}8,{tot}1/3 (T rest/3.3 yr)2/3 ∼ 0.013 pc (15 lt-day). Based on analytical work, the postulated circumbinary disk has an inner radius of 2d = 0.026 pc (30 lt-day). SDSS J0159+0105 also displays unusual spectral energy distribution. The unique properties of SDSS J0159+0105 are consistent with it being a centi-parsec SMBHB. This paper uses data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), Catalina Real-time Transient Survey (CRTS), SWIFT, GALEX, 2MASS, and WISE archive.

  10. The role of the supermassive black hole spin in the estimation of the EMRI event rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaro-Seoane, Pau; Sopuerta, Carlos F.; Freitag, Marc Dewi

    2013-03-01

    One of the main channels of interactions in galactic nuclei between stars and the central massive black hole (MBH) is the gradual inspiral of compact remnants into the MBH due to the emission of gravitational radiation. This process is known as an `extreme mass ratio inspiral' (EMRI). Previous works about the estimation of how many events space observatories such as LISA will be able to observe during its operational time differ in orders of magnitude, due to the complexity of the problem. Nevertheless, a common result to all investigations is that the possibility that a compact object merges with the MBH after only one intense burst of gravitational waves is much more likely than a slow adiabatic inspiral, an EMRI. The latter is referred to as a `plunge' because the compact object dives into the MBH, crosses the horizon and is lost as a probe of strong gravity for evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (eLISA). The event rates for plunges are orders of magnitude larger than slow inspirals. On the other hand, nature MBH's are most likely Kerr and the magnitude of the spin has been sized up to be high. We calculate the number of periapsis passages that a compact object set on to an extremely radial orbit goes through before being actually swallowed by the Kerr MBH and we then translate it into an event rate for a LISA-like observatory, such as the proposed European Space Agency mission eLISA/New Gravitational wave Observatory. We prove that a `plunging' compact object is conceptually indistinguishable from an adiabatic, slow inspiral; plunges spend on average up to hundred of thousands of cycles in the bandwidth of the detector for a 2 yr mission. This has an important impact on the event rate, enhancing in some cases significantly, depending on the spin of the MBH and the inclination. If the orbit of the EMRI is prograde, the effective size of the MBH becomes smaller for larger spin, whilst if retrograde, it becomes bigger. However, this situation is not

  11. Chandra Data Reveal Rapidly Whirling Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-01-01

    A new study using results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory provides one of the best pieces of evidence yet that many supermassive black holes are spinning extremely rapidly. The whirling of these giant black holes drives powerful jets that pump huge amounts of energy into their environment and affects galaxy growth. A team of scientists compared leading theories of jets produced by rotating supermassive black holes with Chandra data. A sampling of nine giant galaxies that exhibit large disturbances in their gaseous atmospheres showed that the central black holes in these galaxies must be spinning at near their maximum rates. People Who Read This Also Read... NASA’s Swift Satellite Catches First Supernova in The Act of Exploding Black Holes Have Simple Feeding Habits Jet Power and Black Hole Assortment Revealed in New Chandra Image Erratic Black Hole Regulates Itself "We think these monster black holes are spinning close to the limit set by Einstein's theory of relativity, which means that they can drag material around them at close to the speed of light," said Rodrigo Nemmen, a visiting graduate student at Penn State University, and lead author of a paper on the new results presented at American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas. The research reinforces other, less direct methods previously used which have indicated that some stellar and supermassive black holes are spinning rapidly. According to Einstein's theory, a rapidly spinning black hole makes space itself rotate. This effect, coupled with gas spiraling toward the black hole, can produce a rotating, tightly wound vertical tower of magnetic field that flings a large fraction of the inflowing gas away from the vicinity of the black hole in an energetic, high-speed jet. Computer simulations by other authors have suggested that black holes may acquire their rapid spins when galaxies merge, and through the accretion of gas from their surroundings. "Extremely fast spin might be very common for large

  12. Adiabatic Black Hole Growth in Sérsic Models of Elliptical Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jingade, Naveen; Deep Saini, Tarun; Tremaine, Scott

    2016-05-01

    We have examined the effect of slow growth of a central black hole on spherical galaxies that obey Sérsic or {R}1/m surface-brightness profiles. During such growth the actions of each stellar orbit are conserved, which allows us to compute the final distribution function (DF) if we assume that the initial DF is isotropic. We find that black hole growth leads to a central cusp or “excess light,” in which the surface brightness varies with radius as {R}-1.3 (with a weak dependence on Sérsic index m), the line-of-sight velocity dispersion varies as {R}-1/2, and the velocity anisotropy is β ≃ -0.24 to ‑0.28 depending on m. The excess stellar mass in the cusp scales approximately linearly with the black hole mass, and is typically 0.5–0.85 times the black hole mass. This process may strongly influence the structure of nuclear star clusters in spheroidal galaxies if they contain black holes.

  13. ON THE COMPLEMENTARITY OF PULSAR TIMING AND SPACE LASER INTERFEROMETRY FOR THE INDIVIDUAL DETECTION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Spallicci, Alessandro D. A. M.

    2013-02-20

    Gravitational waves coming from supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) are targeted by both the Pulsar Timing Array (PTA) and Space Laser Interferometry (SLI). The possibility of a single SMBHB being tracked first by PTA, through inspiral, and later by SLI, up to merger and ring-down, has been previously suggested. Although the bounding parameters are drawn by the current PTA or the upcoming Square Kilometer Array (SKA), and by the New Gravitational Observatory (NGO), derived from the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), this paper also addresses sequential detection beyond specific project constraints. We consider PTA-SKA, which is sensitive from 10{sup -9} to p Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -7} Hz (p = 4, 8), and SLI, which operates from s Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -5} up to 1 Hz (s = 1, 3). An SMBHB in the range of 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8}-2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 9} M {sub Sun} (the masses are normalized to a (1 + z) factor, the redshift lying between z = 0.2 and z = 1.5) moves from the PTA-SKA to the SLI band over a period ranging from two months to fifty years. By combining three supermassive black hole (SMBH)-host relations with three accretion prescriptions, nine astrophysical scenarios are formed. They are then related to three levels of pulsar timing residuals (50, 5, 1 ns), generating 27 cases. For residuals of 1 ns, sequential detection probability will never be better than 4.7 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -4} yr{sup -2} or 3.3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -6} yr{sup -2} (per year to merger and per year of survey), according to the best and worst astrophysical scenarios, respectively; put differently this means one sequential detection every 46 or 550 years for an equivalent maximum time to merger and duration of the survey. The chances of sequential detection are further reduced by increasing values of the s parameter (they vanish for s = 10) and of the SLI noise, and by decreasing values of the remnant spin. The spread in the predictions

  14. On the Complementarity of Pulsar Timing and Space Laser Interferometry for the Individual Detection of Supermassive Black Hole Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spallicci, Alessandro D. A. M.

    2013-02-01

    Gravitational waves coming from supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) are targeted by both the Pulsar Timing Array (PTA) and Space Laser Interferometry (SLI). The possibility of a single SMBHB being tracked first by PTA, through inspiral, and later by SLI, up to merger and ring-down, has been previously suggested. Although the bounding parameters are drawn by the current PTA or the upcoming Square Kilometer Array (SKA), and by the New Gravitational Observatory (NGO), derived from the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), this paper also addresses sequential detection beyond specific project constraints. We consider PTA-SKA, which is sensitive from 10-9 to p × 10-7 Hz (p = 4, 8), and SLI, which operates from s × 10-5 up to 1 Hz (s = 1, 3). An SMBHB in the range of 2 × 108-2 × 109 M ⊙ (the masses are normalized to a (1 + z) factor, the redshift lying between z = 0.2 and z = 1.5) moves from the PTA-SKA to the SLI band over a period ranging from two months to fifty years. By combining three supermassive black hole (SMBH)-host relations with three accretion prescriptions, nine astrophysical scenarios are formed. They are then related to three levels of pulsar timing residuals (50, 5, 1 ns), generating 27 cases. For residuals of 1 ns, sequential detection probability will never be better than 4.7 × 10-4 yr-2 or 3.3 × 10-6 yr-2 (per year to merger and per year of survey), according to the best and worst astrophysical scenarios, respectively; put differently this means one sequential detection every 46 or 550 years for an equivalent maximum time to merger and duration of the survey. The chances of sequential detection are further reduced by increasing values of the s parameter (they vanish for s = 10) and of the SLI noise, and by decreasing values of the remnant spin. The spread in the predictions diminishes when timing precision is improved or the SLI low-frequency cutoff is lowered. So while transit times and the SLI signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) may be

  15. The contribution of young core-collapse supernova remnants to the X-ray emission near quiescent supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rimoldi, A.; Rossi, E. M.; Costantini, E.; Portegies Zwart, S.

    2016-03-01

    Appreciable star formation, and, therefore, numerous massive stars, are frequently found near supermassive black holes (SMBHs). As a result, core-collapse supernovae in these regions should also be expected. In this paper, we consider the observational consequences of predicting the fate of supernova remnants (SNRs) in the sphere of influence of quiescent SMBHs. We present these results in the context of `autarkic' nuclei, a model that describes quiescent nuclei as steady-state and self-sufficient environments where the SMBH accretes stellar winds with no appreciable inflow of material from beyond the sphere of influence. These regions have properties such as gas density that scale with the mass of the SMBH. Using predictions of the X-ray lifetimes of SNRs originating in the sphere of influence, we make estimates of the number of core collapse SNRs present at a given time. With the knowledge of lifetimes of SNRs and their association with young stars, we predict a number of core-collapse SNRs that grows from ˜1 around Milky Way-like (4.3 × 106 M⊙) SMBHs to ˜100 around the highest mass (1010 M⊙) SMBHs. The presence of young SNRs will amplify the X-ray emission near quiescent SMBHs, and we show that the total core-collapse SNR emission has the potential to influence soft X-ray searches for very low-luminosity SMBHs. Our SNR lifetime estimates also allow us to predict star formation rates in these regions. Assuming a steady-state replenishment of massive stars, we estimate a star formation rate density of 2 × 10-4 M⊙ yr-1 pc-2 around the Milky Way SMBH, and a similar value around other SMBHs due to a weak dependence on SMBH mass. This value is consistent with currently available observations.

  16. EXTENDED SUBMILLIMETER EMISSION OF THE GALACTIC CENTER AND NEAR-INFRARED/SUBMILLIMETER VARIABILITY OF ITS SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia-Marin, M.; Eckart, A.; Witzel, G.; Bremer, M.; Kunneriath, D.; Sabha, N.; Straubmeier, C.; Weiss, A.; Zamaninasab, M.; Morris, M. R.; Schoedel, R.; Nishiyama, S.; Baganoff, F.; Karas, V.; Dovciak, M.; Duschl, W. J.; Moultaka, J.; Najarro, F.; Muzic, K.; Vogel, S. N.

    2011-09-10

    The innermost tens of parsecs of our Galaxy are characterized by the presence of molecular cloud complexes surrounding Sgr A*, the radiative counterpart of the supermassive black hole ({approx}4 x 10{sup 6} M{sub sun}) at the Galactic center. We seek to distinguish the different physical mechanisms that dominate the molecular clouds at the Galactic center, with special emphasis on the circumnuclear disk (CND). We also want to study the energy flow and model the variable emission of Sgr A*. Our study is based on NIR and submillimeter (sub-mm) observations. Using sub-mm maps, we describe the complex morphology of the molecular clouds and the circumnuclear disk, along with their masses (of order 10{sup 5}-10{sup 6} M{sub sun}), and derive also the temperature and spectral index maps of the regions under study. We conclude that the average temperature of the dust is 14 {+-} 4 K. The spectral index map shows that the 20 and 50 km s{sup -1} clouds are dominated by dust emission. Comparatively, in the CND and its surroundings the spectral indices decrease toward Sgr A* and range between about 1 and -0.6. These values are mostly explained with a combination of dust, synchrotron, and free-free emission in different ratios. The presence of non-thermal emission also accounts for the apparent low temperatures derived in these areas, indicating their unreliability. The Sgr A* light curves show significant flux density excursions in both the NIR and sub-mm domains. We have defined a classification system to account for the NIR variability of Sgr A*. Also, we have modeled on the NIR/sub-mm events. From our modeling results we can infer a sub-mm emission delay with respect to the NIR; we argue that the delay is due to the adiabatic expansion of the synchrotron source components.

  17. THE MURMUR OF THE HIDDEN MONSTER: CHANDRA'S DECADAL VIEW OF THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE IN M31

    SciTech Connect

    Li Zhiyuan; Garcia, Michael R.; Forman, William R.; Jones, Christine; Kraft, Ralph P.; Lal, Dharam V.; Murray, Stephen S.; Wang, Q. Daniel

    2011-02-10

    The Andromeda galaxy (M31) hosts a central supermassive black hole (SMBH), known as M31*, which is remarkable for its mass ({approx}10{sup 8} M{sub sun}) and extreme radiative quiescence. Over the past decade, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory has pointed to the center of M31 {approx}100 times and accumulated a total exposure of {approx}900 ks. Based on these observations, we present an X-ray study of a highly variable source that we associate with M31* based on positional coincidence. We find that M31* remained in a quiescent state from late 1999 to 2005, exhibiting an average 0.5-8 keV luminosity {approx}<10{sup 36} erg s{sup -1}, or only {approx}10{sup -10} of its Eddington luminosity. We report the discovery of an outburst that occurred on 2006 January 6 during which M31* radiated at {approx}4.3 x 10{sup 37} erg s{sup -1}. After the outburst, M31* entered a more active state that apparently lasts to the present, which is characterized by frequent flux variability around an average luminosity of {approx}4.8 x 10{sup 36} erg s{sup -1}. These flux variations are similar to the X-ray flares found in the SMBH of our Galaxy (Sgr A*), making M31* the second SMBH known to exhibit recurrent flares. Future coordinated X-ray/radio observations will provide useful constraints on the physical origin of the flaring emission and help rule out a possible stellar origin of the X-ray source.

  18. Characterizing ``Radio Mode'' AGN Outbursts: the Recent 12 Myr History of the Supermassive Black Hole in M87

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forman, William R.; Churazov, Eugene; Jones, Christine; Heinz, Sebastian; Kraft, Ralph P.; Vikhlinin, Alexey

    2016-01-01

    M87, the bright active galaxy dominating the core of the Virgo cluster, is ideal for studying the interaction of a supermassive black hole with a gas rich environment. We combine results from a deep Chandra observation with a simple shock model to derive the properties of the outburst that created the 13 kpc shock previously reported around M87. The principal constraints for the model are 1) the observed temperature and density profiles, 2) the measured Mach number (about 1.2) and radius of the 13 kpc shock, 3) the observed size of the inner cavity (~3 kpc) that serves as the piston to drive the shock, and 4) the absence of a hot, low density plasma surrounding the central cavity. Qualitatively, the absence of a hot, low density (shocked) region surrounding the inner radio lobes (the piston), requires a "slowly" expanding piston and "long" duration outburst rather than a Sedov-like outburst. Quantitatively, a roughly 5 x 1057 ergs outburst that began about 12 Myr ago and lasted about 2 Myr matches all the constraints. In the context of the model, ~20% of the energy is carried by the shock as it expands to large radii while ~80% of the outburst energy is available to heat the core gas. For an outburst repetition rate of about 12 Myrs (the outburst age), 80% of the outburst energy is sufficient to balance radiative cooling. We discuss the outburst history of M87 as chronicled in its radio and X-ray images and the implications of these outbursts for heating gas rich environments.

  19. Super-Eddington growth of the first black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pezzulli, Edwige; Valiante, Rosa; Schneider, Raffaella

    2016-05-01

    The assembly of the first super massive black holes (SMBHs) at z ≳ 6 is still a subject of intense debate. If black holes (BHs) grow at their Eddington rate, they must start from ≳104 M⊙ seeds formed by the direct collapse of gas. Here, we explore the alternative scenario where ˜100 M⊙ BH remnants of the first stars grow at super-Eddington rate via radiatively inefficient slim accretion discs. We use an improved version of the cosmological, data-constrained semi-analytic model GAMETE/QSODUST, where we follow the evolution of nuclear BHs and gas cooling, disc and bulge formation of their host galaxies. Adopting SDSS J1148+5251 (J1148) at z = 6.4 as a prototype of luminous z ≳ 6 quasars, we find that ˜80 per cent of its SMBH mass is grown by super-Eddington accretion, which can be sustained down to z ˜ 10 in dense, gas-rich environments. The average BH mass at z ˜ 20 is MBH ≳ 104 M⊙, comparable to that of direct collapse BHs. At z = 6.4 the AGN-driven mass outflow rate is consistent with the observations and the BH-to-bulge mass ratio is compatible with the local scaling relation. However, the stellar mass in the central 2.5 kpc is closer to the value inferred from CO observations. Finally, ˜20 per cent of J1148 progenitors at z = 7.1 have BH luminosities and masses comparable to ULAS J1120+0641, suggesting that this quasar may be one of the progenitors of J1148.

  20. Chandra Catches "Piranha" Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-07-01

    Supermassive black holes have been discovered to grow more rapidly in young galaxy clusters, according to new results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. These "fast-track" supermassive black holes can have a big influence on the galaxies and clusters that they live in. Using Chandra, scientists surveyed a sample of clusters and counted the fraction of galaxies with rapidly growing supermassive black holes, known as active galactic nuclei (or AGN). The data show, for the first time, that younger, more distant galaxy clusters contained far more AGN than older, nearby ones. Galaxy clusters are some of the largest structures in the Universe, consisting of many individual galaxies, a few of which contain AGN. Earlier in the history of the universe, these galaxies contained a lot more gas for star formation and black hole growth than galaxies in clusters do today. This fuel allows the young cluster black holes to grow much more rapidly than their counterparts in nearby clusters. Illustration of Active Galactic Nucleus Illustration of Active Galactic Nucleus "The black holes in these early clusters are like piranha in a very well-fed aquarium," said Jason Eastman of Ohio State University (OSU) and first author of this study. "It's not that they beat out each other for food, rather there was so much that all of the piranha were able to really thrive and grow quickly." The team used Chandra to determine the fraction of AGN in four different galaxy clusters at large distances, when the Universe was about 58% of its current age. Then they compared this value to the fraction found in more nearby clusters, those about 82% of the Universe's current age. The result was the more distant clusters contained about 20 times more AGN than the less distant sample. AGN outside clusters are also more common when the Universe is younger, but only by factors of two or three over the same age span. "It's been predicted that there would be fast-track black holes in clusters, but we never

  1. Anisotropic Expansion of the Black Hole Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tianxi

    2009-01-01

    Recently, Zhang proposed a new cosmological model called black hole universe. According to this model, the universe originated from a hot star-like black hole with several solar masses, and grew up through a supermassive black hole with billion solar masses to the present state of temperature and density with hundred billion-trillion solar masses due to continuously inhaling matter from its outside. The structure of the entire space is similarly hierarchical or layered and the evolution is iterative. In each of iteration a universe passes through birth, growth, and death. The entire life of a universe roughly divides into three periods with different rates of expansion: slowly growing child universe, fast expanding adult universe, and gradually dying aged universe. When one universe expands to die out, a new universe grows up from its inside. On the AAS 211th meeting, the black hole universe model was shown to be consistent with Mach's principle, observations, and Einstein's general relativity. This new cosmological model can explain the cosmic microwave background radiation, quasars, and element abundances with the well-developed physics. Dark energy is not required for the universe to accelerate. Inflation is not necessary because the black hole universe does not have the horizon problem. In this presentation, the author will explain why the expansion of the universe is anisotropic as shown by the observed anisotropy of the Hubble constant. He will also compare the significant differences between the black hole universe and the big bang cosmology.

  2. Radiative Transfer, Black Hole Growth, AGN Feedback in Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novak, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    We have performed 3D hydrodynamic simulations of black hole fueling and AGN feedback using a novel method for treating the radial forces on interstellar gas due to absorption of photons by dust grains. The method provides a solution to the radiative transfer equation and hence computes forces on the gas self-consistently by first solving for the radiation field taking into account radiation sources, absorption, and scattering. The algorithm gives the correct behavior in all of the relevant limits (dominated by the central point source; dominated by the distributed isotropic source; optically thin; optically thick to UV/optical; optically thick to IR) and reasonably interpolates between the limits when necessary. The simulations allow us to study gas flows and feedback processes over length scales from ~1 pc to ~100 kpc. We find that the dynamics and final state of simulations are measurably but only moderately affected by radiative forces on dust, even when assumptions about the dust-to-gas ratio are varied from zero to a value appropriate for the Milky Way. In simulations with high gas densities designed to mimic ULIRGs with a star formation rate of several hundred solar masses per year, dust makes a more substantial contribution to the dynamics and outcome of the simulation.

  3. ULTRAMASSIVE BLACK HOLE COALESCENCE

    SciTech Connect

    Khan, Fazeel Mahmood; Holley-Bockelmann, Kelly; Berczik, Peter E-mail: k.holley@vanderbilt.edu

    2015-01-10

    Although supermassive black holes (SMBHs) correlate well with their host galaxies, there is an emerging view that outliers exist. Henize 2-10, NGC 4889, and NGC 1277 are examples of SMBHs at least an order of magnitude more massive than their host galaxy suggests. The dynamical effects of such ultramassive central black holes is unclear. Here, we perform direct N-body simulations of mergers of galactic nuclei where one black hole is ultramassive to study the evolution of the remnant and the black hole dynamics in this extreme regime. We find that the merger remnant is axisymmetric near the center, while near the large SMBH influence radius, the galaxy is triaxial. The SMBH separation shrinks rapidly due to dynamical friction, and quickly forms a binary black hole; if we scale our model to the most massive estimate for the NGC 1277 black hole, for example, the timescale for the SMBH separation to shrink from nearly a kiloparsec to less than a parsec is roughly 10 Myr. By the time the SMBHs form a hard binary, gravitational wave emission dominates, and the black holes coalesce in a mere few Myr. Curiously, these extremely massive binaries appear to nearly bypass the three-body scattering evolutionary phase. Our study suggests that in this extreme case, SMBH coalescence is governed by dynamical friction followed nearly directly by gravitational wave emission, resulting in a rapid and efficient SMBH coalescence timescale. We discuss the implications for gravitational wave event rates and hypervelocity star production.

  4. Cosmological evolution of supermassive black holes in the centres of galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kapinska, Anna D.

    2012-06-01

    Radio galaxies and quasars are among the largest and most powerful single objects known and are believed to have had a significant impact on the evolving Universe and its large scale structure. Their jets inject a significant amount of energy into the surrounding medium, hence they can provide useful information in the study of the density and evolution of the intergalactic and intracluster medium. The jet activity is also believed to regulate the growth of massive galaxies via the AGN feedback. In this thesis I explore the intrinsic and extrinsic physical properties of the population of Fanaroff-Riley II (FR II) objects, i.e. their kinetic luminosities, lifetimes, and central densities of their environments. In particular, the radio and kinetic luminosity functions of these powerful radio sources are investigated using the complete, flux limited radio catalogues of 3CRR and BRL. I construct multidimensional Monte Carlo simulations using semi-analytical models of FR II source time evolution to create artificial samples of radio galaxies. Unlike previous studies, I compare radio luminosity functions found with both the observed and simulated data to explore the best-fitting fundamental source parameters. The Monte Carlo method presented here allows one to: (i) set better limits on the predicted fundamental parameters of which confidence intervals estimated over broad ranges are presented, and (ii) generate the most plausible underlying parent populations of these radio sources. Moreover, I allow the source physical properties to co-evolve with redshift, and I find that all the investigated parameters most likely undergo cosmological evolution; however these parameters are strongly degenerate, and independent constraints are necessary to draw more precise conclusions. Furthermore, since it has been suggested that low luminosity FR IIs may be distinct from their powerful equivalents, I attempt to investigate fundamental properties of a sample of low redshift, low

  5. Constraining Sub-parsec Binary Supermassive Black Holes in Quasars with Multi-epoch Spectroscopy. I. The General Quasar Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Yue; Liu, Xin; Loeb, Abraham; Tremaine, Scott

    2013-09-01

    We perform a systematic search for sub-parsec binary supermassive black holes (BHs) in normal broad-line quasars at z < 0.8, using multi-epoch Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectroscopy of the broad Hβ line. Our working model is that (1) one and only one of the two BHs in the binary is active; (2) the active BH dynamically dominates its own broad-line region (BLR) in the binary system, so that the mean velocity of the BLR reflects the mean velocity of its host BH; (3) the inactive companion BH is orbiting at a distance of a few R BLR, where R BLR ~ 0.01-0.1 pc is the BLR size. We search for the expected line-of-sight acceleration of the broad-line velocity from binary orbital motion by cross-correlating SDSS spectra from two epochs separated by up to several years in the quasar rest frame. Out of ~700 pairs of spectra for which we have good measurements of the velocity shift between two epochs (1σ error ~40 km s-1), we detect 28 systems with significant velocity shifts in broad Hβ, among which 7 are the best candidates for the hypothesized binaries, 4 are most likely due to broad-line variability in single BHs, and the rest are ambiguous. Continued spectroscopic observations of these candidates will easily strengthen or disprove these claims. We use the distribution of the observed accelerations (mostly non-detections) to place constraints on the abundance of such binary systems among the general quasar population. Excess variance in the velocity shift is inferred for observations separated by longer than 0.4 yr (quasar rest frame). Attributing all the excess to binary motion would imply that most of the quasars in this sample must be in binaries, that the inactive BH must be on average more massive than the active one, and that the binary separation is at most a few times the size of the BLR. However, if this excess variance is partly or largely due to long-term broad-line variability, the requirement of a large population of close binaries is much weakened

  6. Gas infall into atomic cooling haloes: on the formation of protogalactic discs and supermassive black holes at z > 10

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prieto, Joaquin; Jimenez, Raul; Haiman, Zoltán

    2013-12-01

    We have performed hydrodynamical simulations from cosmological initial conditions using the Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) code RAMSES to study atomic cooling haloes (ACHs) at z = 10 with masses in the range 5 × 107 M⊙ ≲ M ≲ 2 × 109 M⊙. We assume the gas has primordial composition and H2-cooling and prior star formation in the haloes have been suppressed. We present a comprehensive analysis of the gas and dark matter (DM) properties of 19 haloes at a spatial resolution of ˜10 (proper) pc, selected from simulations with a total volume of ˜2000 (comoving) Mpc3. This is the largest statistical hydro-simulation study of ACHs at z > 10 to date. We examine the morphology, angular momentum, thermodynamical state and turbulent properties of these haloes, in order to assess the prevalence of discs and massive overdensities that may lead to the formation of supermassive black holes (SMBHs). We find no correlation between either the magnitude or the direction of the angular momentum of the gas and its parent DM halo. Only three of the haloes form rotationally supported cores. Two of the most massive haloes, however, form massive, compact overdense blobs, which migrate to the outer region of the halo. These blobs have an accretion rate between ˜10-1 and 10-3 M⊙ yr-1 (at a distance of 100 pc from their centre), and are possible sites of SMBH formation. Our results suggest that the degree of rotational support and the fate of the gas in a halo is determined by its large-scale environment and merger history. In particular, the two haloes that form overdense blobs are located at knots of the cosmic web, cooled their gas early on (z > 17) and experienced many mergers. The gas in these haloes is thus lumpy and highly turbulent, with Mach numbers M≳ 5. In contrast, the haloes forming rotationally supported cores are relatively more isolated, located mid-way along filaments of the cosmic web, cooled their gas more recently and underwent fewer mergers. As a result, the

  7. THERMAL AND DYNAMICAL PROPERTIES OF GAS ACCRETING ONTO A SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE IN AN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEUS

    SciTech Connect

    Moscibrodzka, M.; Proga, D.

    2013-04-20

    We study stability of gas accretion in active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Our grid-based simulations cover a radial range from 0.1 to 200 pc, which may enable linking the galactic/cosmological simulations with small-scale black hole (BH) accretion models within a few hundreds of Schwarzschild radii. Here, as in previous studies by our group, we include gas radiative cooling as well as heating by a sub-Eddington X-ray source near the central supermassive BH of 10{sup 8} M{sub Sun }. Our theoretical estimates and simulations show that for the X-ray luminosity, L{sub X} {approx} 0.008 L{sub Edd}, the gas is thermally and convectively unstable within the computational domain. In the simulations, we observe that very tiny fluctuations in an initially smooth, spherically symmetric, accretion flow, grow first linearly and then nonlinearly. Consequently, an initially one-phase flow relatively quickly transitions into a two-phase/cold-hot accretion flow. For L{sub X} = 0.015 L{sub Edd} or higher, the cold clouds continue to accrete but in some regions of the hot phase, the gas starts to move outward. For L{sub X} < 0.015 L{sub Edd}, the cold phase contribution to the total mass accretion rate only moderately dominates over the hot phase contribution. This result might have some consequences for cosmological simulations of the so-called AGN feedback problem. Our simulations confirm the previous results of Barai et al. who used smoothed particle hydrodynamic (SPH) simulations to tackle the same problem. Here, however, because we use a grid-based code to solve equations in one dimension and two dimensions, we are able to follow the gas dynamics at much higher spacial resolution and for longer time compared with the three-dimensional SPH simulations. One of the new features revealed by our simulations is that the cold condensations in the accretion flow initially form long filaments, but at the later times, those filaments may break into smaller clouds advected outward within the

  8. THE POPULATION OF VISCOSITY- AND GRAVITATIONAL WAVE-DRIVEN SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARIES AMONG LUMINOUS ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Haiman, Zoltan; Menou, Kristen; Kocsis, Bence

    2009-08-01

    Supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) in galactic nuclei are thought to be a common by-product of major galaxy mergers. We use simple disk models for the circumbinary gas and for the binary-disk interaction to follow the orbital decay of SMBHBs with a range of total masses (M) and mass ratios (q), through physically distinct regions of the disk, until gravitational waves (GWs) take over their evolution. Prior to the GW-driven phase, the viscous decay is generically in the stalled 'secondary-dominated' regime. SMBHBs spend a non-negligible fraction of a fiducial time of 10{sup 7} yr at orbital periods between days {approx}

  9. Songlines from Direct Collapse Seed Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aykutalp, Aycin; Wise, John; Spaans, Marco; Meijerink, Rowin

    2015-01-01

    In the last decade, the growth of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) has been intricately linked to galaxy formation and evolution, and is a key ingredient in the assembly of galaxies. Observations of SMBHs with masses of 109 solar at high redshifts (z~7) poses challenges to the theory of seed black hole formation and their growth in young galaxies. Fundamental to understanding their existence within the first billion years after the Big Bang, is the identification of their formation processes, growth rate and evolution through cosmic time. We perform cosmological hydrodynamic simulations following the growth of direct collapse seed black holes (DCBH) including X-ray irradiation from the central black hole, stellar feedback both from metal-free and metal-rich stars and H2 self-shielding. These simulations demonstrate that X-ray irradiation from the central black hole regulates its growth and influence the formation of stellar population in the host halo. In particular, X-ray radiation enhances H2 formation in metal-free gas and initially induces the star formation in the halo. However, in the long term, X-ray irradiation from the accreting seed DCBH stifles the initial growth relative to the Eddington rate argument. This further complicates the explanation for the existence of SMBHs in the early universe.

  10. A precessing molecular jet signaling an obscured, growing supermassive black hole in NGC 1377?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aalto, S.; Costagliola, F.; Muller, S.; Sakamoto, K.; Gallagher, J. S.; Dasyra, K.; Wada, K.; Combes, F.; García-Burillo, S.; Kristensen, L. E.; Martín, S.; van der Werf, P.; Evans, A. S.; Kotilainen, J.

    2016-05-01

    (<1 Myr), which could imply that it is young and consistent with the notion that NGC 1377 is caught in a transient phase of its evolution. However, further studies are required to determine the age of the molecular jet, its mass and the role it is playing in the growth of the nucleus of NGC 1377. Based on observations carried out with the ALMA Interferometer. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada) and NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ.FITS files of the reduced data cubes are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/590/A73

  11. Black hole accretion disc impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pihajoki, P.

    2016-04-01

    We present an analytic model for computing the luminosity and spectral evolution of flares caused by a supermassive black hole impacting the accretion disc of another supermassive black hole. Our model includes photon diffusion, emission from optically thin regions and relativistic corrections to the observed spectrum and time-scales. We test the observability of the impact scenario with a simulated population of quasars hosting supermassive black hole binaries. The results indicate that for a moderate binary mass ratio of 0.3, and impact distances of 100 primary Schwarzschild radii, the accretion disc impacts can be expected to equal or exceed the host quasar in brightness at observed wavelength λ = 510 nm up to z = 0.6. We conclude that accretion disc impacts may function as an independent probe for supermassive black hole binaries. We release the code used for computing the model light curves to the community.

  12. SPOON-FEEDING GIANT STARS TO SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES: EPISODIC MASS TRANSFER FROM EVOLVING STARS AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE QUIESCENT ACTIVITY OF GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    MacLeod, Morgan; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Grady, Sean; Guillochon, James

    2013-11-10

    Stars may be tidally disrupted if, in a single orbit, they are scattered too close to a supermassive black hole (SMBH). Tidal disruption events are thought to power luminous but short-lived accretion episodes that can light up otherwise quiescent SMBHs in transient flares. Here we explore a more gradual process of tidal stripping where stars approach the tidal disruption radius by stellar evolution while in an eccentric orbit. After the onset of mass transfer, these stars episodically transfer mass to the SMBH every pericenter passage, giving rise to low-level flares that repeat on the orbital timescale. Giant stars, in particular, will exhibit a runaway response to mass loss and 'spoon-feed' material to the black hole for tens to hundreds of orbital periods. In contrast to full tidal disruption events, the duty cycle of this feeding mode is of order unity for black holes M{sub bh} ∼> 10{sup 7} M{sub ☉}. This mode of quasi-steady SMBH feeding is competitive with indirect SMBH feeding through stellar winds, and spoon-fed giant stars may play a role in determining the quiescent luminosity of local SMBHs.

  13. "Survivor" Black Holes May Be Mid-Sized

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-04-01

    New evidence from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton strengthens the case that two mid-sized black holes exist close to the center of a nearby starburst galaxy. These "survivor" black holes avoided falling into the center of the galaxy and could be examples of the seeds required for the growth of supermassive black holes in galaxies, including the one in the Milky Way. For several decades, scientists have had strong evidence for two distinct classes of black hole: the stellar-mass variety with masses about ten times that of the Sun, and the supermassive ones, located at the center of galaxies, that range from hundreds of thousands to billions of solar masses. But a mystery has remained: what about black holes that are in between? Evidence for these objects has remained controversial, and until now there were no strong claims of more than one such black hole in a single galaxy. Recently, a team of researchers has found signatures in X-ray data of two mid-sized black holes in the starburst galaxy M82 located 12 million light years from Earth. "This is the first time that good evidence for two mid-sized black holes has been found in one galaxy," said Hua Feng of the Tsinghua University in China, who led two papers describing the results. "Their location near the center of the galaxy might provide clues about the origin of the Universe's largest black holes - supermassive black holes found in the centers of most galaxies." One possible mechanism for the formation of supermassive black holes involves a chain reaction of collisions of stars in compact star clusters that results in the buildup of extremely massive stars, which then collapse to form intermediate-mass black holes. The star clusters then sink to the center of the galaxy, where the intermediate-mass black holes merge to form a supermassive black hole. In this picture, clusters that were not massive enough or close enough to the center of the galaxy to fall in would survive, as would any

  14. Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luminet, Jean-Pierre

    1992-09-01

    Foreword to the French edition; Foreword to the English edition; Acknowledgements; Part I. Gravitation and Light: 1. First fruits; 2. Relativity; 3. Curved space-time; Part II. Exquisite Corpses: 4. Chronicle of the twilight years; 5. Ashes and diamonds; 6. Supernovae; 7. Pulsars; 8. Gravitation triumphant; Part III. Light Assassinated: 9. The far horizon; 10. Illuminations; 11. A descent into the maelstrom; 12. Map games; 13. The black hole machine; 14. The quantum black hole; Part IV. Light Regained: 15. Primordial black holes; 16. The zoo of X-ray stars; 17. Giant black holes; 18. Gravitational light; 19. The black hole Universe; Appendices; Bibliography; Name index; Subject index.

  15. A New Cosmological Model: Black Hole Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tianxi

    2007-12-01

    An alternative cosmological model called by Black Hole Universe is newly developed. According to this model, the universe originated from a hot star-like black hole with several solar masses, and gradually grew up through a supermassive black hole with million to billion solar masses to the present state with trillion-trillion solar masses due to continuously inhaling matter from its outside - the mother universe. The structure and evolution of the black hole universe are spatially hierarchical and temporally iterative. In each of iterations, the matter reconfigures and the universe is renewed rather than a simple repeat. A universe passes through birth, growth, and death. The entire life of a universe roughly divides into three periods with different rates of expansion. In the early period, the universe was a child, which did not eat much and thus grew slowly. In the middle period, the universe is an adult, which expands quickly with a speed up to the speed of light. And in the final period, the universe will become elder and slow down the expansion till a complete stop when the outside matter is all swallowed. The black hole universe model is consistent with the Mach principle, the observations of the universe, and the Einstein general theory of relativity and can be understood with the well-developed physics. This new model does not need a dark energy for acceleration and has a great impact on the traditional big bang cosmology. In this presentation, we will show the origin, evolution, and expansion of the black hole universe, explain the cosmic microwave background radiation, describe the energy mechanism of quasars, illustrate the black hole nucleosynthesis of elements, analyze the mechanisms of redshifts, and compare the black hole universe model with the big bang cosmology.

  16. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BLACK HOLE GROWTH AND STAR FORMATION IN SEYFERT GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Diamond-Stanic, Aleksandar M.; Rieke, George H.

    2012-02-20

    We present estimates of black hole accretion rates (BHARs) and nuclear, extended, and total star formation rates for a complete sample of Seyfert galaxies. Using data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, we measure the active galactic nucleus (AGN) luminosity using the [O IV] {lambda}25.89 {mu}m emission line and the star-forming luminosity using the 11.3 {mu}m aromatic feature and extended 24 {mu}m continuum emission. We find that black hole growth is strongly correlated with nuclear (r < 1 kpc) star formation, but only weakly correlated with extended (r > 1 kpc) star formation in the host galaxy. In particular, the nuclear star formation rate (SFR) traced by the 11.3 {mu}m aromatic feature follows a relationship with the BHAR of the form SFR{proportional_to} M-dot{sub BH}{sup 0.8}, with an observed scatter of 0.5 dex. This SFR-BHAR relationship persists when additional star formation in physically matched r = 1 kpc apertures is included, taking the form SFR{proportional_to} M-dot{sub BH}{sup 0.6}. However, the relationship becomes almost indiscernible when total SFRs are considered. This suggests a physical connection between the gas on sub-kiloparsec and sub-parsec scales in local Seyfert galaxies that is not related to external processes in the host galaxy. It also suggests that the observed scaling between star formation and black hole growth for samples of AGNs will depend on whether the star formation is dominated by a nuclear or an extended component. We estimate the integrated black hole and bulge growth that occurs in these galaxies and find that an AGN duty cycle of 5%-10% would maintain the ratio between black hole and bulge masses seen in the local universe.

  17. Can emission line profiles from perturbed accretion disks mimic those from the broad line region of a black hole in a supermassive binary?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Stephanie Meghan; Eracleous, Michael; Runnoe, Jessie C.; Bogdanovic, Tamara; Sigurdsson, Steinn; Boroson, Todd A.; Halpern, Jules P.

    2016-01-01

    Both observations and simulations from the last decade suggest a link between the evolution of galaxies and their central supermassive black holes. An important ingredient in these evolutionary models is galactic interaction and mergers. Consequently, we expect to see dual active galactic nuclei at the early stages of an interaction and close, bound binary black holes after the parent galaxies have merged. While binary active galactic nuclei have been detected at large separations, it has proven difficult to detect close, bound binaries. Our team has been carrying out an observing campaign to find binary black holes with sub-parsec separations. Thus, we have been studying a sample of 88 quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey whose broad Hβ lines are offset from their nominal wavelength by a few thousand km/s. These offsets suggest orbital motion of one of the black holes and the gas that is bound to it. In this work, we play devil's advocate by exploring an alternative interpretation of the broad emission lines. We ask whether lines formed in a perturbed, non-axisymmetric disks can have profiles similar to those observed. Two categories of non-axisymmetric disks are explored - one with a prominent spiral arm and one that is elliptical. To make the model as general as possible, the radial emissivity of the disk was allowed to have a broken power-law profile. For certain combinations of model parameters, these models can match the observed profile shapes. A subset of these model parameters can mimic the sinusoidal procession of the peak velocity we would expect to see in a binary system on an observable time scale. However, the predominate, observed statistical trend between the Pearson Skewness and the peak position is not reproduced; instead, other trends are predicted by the models that we do not observe.

  18. Constraining the initial conditions and final outcomes of accretion processes around young stars and supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Jordan M.

    In this thesis I discuss probes of small spatial scales around young stars and protostars and around the supermassive black hole at the galactic center. I begin by describing adaptive optics-fed infrared spectroscopic studies of nascent and newborn binary systems. Binary star formation is a significant mode of star formation that could be responsible for the production of a majority of the galactic stellar population. Better characterization of the binary formation mechanism is important for better understanding many facets of astronomy, from proper estimates of the content of unresolved populations, to stellar evolution and feedback, to planet formation. My work revealed episodic accretion onto the more massive component of the pre-main sequence binary system UY Aur. I also showed changes in the accretion onto the less massive component, revealing contradictory indications of the change in accretion rate when considering disk-based and shock-based tracers. I suggested two scenarios to explain the inconsistency. First, increased accretion should alter the disk structure, puffing it up. This change could obscure the accretion shock onto the central star if the disk is highly inclined. Second, if accretion through the disk is impeded before it makes it all the way onto the central star, then increased disk tracers of accretion would not be accompanied by increased shock tracers. In this case mass must be piling up at some radius in the disk, possibly supplying the material for planet formation or a future burst of accretion. My next project focused on characterizing the atmospheres of very low-mass companions to nearby young stars. Whether these objects form in an extension of the binary-star formation mechanism to very low masses or they form via a different process is an open question. Different accretion histories should result in different atmospheric composition, which can be constrained with spectroscopy. I showed that 3--4mum spectra of a sample of these

  19. An Accretion Model for the Growth of Black Hole in Quasars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lu, Ye; Cheng, K. S.; Zhang, S. N.

    2003-01-01

    A possible accretion model associated with the ionization instability of quasar disks is proposed to address the growth of the central black hole harbored in the host galaxy. The evolution of quasars in cosmic time is assumed to change from a highly active state to a quiescent state triggered by the S-shaped ionization instability of the quasar accretion disk. For a given external mass transfer rate ionization instability can modify accretion rate in the disk and separates the accretion flows of the disk into three different phases like a S-shape. We suggest that the bright quasars observed today are those quasars with disks in the upper branch of S-shaped instability and the dormant quasars are the system in the lower branch. The disk is assumed to evolve as ADIOS configuration in the lower branch. The mass ratio between black hole and its host galactic bulge is a nature consequence of ADIOS. Our model also demonstrates that a seed black hole 2 x 10(exp 6) solar masses similar to those found in spiral galaxies today is needed to produce a black hole with a final mass 2 x 10(exp 8) solar masses.

  20. Gravitational waves from individual supermassive black hole binaries in circular orbits: limits from the North American nanohertz observatory for gravitational waves

    SciTech Connect

    Arzoumanian, Z.; Brazier, A.; Chatterjee, S.; Cordes, J. M.; Dolch, T.; Lam, M. T.; Burke-Spolaor, S.; Chamberlin, S. J.; Ellis, J. A.; Demorest, P. B.; Deng, X.; Koop, M.; Ferdman, R. D.; Kaspi, V. M.; Garver-Daniels, N.; Lorimer, D. R.; Jenet, F.; Jones, G.; Lazio, T. J. W.; Lommen, A. N.; Collaboration: NANOGrav Collaboration; and others

    2014-10-20

    We perform a search for continuous gravitational waves from individual supermassive black hole binaries using robust frequentist and Bayesian techniques. We augment standard pulsar timing models with the addition of time-variable dispersion measure and frequency variable pulse shape terms. We apply our techniques to the Five Year Data Release from the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves. We find that there is no evidence for the presence of a detectable continuous gravitational wave; however, we can use these data to place the most constraining upper limits to date on the strength of such gravitational waves. Using the full 17 pulsar data set we place a 95% upper limit on the strain amplitude of h {sub 0} ≲ 3.0 × 10{sup –14} at a frequency of 10 nHz. Furthermore, we place 95% sky-averaged lower limits on the luminosity distance to such gravitational wave sources, finding that d{sub L} ≳ 425 Mpc for sources at a frequency of 10 nHz and chirp mass 10{sup 10} M {sub ☉}. We find that for gravitational wave sources near our best timed pulsars in the sky, the sensitivity of the pulsar timing array is increased by a factor of ∼four over the sky-averaged sensitivity. Finally we place limits on the coalescence rate of the most massive supermassive black hole binaries.

  1. Black Hole Growth and Host Galaxy Co-Evolution Over 8 Billion Years of Cosmic Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simmons, Brooke D.

    Although much progress has been made in the investigation of the co-evolution of black holes and galaxies, the nature of AGN accretion triggers and AGN-host feedback remain open questions. Using samples of hard X-ray selected, moderate-luminosity AGN and their host galaxies from 0.25 < z < 2.67 in the GOODS deep multi-wavelength survey fields, this thesis assesses the growth rates and histories of these black holes, and uses their host galaxy morphologies and colors to test the applicability of established quasar-triggering models to lower-powered AGN. The analysis includes simulations of over 50,000 AGN+host galaxy images to assess the reliability of AGN-host decomposition, as well as a new technique to separate the spectral energy distribution of an obscured AGN from its dominant host galaxy. Moderate-luminosity AGN span a range of growth rates but are typically in a phase of slow growth (with ≈ 80% of the sample growing at less than 10% of the Eddington limit) with relatively high black hole masses (≈ 75% of the sample has MBH > 5 × 107 M⊙ , implying that they must have been growing at higher rates in the past in order to grow to the masses we observe. Additionally, a significant fraction of the host galaxies of moderate-luminosity AGN are disk-dominated: at the highest redshifts of the sample more than half of the host galaxies have at least 80% of their optical light from a disk. A further one-quarter to one-third of the sample (depending on redshift) has a significant disk contribution, with a stronger, but likely not dominant, bulge. Because major mergers both form bulges and destroy disks, this result indicates that models requiring major mergers to trigger the growth of black holes do not describe the majority of AGN. The range of both black hole growth rates and host galaxy colors and morphologies in the sample imply that secular processes are important to the growth of moderate-luminosity AGN, which collectively comprise a substantial fraction of

  2. A RAPIDLY SPINNING BLACK HOLE POWERS THE EINSTEIN CROSS

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, Mark T.; Miller, Jon M.; Reis, Rubens C.; Walton, Dominic J.

    2014-09-01

    Observations over the past 20 yr have revealed a strong relationship between the properties of the supermassive black hole lying at the center of a galaxy and the host galaxy itself. The magnitude of the spin of the black hole will play a key role in determining the nature of this relationship. To date, direct estimates of black hole spin have been restricted to the local universe. Herein, we present the results of an analysis of ∼0.5 Ms of archival Chandra observations of the gravitationally lensed quasar Q 2237+305 (aka the {sup E}instein-cross{sup )}, lying at a redshift of z = 1.695. The boost in flux provided by the gravitational lens allows constraints to be placed on the spin of a black hole at such high redshift for the first time. Utilizing state of the art relativistic disk reflection models, the black hole is found to have a spin of a{sub ∗}=0.74{sub −0.03}{sup +0.06} at the 90% confidence level. Placing a lower limit on the spin, we find a {sub *} ≥ 0.65 (4σ). The high value of the spin for the ∼10{sup 9} M {sub ☉} black hole in Q 2237+305 lends further support to the coherent accretion scenario for black hole growth. This is the most distant black hole for which the spin has been directly constrained to date.

  3. HST WFC3/IR Observations of Active Galactic Nucleus Host Galaxies at z ~ 2: Supermassive Black Holes Grow in Disk Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schawinski, Kevin; Treister, Ezequiel; Urry, C. Megan; Cardamone, Carolin N.; Simmons, Brooke; Yi, Sukyoung K.

    2011-02-01

    We present the rest-frame optical morphologies of active galactic nucleus (AGN) host galaxies at 1.5 < z < 3, using near-infrared imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3, the first such study of AGN host galaxies at these redshifts. The AGNs are X-ray-selected from the Chandra Deep Field South and have typical luminosities of 1042 erg s-1black holes in this luminosity and redshift range account for a substantial fraction of the total space density and black hole mass growth over cosmic time; they thus represent an important mode of black hole growth in the universe. We find that the majority (~80%) of the host galaxies of these AGNs have low Sérsic indices indicative of disk-dominated light profiles, suggesting that secular processes govern a significant fraction of the cosmic growth of black holes. That is, many black holes in the present-day universe grew much of their mass in disk-dominated galaxies and not in early-type galaxies or major mergers. The properties of the AGN host galaxies are furthermore indistinguishable from their parent galaxy population and we find no strong evolution in either effective radii or morphological mix between z ~ 2 and z ~ 0.05. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Institute. STScI is operated by the association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under the NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  4. CONSTRAINING SUB-PARSEC BINARY SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES IN QUASARS WITH MULTI-EPOCH SPECTROSCOPY. I. THE GENERAL QUASAR POPULATION

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, Yue; Liu, Xin; Loeb, Abraham; Tremaine, Scott

    2013-09-20

    We perform a systematic search for sub-parsec binary supermassive black holes (BHs) in normal broad-line quasars at z < 0.8, using multi-epoch Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectroscopy of the broad Hβ line. Our working model is that (1) one and only one of the two BHs in the binary is active; (2) the active BH dynamically dominates its own broad-line region (BLR) in the binary system, so that the mean velocity of the BLR reflects the mean velocity of its host BH; (3) the inactive companion BH is orbiting at a distance of a few R{sub BLR}, where R{sub BLR} ∼ 0.01-0.1 pc is the BLR size. We search for the expected line-of-sight acceleration of the broad-line velocity from binary orbital motion by cross-correlating SDSS spectra from two epochs separated by up to several years in the quasar rest frame. Out of ∼700 pairs of spectra for which we have good measurements of the velocity shift between two epochs (1σ error ∼40 km s{sup –1}), we detect 28 systems with significant velocity shifts in broad Hβ, among which 7 are the best candidates for the hypothesized binaries, 4 are most likely due to broad-line variability in single BHs, and the rest are ambiguous. Continued spectroscopic observations of these candidates will easily strengthen or disprove these claims. We use the distribution of the observed accelerations (mostly non-detections) to place constraints on the abundance of such binary systems among the general quasar population. Excess variance in the velocity shift is inferred for observations separated by longer than 0.4 yr (quasar rest frame). Attributing all the excess to binary motion would imply that most of the quasars in this sample must be in binaries, that the inactive BH must be on average more massive than the active one, and that the binary separation is at most a few times the size of the BLR. However, if this excess variance is partly or largely due to long-term broad-line variability, the requirement of a large population of close

  5. The role of stellar relaxation in the formation and evolution of the first massive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yajima, Hidenobu; Khochfar, Sadegh

    2016-04-01

    We present calculations on the formation of massive black holes of 105 M⊙ at z > 6, which can be the seeds of supermassive black holes at z ≳ 6. Under the assumption of compact star cluster formation in merging galaxies, star clusters in haloes of ˜ 108-109 M⊙ can undergo rapid core collapse, leading to the formation of very massive stars (VMSs) of ˜ 1000 M⊙ that collapse directly into black holes with similar masses. Star clusters in haloes of ≳ 109 M⊙ experience Type II supernovae before the formation of VMSs, due to long core-collapse time-scales. We also model the subsequent growth of black holes via accretion of residual stars in clusters. Two-body relaxation refills the loss cones of stellar orbits efficiently at larger radii and resonant relaxation at small radii is the main driver for accretion of stars on to black holes. As a result, more than 90 percent of stars in the initial cluster are swallowed by the central black holes before z = 6. Using dark matter merger trees, we derive black hole mass functions at z = 6-20. The mass function ranges from 103-105 M⊙ at z ≲ 15. Major merging of galaxies of ≳ 4 × 108 M⊙ at z ˜ 20 leads successfully to the formation of ≳ 105 M⊙ black holes by z ≳ 10, which could be the potential seeds of supermassive black holes seen today.

  6. Accretion onto the first stellar mass black holes

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez, Marcelo A.; Wise, John H.; Abel, Tom

    2009-08-05

    The first stars, forming at redshifts z > 15 in minihalos with M {approx} 10{sup 5-6} M{sub {circle_dot}} may leave behind remnant black holes, which could conceivably have been the 'seeds' for the supermassive black holes observed at z {approx}< 7. We study remnant black hole growth through accretion, including for the first time the radiation emitted due to accretion, with adaptive mesh refinement cosmological radiation-hydrodynamical simulations. The effects of photo-ionization and heating dramatically affect the large-scale inflow, resulting in negligible mass growth. We compare cases with accretion luminosity included and neglected to show that accretion radiation drastically changes the environment within 100 pc of the black hole, increasing gas temperatures by an order of magnitude. Gas densities are reduced and further star formation in the same minihalo is prevented for the two hundred million years we followed. Without radiative feedback included most seed black holes do not gain mass as efficiently as has been hoped for in previous theories, implying that black hole remnants of Pop III stars in minihalos are not likely to be miniquasars. Most importantly, however, our calculations demonstrate that if these black holes are indeed accreting close to the Bondi-Hoyle rate with ten percent radiative efficiency they have a dramatic local effect in regulating star formation in the first galaxies. This suggests a novel mechanism for massive black hole formation - stellar-mass black holes may have suppressed fragmentation and star formation after falling into halos with virial temperatures {approx} 10{sup 4} K, facilitating intermediate mass black hole formation at their centers.

  7. A dust-parallax distance of 19 megaparsecs to the supermassive black hole in NGC 4151.

    PubMed

    Hönig, Sebastian F; Watson, Darach; Kishimoto, Makoto; Hjorth, Jens

    2014-11-27

    The active galaxy NGC 4151 has a crucial role as one of only two active galactic nuclei for which black hole mass measurements based on emission line reverberation mapping can be calibrated against other dynamical techniques. Unfortunately, effective calibration requires accurate knowledge of the distance to NGC 4151, which is not at present available. Recently reported distances range from 4 to 29 megaparsecs. Strong peculiar motions make a redshift-based distance very uncertain, and the geometry of the galaxy and its nucleus prohibit accurate measurements using other techniques. Here we report a dust-parallax distance to NGC 4151 of 19.0(+2.4)(-2.6) megaparsecs. The measurement is based on an adaptation of a geometric method that uses the emission line regions of active galaxies. Because these regions are too small to be imaged with present technology, we use instead the ratio of the physical and angular sizes of the more extended hot-dust emission as determined from time delays and infrared interferometry. This distance leads to an approximately 1.4-fold increase in the dynamical black hole mass, implying a corresponding correction to emission line reverberation masses of black holes if they are calibrated against the two objects with additional dynamical masses. PMID:25428499

  8. Probing the origin of the iron Kα line around stellar and supermassive black holes using X-ray polarimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marin, F.; Tamborra, F.

    2014-10-01

    Asymmetric, broad iron lines are a common feature in the X-ray spectra of both X-ray binaries (XRBs) and type-1 Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). It was suggested that the distortion of the Fe Kα emission results from Doppler and relativistic effects affecting the radiative transfer close to the strong gravitational well of the central compact object: a stellar mass black hole (BH) or neutron star (NS) in the case of XRBs, or a super massive black hole (SMBH) in the case of AGN. However, alternative approaches based on reprocessing and transmission of radiation through surrounding media also attempt to explain the line broadening. So far, spectroscopic and timing analyzes have not yet convinced the whole community to discriminate between the two scenarios. Here we study to which extent X-ray polarimetric measurements of black hole X-ray binaries (BHXRBs) and type-1 AGN could help to identify the possible origin of the line distortion. To do so, we report on recent simulations obtained for the two BH flavors and show that the proposed scenarios are found to behave differently in polarization degree and polarization angle. A relativistic origin for the distortion is found to be more probable in the context of BHXRBs, supporting the idea that the same mechanism should lead the way also for AGN. We show that the discriminating polarization signal could have been detectable by several X-ray polarimetry missions proposed in the past.

  9. A Radial Velocity Test for Supermassive Black Hole Binaries as an Explanation for Broad, Double-peaked Emission Lines in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jia; Eracleous, Michael; Halpern, Jules P.

    2016-01-01

    One of the proposed explanations for the broad, double-peaked Balmer emission lines observed in the spectra of some active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is that they are associated with sub-parsec supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries. Here, we test the binary broad-line region hypothesis through several decades of monitoring of the velocity structure of double-peaked Hα emission lines in 13 low-redshift, mostly radio-loud AGNs. This is a much larger set of objects compared to an earlier test by Eracleous et al. and we use much longer time series for the three objects studied in that paper. Although systematic changes in radial velocity can be traced in many of their lines, they are demonstrably not like those of a spectroscopic binary in a circular orbit. Any spectroscopic binary period must therefore be much longer than the span of the monitoring (assuming a circular orbit), which in turn would require black hole masses that exceed by 1-2 orders of magnitude the values obtained for these objects using techniques such as reverberation mapping and stellar velocity dispersion. Moreover, the response of the double-peaked Balmer line profiles to fluctuations of the ionizing continuum and the shape of the Lyα profiles are incompatible with an SMBH binary. The binary broad-line region hypothesis is therefore disfavored. Other processes evidently shape these line profiles and cause the long-term velocity variations of the double peaks.

  10. Quasi-stars: accreting black holes inside massive envelopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Begelman, Mitchell C.; Rossi, Elena M.; Armitage, Philip J.

    2008-07-01

    We study the structure and evolution of `quasi-stars', accreting black holes embedded within massive hydrostatic gaseous envelopes. These configurations may model the early growth of supermassive black hole seeds. The accretion rate on to the black hole adjusts so that the luminosity carried by the convective envelope equals the Eddington limit for the total mass, M* + MBH ~ M*. This greatly exceeds the Eddington limit for the black hole mass alone, leading to rapid growth of the black hole. We use analytic models and numerical stellar structure calculations to study the structure and evolution of quasi-stars. We show that the photospheric temperature of the envelope scales as Tph ~ M-2/5BHM7/20*, and decreases with time while the black hole mass increases. Once Tph < 104 K, the photospheric opacity drops precipitously and Tph hits a limiting value, analogous to the Hayashi track for red giants and protostars, below which no hydrostatic solution for the convective envelope exists. For metal-free (Population III) opacities, this limiting temperature is approximately 4000 K. After a quasi-star reaches this limiting temperature, it is rapidly dispersed by radiation pressure. We find that black hole seeds with masses between 103 and 104Msolar could form via this mechanism in less than a few Myr.

  11. Supermassive black holes with high accretion rates in active galactic nuclei. I. First results from a new reverberation mapping campaign

    SciTech Connect

    Du, Pu; Hu, Chen; Qiu, Jie; Li, Yan-Rong; Wang, Jian-Min; Lu, Kai-Xing; Wang, Fang; Bai, Jin-Ming; Kaspi, Shai; Netzer, Hagai; Collaboration: SEAMBH collaboration

    2014-02-10

    We report first results from a large project to measure black hole (BH) mass in high accretion rate active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Such objects may be different from other AGNs in being powered by slim accretion disks and showing saturated accretion luminosities, but both are not yet fully understood. The results are part of a large reverberation mapping (RM) campaign using the 2.4 m Shangri-La telescope at the Yunnan Observatory in China. The goals are to investigate the gas distribution near the BH and the properties of the central accretion disks, to measure BH mass and Eddington ratios, and to test the feasibility of using such objects as a new type of cosmological candles. The paper presents results for three objects, Mrk 335, Mrk 142, and IRAS F12397+3333, with Hβ time lags relative to the 5100 Å continuum of 10.6{sub −2.9}{sup +1.7}, 6.4{sub −2.2}{sup +0.8} and 11.4{sub −1.9}{sup +2.9} days, respectively. The corresponding BH masses are (8.3{sub −3.2}{sup +2.6})×10{sup 6} M{sub ⊙}, (3.4{sub −1.2}{sup +0.5})×10{sup 6} M{sub ⊙}, and (7.5{sub −4.1}{sup +4.3})×10{sup 6} M{sub ⊙}, and the lower limits on the Eddington ratios are 0.6, 2.3, and 4.6 for the minimal radiative efficiency of 0.038. Mrk 142 and IRAS F12397+333 (extinction corrected) clearly deviate from the currently known relation between Hβ lag and continuum luminosity. The three Eddington ratios are beyond the values expected in thin accretion disks and two of them are the largest measured so far among objects with RM-based BH masses. We briefly discuss implications for slim disks, BH growth, and cosmology.

  12. EVIDENCE FOR THREE ACCRETING BLACK HOLES IN A GALAXY AT z {approx} 1.35: A SNAPSHOT OF RECENTLY FORMED BLACK HOLE SEEDS?

    SciTech Connect

    Schawinski, Kevin; Urry, Meg; Treister, Ezequiel; Simmons, Brooke; Natarajan, Priyamvada; Glikman, Eilat

    2011-12-20

    One of the key open questions in cosmology today pertains to understanding when, where, and how supermassive black holes form. While it is clear that mergers likely play a significant role in the growth cycles of black holes, the issue of how supermassive black holes form, and how galaxies grow around them, still needs to be addressed. Here, we present Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3/IR grism observations of a clumpy galaxy at z = 1.35, with evidence for 10{sup 6}-10{sup 7} M{sub Sun} rapidly growing black holes in separate sub-components of the host galaxy. These black holes could have been brought into close proximity as a consequence of a rare multiple galaxy merger or they could have formed in situ. Such holes would eventually merge into a central black hole as the stellar clumps/components presumably coalesce to form a galaxy bulge. If we are witnessing the in situ formation of multiple black holes, their properties can inform seed formation models and raise the possibility that massive black holes can continue to emerge in star-forming galaxies as late as z = 1.35 (4.8 Gyr after the big bang).

  13. The Growth of Central Black Hole and the Ionization Instability of Quasar Disk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lu, Ye; Cheng, K. S.; Zhang, S. N.

    2003-01-01

    A possible accretion model associated with the ionization instability of quasar disks is proposed to address the growth of the central black hole harbored in the host galaxy. The evolution of quasars in cosmic time is assumed to change from a highly active state to a quiescent state triggered by the S-shaped ionization instability of the quasar accretion disk. For a given external mass transfer rate supplied by the quasar host galaxy, ionization instability can modify accretion rate in the disk and separates the accretion flows of the disk into three different phases, like a S-shape. We suggest that the bright quasars observed today are those quasars with disks in the upper branch of S-shaped instability, and the faint or 'dormant' quasars are simply the system in the lower branch. The middle branch is the transition state which is unstable. We assume the quasar disk evolves according to the advection-dominated inflow-outflow solutions (ADIOS) configuration in the stable lower branch of S-shaped instability, and Eddington accretion rate is used to constrain the accretion rate in each phase. The mass ratio between black hole and its host galactic bulge is a nature consequence of ADIOS. Our model also demonstrates that a seed black hole (BH) similar to those found in spiral galaxies today is needed to produce a BH with a final mass 2 x 10(exp 8) solar mases.

  14. Acceleration of black hole universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, T. X.; Frederick, C.

    2014-01-01

    Recently, Zhang slightly modified the standard big bang theory and developed a new cosmological model called black hole universe, which is consistent with Mach's principle, governed by Einstein's general theory of relativity, and able to explain all observations of the universe. Previous studies accounted for the origin, structure, evolution, expansion, and cosmic microwave background radiation of the black hole universe, which grew from a star-like black hole with several solar masses through a supermassive black hole with billions of solar masses to the present state with hundred billion-trillions of solar masses by accreting ambient matter and merging with other black holes. This paper investigates acceleration of the black hole universe and provides an alternative explanation for the redshift and luminosity distance measurements of type Ia supernovae. The results indicate that the black hole universe accelerates its expansion when it accretes the ambient matter in an increasing rate. In other words, i.e., when the second-order derivative of the mass of the black hole universe with respect to the time is positive . For a constant deceleration parameter , we can perfectly explain the type Ia supernova measurements with the reduced chi-square to be very close to unity, χ red˜1.0012. The expansion and acceleration of black hole universe are driven by external energy.

  15. Black holes and the multiverse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garriga, Jaume; Vilenkin, Alexander; Zhang, Jun

    2016-02-01

    Vacuum bubbles may nucleate and expand during the inflationary epoch in the early universe. After inflation ends, the bubbles quickly dissipate their kinetic energy; they come to rest with respect to the Hubble flow and eventually form black holes. The fate of the bubble itself depends on the resulting black hole mass. If the mass is smaller than a certain critical value, the bubble collapses to a singularity. Otherwise, the bubble interior inflates, forming a baby universe, which is connected to the exterior FRW region by a wormhole. A similar black hole formation mechanism operates for spherical domain walls nucleating during inflation. As an illustrative example, we studied the black hole mass spectrum in the domain wall scenario, assuming that domain walls interact with matter only gravitationally. Our results indicate that, depending on the model parameters, black holes produced in this scenario can have significant astrophysical effects and can even serve as dark matter or as seeds for supermassive black holes. The mechanism of black hole formation described in this paper is very generic and has important implications for the global structure of the universe. Baby universes inside super-critical black holes inflate eternally and nucleate bubbles of all vacua allowed by the underlying particle physics. The resulting multiverse has a very non-trivial spacetime structure, with a multitude of eternally inflating regions connected by wormholes. If a black hole population with the predicted mass spectrum is discovered, it could be regarded as evidence for inflation and for the existence of a multiverse.

  16. Dwarf Galaxies with Active Massive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reines, Amy E.; Greene, J. E.; Geha, M. C.

    2014-01-01

    Supermassive black holes (BHs) live at the heart of essentially all massive galaxies with bulges, power AGN, and are thought to be important agents in the evolution of their hosts. However, the birth and growth of the first supermassive BH "seeds" is far from understood. While direct observations of these distant BHs in the infant Universe are unobtainable with current capabilities, massive BHs in present-day dwarf galaxies can place valuable constraints on the masses, formation path, and hosts of supermassive BH seeds. Using optical spectroscopy from the SDSS, we have systematically assembled the largest sample of dwarf galaxies hosting active massive BHs to date. These dwarf galaxies have stellar masses comparable to the Magellanic Clouds and contain some of the least-massive supermassive BHs known.

  17. Quasistationary solutions of scalar fields around accreting black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchis-Gual, Nicolas; Degollado, Juan Carlos; Izquierdo, Paula; Font, José A.; Montero, Pedro J.

    2016-08-01

    Massive scalar fields can form long-lived configurations around black holes. These configurations, dubbed quasibound states, have been studied both in the linear and nonlinear regimes. In this paper, we show that quasibound states can form in a dynamical scenario in which the mass of the black hole grows significantly due to the capture of infalling matter. We solve the Klein-Gordon equation numerically in spherical symmetry, mimicking the evolution of the spacetime through a sequence of analytic Schwarzschild black hole solutions of increasing mass. It is found that the frequency of oscillation of the quasibound states decreases as the mass of the black hole increases. In addition, accretion leads to an increase of the exponential decay of the scalar field energy. We compare the black hole mass growth rates used in our study with estimates from observational surveys and extrapolate our results to values of the scalar field masses consistent with models that propose scalar fields as dark matter in the universe. We show that, even for unrealistically large mass accretion rates, quasibound states around accreting black holes can survive for cosmological time scales. Our results provide further support to the intriguing possibility of the existence of dark matter halos based on (ultralight) scalar fields surrounding supermassive black holes in galactic centers.

  18. Stellar-mass Black Holes in Young Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, J. Craig; Johnson, Vincent

    2011-09-01

    We explore the potential cumulative energy production of stellar-mass black holes in early galaxies. Stellar-mass black holes may accrete substantially from the higher density interstellar media (ISMs) of primordial galaxies, and their energy release would be distributed more uniformly over the galaxies, perhaps providing a different mode of energy feedback into young galaxies than central supermassive black holes. We construct a model for the production and growth of stellar-mass black holes over the first few gigayears of a young galaxy. With the simplifying assumption of a constant density of the ISM, n ~ 104-105 cm-3, we estimate the number of accreting stellar-mass black holes to be ~106 and the potential energy production to be as high as 1061 erg over several billion years. For densities less than 105 cm-3, stellar-mass black holes are unlikely to reach their Eddington limit luminosities. The framework we present could be incorporated in numerical simulations to compute the feedback from stellar-mass black holes with inhomogeneous, evolving ISMs.

  19. STELLAR-MASS BLACK HOLES IN YOUNG GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Wheeler, J. Craig; Johnson, Vincent E-mail: flint88@mail.utexas.edu

    2011-09-10

    We explore the potential cumulative energy production of stellar-mass black holes in early galaxies. Stellar-mass black holes may accrete substantially from the higher density interstellar media (ISMs) of primordial galaxies, and their energy release would be distributed more uniformly over the galaxies, perhaps providing a different mode of energy feedback into young galaxies than central supermassive black holes. We construct a model for the production and growth of stellar-mass black holes over the first few gigayears of a young galaxy. With the simplifying assumption of a constant density of the ISM, n {approx} 10{sup 4}-10{sup 5} cm{sup -3}, we estimate the number of accreting stellar-mass black holes to be {approx}10{sup 6} and the potential energy production to be as high as 10{sup 61} erg over several billion years. For densities less than 10{sup 5} cm{sup -3}, stellar-mass black holes are unlikely to reach their Eddington limit luminosities. The framework we present could be incorporated in numerical simulations to compute the feedback from stellar-mass black holes with inhomogeneous, evolving ISMs.

  20. Collisions of Molecular Clouds as a Trigger of Enhanced Accretion onto the Supermassive Black Hole in Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tscharnuter, W. M.

    2004-02-01

    On the basis of numerical calculations I will discuss to which extent direct hydrodynamical interactions of molecular clouds in the vicinity of galactic centers (within a few 100 pc) can give rise to a temporarily enhanced mass flux toward the central black hole, thus triggering or at least modulating an AGN. The models take into account (i) the mutual gravitational interaction of the clouds considered as point masses, (ii) isothermal collisions of the clouds assumed to be initially of spherical shape, (iii) tidal interactions of the clouds with the central black hole (loss of cloud material outside the cloud Hill sphere), (iv) the influence of the (linearized) tidal forces on the outcome of the hydrodynamical cloud-cloud collision process. In addition, a global bookkeeping for the most mass and the respective angular momentum gives a rough idea of the size an mass content of the accretion disk that will form out of the dispersed cloud material. If, due to the collision event, star formation is indicated (Jeans instability, appearance of collapse flow patterns), part of the cloud mass is assumed to be compactified into stars, according a given IMF.

  1. Supermassive black holes with high accretion rates in active galactic nuclei. II. The most luminous standard candles in the universe

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Jian-Min; Du, Pu; Hu, Chen; Qiu, Jie; Li, Yan-Rong; Netzer, Hagai; Kaspi, Shai; Bai, Jin-Ming; Wang, Fang; Lu, Kai-Xing; Collaboration: SEAMBH collaboration

    2014-10-01

    This is the second in a series of papers reporting on a large reverberation mapping (RM) campaign to measure black hole (BH) mass in high accretion rate active galactic nuclei (AGNs). The goal is to identify super-Eddington accreting massive black holes (SEAMBHs) and to use their unique properties to construct a new method for measuring cosmological distances. Based on theoretical models, the saturated bolometric luminosity of such sources is proportional to the BH mass, which can be used to obtain their distance. Here we report on five new RM measurements and show that in four of the cases, we can measure the BH mass and three of these sources are SEAMBHs. Together with the three sources from our earlier work, we now have six new sources of this type. We use a novel method based on a minimal radiation efficiency to identify nine additional SEAMBHs from earlier RM-based mass measurements. We use a Bayesian analysis to determine the parameters of the new distance expression and the method uncertainties from the observed properties of the objects in the sample. The ratio of the newly measured distances to the standard cosmological ones has a mean scatter of 0.14 dex, indicating that SEAMBHs can be use as cosmological distance probes. With their high luminosity, long period of activity, and large numbers at high redshifts, SEAMBHs have a potential to extend the cosmic distance ladder beyond the range now explored by Type Ia supernovae.

  2. Acceleration of Black Hole Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tianxi

    2012-05-01

    An alternative cosmological model called black hole universe has been recently proposed by the author. According to this model, the universe originated from a hot star-like black hole, and gradually grew up through a supermassive black hole to the present state by accreting ambient materials and merging with other black holes. The entire space is structured with an infinite number of layers hierarchically. The innermost three layers are the universe that we live, the outside space called mother universe, and the inside star-like and supermassive black holes called child universes. The outermost layer has an infinite radius and limits to zero for both the mass density and absolute temperature. All layers or universes are governed by the same physics, the Einstein general theory of relativity with the Robertson-Walker metric of space-time, and tend to expand outward physically. The evolution of the space structure is iterative. When one universe expands out, a new similar universe grows up from its inside. In this study. we will analyze the acceleration of black hole universe that accretes its ambient matter in an increasing rate. We will also compare the result obtained from the black hole universe model with the measurement of type Ia supernova and the result from the big bang cosmology.

  3. GALAXY ZOO: THE FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT CO-EVOLUTION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES AND THEIR EARLY- AND LATE-TYPE HOST GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Schawinski, Kevin; Urry, C. Megan; Virani, Shanil; Coppi, Paolo; Cardamone, Carolin N.; Bamford, Steven P.; Treister, Ezequiel; Lintott, Chris J.; Kaviraj, Sugata; Sarzi, Marc; Keel, William C.; Masters, Karen L.; Nichol, Robert C.; Thomas, Daniel; Ross, Nicholas P.; Andreescu, Dan; Murray, Phil; Raddick, M. Jordan; Szalay, Alex S.; Slosar, Anze

    2010-03-01

    We use data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and visual classifications of morphology from the Galaxy Zoo project to study black hole growth in the nearby universe (z < 0.05) and to break down the active galactic nucleus (AGN) host galaxy population by color, stellar mass, and morphology. We find that the black hole growth at luminosities L[O{sub III}]>10{sup 40} erg s{sup -1} in early- and late-type galaxies is fundamentally different. AGN host galaxies as a population have a broad range of stellar masses (10{sup 10}-10{sup 11} M{sub sun}), reside in the green valley of the color-mass diagram and their central black holes have median masses around 10{sup 6.5} M{sub sun}. However, by comparing early- and late-type AGN host galaxies to their non-active counterparts, we find several key differences: in early-type galaxies, it is preferentially the galaxies with the least massive black holes that are growing, while in late-type galaxies, it is preferentially the most massive black holes that are growing. The duty cycle of AGNs in early-type galaxies is strongly peaked in the green valley below the low-mass end (10{sup 10} M{sub sun}) of the red sequence at stellar masses where there is a steady supply of blue cloud progenitors. The duty cycle of AGNs in late-type galaxies on the other hand peaks in massive (10{sup 11} M{sub sun}) green and red late-types which generally do not have a corresponding blue cloud population of similar mass. At high-Eddington ratios (L/L{sub Edd}>0.1), the only population with a substantial fraction of AGNs are the low-mass green valley early-type galaxies. Finally, the Milky Way likely resides in the 'sweet spot' on the color-mass diagram where the AGN duty cycle of late-type galaxies is highest. We discuss the implications of these results for our understanding of the role of AGNs in the evolution of galaxies.

  4. "Survivor" Black Holes May Be Mid-Sized

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-04-01

    New evidence from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton strengthens the case that two mid-sized black holes exist close to the center of a nearby starburst galaxy. These "survivor" black holes avoided falling into the center of the galaxy and could be examples of the seeds required for the growth of supermassive black holes in galaxies, including the one in the Milky Way. For several decades, scientists have had strong evidence for two distinct classes of black hole: the stellar-mass variety with masses about ten times that of the Sun, and the supermassive ones, located at the center of galaxies, that range from hundreds of thousands to billions of solar masses. But a mystery has remained: what about black holes that are in between? Evidence for these objects has remained controversial, and until now there were no strong claims of more than one such black hole in a single galaxy. Recently, a team of researchers has found signatures in X-ray data of two mid-sized black holes in the starburst galaxy M82 located 12 million light years from Earth. "This is the first time that good evidence for two mid-sized black holes has been found in one galaxy," said Hua Feng of the Tsinghua University in China, who led two papers describing the results. "Their location near the center of the galaxy might provide clues about the origin of the Universe's largest black holes - supermassive black holes found in the centers of most galaxies." One possible mechanism for the formation of supermassive black holes involves a chain reaction of collisions of stars in compact star clusters that results in the buildup of extremely massive stars, which then collapse to form intermediate-mass black holes. The star clusters then sink to the center of the galaxy, where the intermediate-mass black holes merge to form a supermassive black hole. In this picture, clusters that were not massive enough or close enough to the center of the galaxy to fall in would survive, as would any

  5. THE DYNAMICS, APPEARANCE, AND DEMOGRAPHICS OF RELATIVISTIC JETS TRIGGERED BY TIDAL DISRUPTION OF STARS IN QUIESCENT SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    De Colle, Fabio; Guillochon, James; Naiman, Jill; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico E-mail: jfg@ucolick.org E-mail: enrico@ucolick.org

    2012-12-01

    We examine the consequences of a model in which relativistic jets can be triggered in quiescent massive black holes when a geometrically thick and hot accretion disk forms as a result of the tidal disruption of a star. To estimate the power, thrust, and lifetime of the jet, we use the mass accretion history onto the black hole as calculated by detailed hydrodynamic simulations of the tidal disruption of stars. We go on to determine the states of the interstellar medium in various types of quiescent galactic nuclei, and describe how this external matter can affect jets propagating through it. We use this information, together with a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model of the structure of the relativistic flow, to study the dynamics of the jet, the propagation of which is regulated by the density stratification of the environment and by its injection history. The breaking of symmetry involved in transitioning from one to two dimensions is crucial and leads to qualitatively new phenomena. At early times, as the jet power increases, the high pressure of the cocoon collimates the jet, increasing its shock velocity as compared to that of spherical models. We show that small velocity gradients, induced near or at the source, steepen into internal shocks and provide a source of free energy for particle acceleration and radiation along the jet's channel. The jets terminate at a working surface where they interact strongly with the surrounding medium through a combination of shock waves and instabilities; a continuous flow of relativistic fluid emanating from the nucleus supplies this region with mass, momentum, and energy. Information about the t {sup -5/3} decrease in power supply propagates within the jet at the internal sound speed. As a result, the internal energy at the jet head continues to accumulate until long after the peak feeding rate is reached. An appreciable time delay is thus expected between peaks in the short-wavelength radiation emanating near the jet

  6. The Dynamics, Appearance, and Demographics of Relativistic Jets Triggered by Tidal Disruption of Stars in Quiescent Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Colle, Fabio; Guillochon, James; Naiman, Jill; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico

    2012-12-01

    We examine the consequences of a model in which relativistic jets can be triggered in quiescent massive black holes when a geometrically thick and hot accretion disk forms as a result of the tidal disruption of a star. To estimate the power, thrust, and lifetime of the jet, we use the mass accretion history onto the black hole as calculated by detailed hydrodynamic simulations of the tidal disruption of stars. We go on to determine the states of the interstellar medium in various types of quiescent galactic nuclei, and describe how this external matter can affect jets propagating through it. We use this information, together with a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model of the structure of the relativistic flow, to study the dynamics of the jet, the propagation of which is regulated by the density stratification of the environment and by its injection history. The breaking of symmetry involved in transitioning from one to two dimensions is crucial and leads to qualitatively new phenomena. At early times, as the jet power increases, the high pressure of the cocoon collimates the jet, increasing its shock velocity as compared to that of spherical models. We show that small velocity gradients, induced near or at the source, steepen into internal shocks and provide a source of free energy for particle acceleration and radiation along the jet's channel. The jets terminate at a working surface where they interact strongly with the surrounding medium through a combination of shock waves and instabilities; a continuous flow of relativistic fluid emanating from the nucleus supplies this region with mass, momentum, and energy. Information about the t -5/3 decrease in power supply propagates within the jet at the internal sound speed. As a result, the internal energy at the jet head continues to accumulate until long after the peak feeding rate is reached. An appreciable time delay is thus expected between peaks in the short-wavelength radiation emanating near the jet's origin

  7. 3-cm Fine Structure Masers: A Unique Signature of Supermassive Black Hole Formation via Direct Collapse in the Early Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dijkstra, Mark; Sethi, Shiv; Loeb, Abraham

    2016-03-01

    The direct collapse black hole (DCBH) scenario describes the isothermal collapse of a pristine gas cloud directly into a massive, {M}{BH} = 104-106{M}⊙ black hole. In this paper we show that large H i column densities of primordial gas at T˜ {10}4 K with low molecular abundance—which represent key aspects of the DCBH scenario—provide optimal conditions for the pumping of the 2p-level of atomic hydrogen by trapped Lyα photons. This Lyα pumping mechanism gives rise to an inverted level population of the 2{s}1/2-2{p}3/2 transition, and therefore also gives rise to stimulated fine structure emission at λ =3.04 {cm} (rest-frame). We show that simplified models of the DCBH scenario amplify the CMB by up to a factor of ˜ {10}5, above which the maser saturates. Hyperfine splitting of the 3 cm transition gives rise to a characteristic broad (FWHM ˜ tens of MHz in the observers frame) asymmetric line profile. This signal subtends an angular scale of ˜1-10 mas, which translates to a flux of ˜0.3-3 μJy, which is detectable with ultra-deep surveys being planned with SKA1-MID. While challenging, as the signal is visible for a fraction of the collapse time of the cloud, the matching required physical conditions imply that a detection of the redshifted 3-cm emission line could provide direct evidence for the DCBH scenario.

  8. Tidal disruption jets of supermassive black holes as hidden sources of cosmic rays: Explaining the IceCube TeV-PeV neutrinos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiang-Yu; Liu, Ruo-Yu

    2016-04-01

    Cosmic ray interactions that produce high-energy neutrinos also inevitably generate high-energy gamma rays, which finally contribute to the diffuse high-energy gamma-ray background after they escape the sources. It was recently found that the high flux of neutrinos at ˜30 TeV detected by IceCube lead to a cumulative gamma-ray flux exceeding the Fermi isotropic gamma-ray background at 10-100 GeV, implying that the neutrinos are produced by hidden sources of cosmic rays, where GeV-TeV gamma rays are not transparent. Here we suggest that relativistic jets in tidal disruption events (TDEs) of supermassive black holes are such hidden sources. We consider the jet propagation in an extended, optically thick envelope around the black hole, which results from the ejected material during the disruption. While powerful jets can break free from the envelope, less powerful jets would be choked inside the envelope. The jets accelerate cosmic rays through internal shocks or reverse shocks and further produce neutrinos via interaction with the surrounding dense photons. All three TDE jets discovered so far are not detected by Fermi/LAT, suggesting that GeV-TeV gamma rays are absorbed in these jets. The cumulative neutrino flux from TDE jets can account for the neutrino flux observed by IceCube at PeV energies and may also account for the higher flux at ˜30 TeV if less powerful, choked jets are present in the majority of TDEs.

  9. The Black Hole Universe Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tianxi

    2014-06-01

    The black hole universe model is a multiverse model of cosmology recently developed by the speaker. According to this new model, our universe is a fully grown extremely supermassive black hole, which originated from a hot star-like black hole with several solar masses, and gradually grew up from a supermassive black hole with million to billion solar masses to the present state with trillion-trillion solar masses by accreting ambient matter or merging with other black holes. The entire space is structured with infinite layers or universes hierarchically. The innermost three layers include the universe that we live, the inside star-like and supermassive black holes called child universes, and the outside space called mother universe. The outermost layer is infinite in mass, radius, and entropy without an edge and limits to zero for both the matter density and absolute temperature. All layers are governed by the same physics and tend to expand physically in one direction (outward or the direction of increasing entropy). The expansion of a black hole universe decreases its density and temperature but does not alter the laws of physics. The black hole universe evolves iteratively and endlessly without a beginning. When one universe expands out, a new similar one is formed from inside star-like and supermassive black holes. In each of iterations, elements are resynthesized, matter is reconfigurated, and the universe is renewed rather than a simple repeat. The black hole universe is consistent with the Mach principle, observations, and Einsteinian general relativity. It has only one postulate but is able to explain all phenomena occurred in the universe with well-developed physics. The black hole universe does not need dark energy for acceleration and an inflation epoch for flatness, and thus has a devastating impact on the big bang model. In this talk, I will present how this new cosmological model explains the various aspects of the universe, including the origin

  10. Black Hole Feeding and Feedback in the Context of Galaxy Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somerville, Rachel S.

    2010-05-01

    I describe ways in which state-of-the-art cosmological simulations are modeling the growth and evolution of supermassive black holes (feeding), and the impact of the energy that they release on galaxies and their surroundings (feedback). I then discuss how this new picture of interconnected co-evolution of galaxies and black holes provides plausible explanations for several of the mysteries that have long vexed theorists studying galaxy formation within the hierarchical cold dark matter paradigm.

  11. Two ten-billion-solar-mass black holes at the centres of giant elliptical galaxies.

    PubMed

    McConnell, Nicholas J; Ma, Chung-Pei; Gebhardt, Karl; Wright, Shelley A; Murphy, Jeremy D; Lauer, Tod R; Graham, James R; Richstone, Douglas O

    2011-12-01

    Observational work conducted over the past few decades indicates that all massive galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centres. Although the luminosities and brightness fluctuations of quasars in the early Universe suggest that some were powered by black holes with masses greater than 10 billion solar masses, the remnants of these objects have not been found in the nearby Universe. The giant elliptical galaxy Messier 87 hosts the hitherto most massive known black hole, which has a mass of 6.3 billion solar masses. Here we report that NGC 3842, the brightest galaxy in a cluster at a distance from Earth of 98 megaparsecs, has a central black hole with a mass of 9.7 billion solar masses, and that a black hole of comparable or greater mass is present in NGC 4889, the brightest galaxy in the Coma cluster (at a distance of 103 megaparsecs). These two black holes are significantly more massive than predicted by linearly extrapolating the widely used correlations between black-hole mass and the stellar velocity dispersion or bulge luminosity of the host galaxy. Although these correlations remain useful for predicting black-hole masses in less massive elliptical galaxies, our measurements suggest that different evolutionary processes influence the growth of the largest galaxies and their black holes. PMID:22158244

  12. Growth and activity of black holes in galaxy mergers with varying mass ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capelo, Pedro R.; Volonteri, Marta; Dotti, Massimo; Bellovary, Jillian M.; Mayer, Lucio; Governato, Fabio

    2015-03-01

    We study supermassive black holes (BHs) in merging galaxies, using a suite of hydrodynamical simulations with very high spatial (˜10 pc) and temporal (˜1 Myr) resolution, where we vary the initial mass ratio, the orbital configuration, and the gas fraction. (i) We address the question of when and why, during a merger, increased BH accretion occurs, quantifying gas inflows and BH accretion rates. (ii) We also quantify the relative effectiveness in inducing active galactic nuclei activity of merger-related versus secular-related causes, by studying different stages of the encounter: the stochastic (or early) stage, the (proper) merger stage, and the remnant (or late) stage. (iii) We assess which galaxy mergers preferentially enhance BH accretion, finding that the initial mass ratio is the most important factor. (iv) We study the evolution of the BH masses, finding that the BH mass contrast tends to decrease in minor mergers and to increase in major mergers. This effect hints at the existence of a preferential range of mass ratios for BHs in the final pairing stages. (v) In both merging and dynamically quiescent galaxies, the gas accreted by the BH is not necessarily the gas with low angular momentum, but the gas that loses angular momentum.

  13. X-RAY NUCLEAR ACTIVITY IN S{sup 4}G BARRED GALAXIES: NO LINK BETWEEN BAR STRENGTH AND CO-OCCURRENT SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE FUELING

    SciTech Connect

    Cisternas, Mauricio; Knapen, Johan H.; González-Martín, Omaira; Erroz-Ferrer, Santiago; Gadotti, Dimitri A.; Kim, Taehyun; Díaz-García, Simón; Laurikainen, Eija; Salo, Heikki; Comerón, Sébastien; Laine, Jarkko; Ho, Luis C.; Elmegreen, Bruce G.; Zaritsky, Dennis; Hinz, Joannah L.; Sheth, Kartik; Athanassoula, E.; Bosma, Albert; Gil de Paz, Armando; Holwerda, Benne W.; and others

    2013-10-10

    Stellar bars can lead to gas inflow toward the center of a galaxy and stimulate nuclear star formation. However, there is no compelling evidence on whether they also feed a central supermassive black hole: by measuring the fractions of barred active and inactive galaxies, previous studies have yielded conflicting results. In this paper, we aim to understand the lack of observational evidence for bar-driven active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity by studying a sample of 41 nearby (d < 35 Mpc) barred galaxies from the Spitzer Survey for Stellar Structure in Galaxies. We use Chandra observations to measure nuclear 2-10 keV X-ray luminosities and estimate Eddington ratios, together with Spitzer 3.6 μm imaging to quantify the strength of the stellar bar in two independent ways: (1) from its structure, as traced by its ellipticity and boxiness, and (2) from its gravitational torque Q{sub b} , taken as the maximum ratio of the tangential force to the mean background radial force. In this way, rather than discretizing the presence of both stellar bars and nuclear activity, we are able to account for the continuum of bar strengths and degrees of AGN activity. We find nuclear X-ray sources in 31 out of 41 galaxies with median X-ray luminosity and Eddington ratio of L{sub X} = 4.3 × 10{sup 38} erg s{sup –1} and L{sub bol}/L{sub Edd} = 6.9 × 10{sup –6}, respectively, consistent with low-luminosity AGN activity. Including upper limits for those galaxies without nuclear detections, we find no significant correlation between any of the bar strength indicators and the degree of nuclear activity, irrespective of galaxy luminosity, stellar mass, Hubble type, or bulge size. Strong bars do not favor brighter or more efficient nuclear activity, implying that at least for the low-luminosity regime, supermassive black hole fueling is not closely connected to large-scale features.

  14. An actively accreting massive black hole in the dwarf starburst galaxy Henize 2-10.

    PubMed

    Reines, Amy E; Sivakoff, Gregory R; Johnson, Kelsey E; Brogan, Crystal L

    2011-02-01

    Supermassive black holes are now thought to lie at the heart of every giant galaxy with a spheroidal component, including our own Milky Way. The birth and growth of the first 'seed' black holes in the earlier Universe, however, is observationally unconstrained and we are only beginning to piece together a scenario for their subsequent evolution. Here we report that the nearby dwarf starburst galaxy Henize 2-10 (refs 5 and 6) contains a compact radio source at the dynamical centre of the galaxy that is spatially coincident with a hard X-ray source. From these observations, we conclude that Henize 2-10 harbours an actively accreting central black hole with a mass of approximately one million solar masses. This nearby dwarf galaxy, simultaneously hosting a massive black hole and an extreme burst of star formation, is analogous in many ways to galaxies in the infant Universe during the early stages of black-hole growth and galaxy mass assembly. Our results confirm that nearby star-forming dwarf galaxies can indeed form massive black holes, and that by implication so can their primordial counterparts. Moreover, the lack of a substantial spheroidal component in Henize 2-10 indicates that supermassive black-hole growth may precede the build-up of galaxy spheroids. PMID:21217688

  15. An actively accreting massive black hole in the dwarf starburst galaxy Henize2-10

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reines, Amy E.; Sivakoff, Gregory R.; Johnson, Kelsey E.; Brogan, Crystal L.

    2011-02-01

    Supermassive black holes are now thought to lie at the heart of every giant galaxy with a spheroidal component, including our own Milky Way. The birth and growth of the first `seed' black holes in the earlier Universe, however, is observationally unconstrained and we are only beginning to piece together a scenario for their subsequent evolution. Here we report that the nearby dwarf starburst galaxy Henize2-10 (refs 5 and 6) contains a compact radio source at the dynamical centre of the galaxy that is spatially coincident with a hard X-ray source. From these observations, we conclude that Henize2-10 harbours an actively accreting central black hole with a mass of approximately one million solar masses. This nearby dwarf galaxy, simultaneously hosting a massive black hole and an extreme burst of star formation, is analogous in many ways to galaxies in the infant Universe during the early stages of black-hole growth and galaxy mass assembly. Our results confirm that nearby star-forming dwarf galaxies can indeed form massive black holes, and that by implication so can their primordial counterparts. Moreover, the lack of a substantial spheroidal component in Henize2-10 indicates that supermassive black-hole growth may precede the build-up of galaxy spheroids.

  16. MEASURING MASS ACCRETION RATE ONTO THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE IN M87 USING FARADAY ROTATION MEASURE WITH THE SUBMILLIMETER ARRAY

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, C. Y.; Asada, K.; Rao, R.; Nakamura, M.; Algaba, J. C.; Liu, H. B.; Inoue, M.; Koch, P. M.; Ho, P. T. P.; Matsushita, S.; Pu, H.-Y.; Nishioka, H.; Pradel, N.; Akiyama, K.

    2014-03-10

    We present the first constraint on the Faraday rotation measure (RM) at submillimeter wavelengths for the nucleus of M87. By fitting the polarization position angles (χ) observed with the Submillimeter Array at four independent frequencies around ∼230 GHz and interpreting the change in χ as a result of external Faraday rotation associated with accretion flow, we determine the RM of the M87 core to be between –7.5 × 10{sup 5} and 3.4 × 10{sup 5} rad m{sup –2}. Assuming a density profile of the accretion flow that follows a power-law distribution and a magnetic field that is ordered, radial, and has equipartition strength, the limit on the RM constrains the mass accretion rate M-dot to be below 9.2 × 10{sup –4} M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1} at a distance of 21 Schwarzschild radii from the central black hole. This value is at least two orders of magnitude smaller than the Bondi accretion rate, suggesting significant suppression of the accretion rate in the inner region of the accretion flow. Consequently, our result disfavors the classical advection-dominated accretion flow and prefers the adiabatic inflow-outflow solution or convection-dominated accretion flow for the hot accretion flow in M87.

  17. Binary Black Hole Mergers, Gravitational Waves, and LISA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Centrella, Joan; Baker, J.; Boggs, W.; Kelly, B.; McWilliams, S.; vanMeter, J.

    2008-01-01

    The final merger of comparable mass binary black holes is expected to be the strongest source of gravitational waves for LISA. Since these mergers take place in regions of extreme gravity, we need to solve Einstein's equations of general relativity on a computer in order to calculate these waveforms. For more than 30 years, scientists have tried to compute black hole mergers using the methods of numerical relativity. The resulting computer codes have been plagued by instabilities, causing them to crash well before the black holes in the binary could complete even a single orbit. Within the past few years, however, this situation has changed dramatically, with a series of remarkable breakthroughs. We will present the results of new simulations of black hole mergers with unequal masses and spins, focusing on the gravitational waves emitted and the accompanying astrophysical "kicks." The magnitude of these kicks has bearing on the production and growth of supermassive black holes during the epoch of structure formation, and on the retention of black holes in stellar clusters.

  18. Slender Galaxy with Robust Black Hole

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicates that a flat, spiral galaxy called NGC 3621 has a feeding, supermassive black hole lurking within it -- a surprise considering that astronomers thought this particular class of super-thin galaxies lacked big black holes.

    The data were captured by Spitzer's infrared spectrograph, an instrument that cracks infrared light open to reveal the signatures of elements. In this case, the data, or spectrum, for NGC 3621, shows the signature of highly ionized neon -- a sure sign of an active, supermassive black hole. Only a black hole that is actively consuming gas and stars has enough energy to ionize neon to this state. The other features in this plot are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and chlorine, produced in the gas surrounding stars.

    The results challenge current theories, which hold that supermassive black holes require the bulbous central bulges that poke out from many spiral galaxies to form and grow. NGC 3621 is the second disk galaxy without any bulge found to harbor a supermassive black hole; the first, found in 2003, is NGC 4395. Astronomers have also used Spitzer to find six other mega black holes in thin spirals with only minimal bulges. Together, the findings indicate that, for a galaxy, being plump in the middle is not a necessary condition for growing a rotund black hole.

  19. A Black Hole in Our Galactic Center

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruiz, Michael J.

    2008-01-01

    An introductory approach to black holes is presented along with astronomical observational data pertaining to the presence of a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Concepts of conservation of energy and Kepler's third law are employed so students can apply formulas from their physics class to determine the mass of the black hole…

  20. Black Hole Grabs Starry Snack

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Poster Version

    This artist's concept shows a supermassive black hole at the center of a remote galaxy digesting the remnants of a star. NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer had a 'ringside' seat for this feeding frenzy, using its ultraviolet eyes to study the process from beginning to end.

    The artist's concept chronicles the star being ripped apart and swallowed by the cosmic beast over time. First, the intact sun-like star (left) ventures too close to the black hole, and its own self-gravity is overwhelmed by the black hole's gravity. The star then stretches apart (middle yellow blob) and eventually breaks into stellar crumbs, some of which swirl into the black hole (cloudy ring at right). This doomed material heats up and radiates light, including ultraviolet light, before disappearing forever into the black hole. The Galaxy Evolution Explorer was able to watch this process unfold by observing changes in ultraviolet light.

    The area around the black hole appears warped because the gravity of the black hole acts like a lens, twisting and distorting light.

  1. A Large Systematic Search for Close Supermassive Binary and Rapidly Recoiling Black Holes. II. Continued Spectroscopic Monitoring and Optical Flux Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Runnoe, Jessie C.; Eracleous, Michael; Mathes, Gavin; Pennell, Alison; Boroson, Todd; Sigurðsson, Steinn; Bogdanović, Tamara; Halpern, Jules P.; Liu, Jia

    2015-11-01

    We present new spectroscopic observations that are part of our continuing monitoring campaign of 88 quasars at z < 0.7 whose broad Hβ lines are offset from their systemic redshifts by a few thousand km s-1. These quasars have been considered as candidates for hosting supermassive black hole binaries (SBHBs) by analogy with single-lined spectroscopic binary stars. We present the data and describe our improved analysis techniques, which include an extensive evaluation of uncertainties. We also present a variety of measurements from the spectra that are of general interest and will be useful in later stages of our analysis. Additionally, we take this opportunity to study the variability of the optical continuum and integrated flux of the broad Hβ line. We compare the variability properties of the SBHB candidates to those of a sample of typical quasars with similar redshifts and luminosities observed multiple times during the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We find that the variability properties of the two samples are similar (variability amplitudes of 10%-30% on timescales of approximately 1-7 years) and that their structure functions can be described by a common model with parameters characteristic of typical quasars. These results suggest that the broad-line regions of SBHB candidates have a similar extent as those of typical quasars. We discuss the implications of this result for the SBHB scenario and the ensuing constraints on the orbital parameters.

  2. EVIDENCE FROM THE VERY LONG BASELINE ARRAY THAT J1502SE/SW ARE DOUBLE HOTSPOTS, NOT A SUPERMASSIVE BINARY BLACK HOLE

    SciTech Connect

    Wrobel, J. M.; Walker, R. C.; Fu, H. E-mail: cwalker@nrao.edu

    2014-09-01

    SDSS J150243.09+111557.3 is a merging system at z = 0.39 that hosts two confirmed active galactic nuclei (AGNs), one unobscured and one dust-obscured, offset by several kiloparsecs. Deane et al. recently reported evidence from the European VLBI Network (EVN) that the dust-obscured AGN exhibits two flat-spectrum radio sources, J1502SE/SW, offset by 26 mas (140 pc), with each source being energized by its own supermassive black hole (BH). This intriguing interpretation of a close binary BH was reached after ruling out a double-hotspot scenario, wherein both hotspots are energized by a single, central BH, a configuration occurring in the well-studied compact symmetric objects. When observed with sufficient sensitivity and resolution, an object with double hotspots should have an edge-brightened structure. We report evidence from the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) for just such a structure in an image of the obscured AGN with higher sensitivity and resolution than the EVN images. We thus conclude that a double-hotspot scenario should be reconsidered as a viable interpretation for J1502SE/SW, and suggest further VLBA tests of that scenario. A double-hotspot scenario could have broad implications for feedback in obscured AGNs. We also report a VLBA detection of high-brightness-temperature emission from the unobscured AGN that is offset several kiloparsecs from J1502SE/SW.

  3. Forming Super-Massive Black Hole Seeds under the Influence of a Nearby Anisotropic Multi-Frequency Source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regan, John A.; Johansson, Peter H.; Wise, John H.

    2016-04-01

    The photo-dissociation of {H_2} by a nearby anisotropic source of radiation is seen as a critical component in creating an environment in which a direct collapse black hole may form. Employing radiative transfer we model the effect of multi-frequency (0.76 eV - 60 eV) radiation on a collapsing halo at high redshift. We vary both the shape of the spectrum which emits the radiation and the distance to the emitting galaxy. We use blackbody spectra with temperatures of {T = 10^4 K} and {T = 10^5 K} and a realistic stellar spectrum. We find that an optimal zone exists between 1 kpc and 4 kpc from the emitting galaxy. If the halo resides too close to the emitting galaxy the photo-ionising radiation creates a large HII region which effectively disrupts the collapsing halo, too far from the source and the radiation flux drops below the level of the expected background and the {H_2} fraction remains too high. When the emitting galaxy is initially placed between 1 kpc and 2 kpc from the collapsing halo, with a spectral shape consistent with a star-forming high redshift galaxy, then a large central core forms. The mass of the central core is between 5000 and 10000 M_{⊙}at a temperature of approximately 1000 K. This core is however surrounded by a reservoir of hotter gas at approximately 8000 K which leads to mass inflow rates of the order of ˜0.1 M_{⊙} yr-1.

  4. Astrophysics: How black holes restrain old galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarzi, Marc

    2016-05-01

    Supermassive black holes are thought to keep star formation under control by ejecting or stirring gas in galaxies. Observations of an old galaxy reveal a potential mechanism for how this process occurs. See Letter p.504

  5. Gamma ray bursts of black hole universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, T. X.

    2015-07-01

    Slightly modifying the standard big bang theory, Zhang recently developed a new cosmological model called black hole universe, which has only a single postulate but is consistent with Mach's principle, governed by Einstein's general theory of relativity, and able to explain existing observations of the universe. In the previous studies, we have explained the origin, structure, evolution, expansion, cosmic microwave background radiation, quasar, and acceleration of black hole universe, which grew from a star-like black hole with several solar masses through a supermassive black hole with billions of solar masses to the present state with hundred billion-trillions of solar masses by accreting ambient matter and merging with other black holes. This study investigates gamma ray bursts of black hole universe and provides an alternative explanation for the energy and spectrum measurements of gamma ray bursts according to the black hole universe model. The results indicate that gamma ray bursts can be understood as emissions of dynamic star-like black holes. A black hole, when it accretes its star or merges with another black hole, becomes dynamic. A dynamic black hole has a broken event horizon and thus cannot hold the inside hot (or high-frequency) blackbody radiation, which flows or leaks out and produces a GRB. A star when it collapses into its core black hole produces a long GRB and releases the gravitational potential energy of the star as gamma rays. A black hole that merges with another black hole produces a short GRB and releases a part of their blackbody radiation as gamma rays. The amount of energy obtained from the emissions of dynamic star-like black holes are consistent with the measurements of energy from GRBs. The GRB energy spectra derived from this new emission mechanism are also consistent with the measurements.

  6. Selection bias in dynamically-measured super-massive black holes: its consequences and the quest for the most fundamental relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shankar, Francesco; Bernardi, Mariangela; Sheth, Ravi K.; Ferrarese, Laura; Graham, Alister W.; Savorgnan, Giulia; Allevato, Viola; Marconi, Alessandro; Läsker, Ronald; Lapi, Andrea

    2016-03-01

    We compare the set of local galaxies having dynamically measured black holes with a large, unbiased sample of galaxies extracted from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We confirm earlier work showing that the majority of black hole hosts have significantly higher velocity dispersions σ than local galaxies of similar stellar mass. We use Monte-Carlo simulations to illustrate the effect on black hole scaling relations if this bias arises from the requirement that the black hole sphere of influence must be resolved to measure black hole masses with spatially resolved kinematics. We find that this selection effect artificially increases the normalization of the Mbh-σ relation by a factor of at least ˜3; the bias for the Mbh-Mstar relation is even larger. Our Monte Carlo simulations and analysis of the residuals from scaling relations both indicate that σ is more fundamental than Mstar or effective radius. In particular, the Mbh-Mstar relation is mostly a consequence of the Mbh-σ and σ-Mstar relations, and is heavily biased by up to a factor of 50 at small masses. This helps resolve the discrepancy between dynamically-based black hole-galaxy scaling relations versus those of active galaxies. Our simulations also disfavour broad distributions of black hole masses at fixed σ. Correcting for this bias suggests that the calibration factor used to estimate black hole masses in active galaxies should be reduced to values of fvir ˜ 1. Black hole mass densities should also be proportionally smaller, perhaps implying significantly higher radiative efficiencies/black hole spins. Reducing black hole masses also reduces the gravitational wave signal expected from black hole mergers.

  7. Are black holes with hair a normal state of matter?

    SciTech Connect

    Nieuwenhuizen, Th. M.

    2011-03-28

    Recent observations put forward that quasars are black holes with a magnetic dipole moment and no event horizon. To model hairy black holes a quantum field for hydrogen is considered in curved space, coupled to the scalar curvature. An exact, regular solution for the interior metric occurs for supermassive black holes. The equation of state is p = -{rho}c{sup 2}/3.

  8. Self-regulated black hole accretion, the M-σ relation and the growth of bulges in galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Begelman, Mitchell C.; Nath, Biman B.

    2005-08-01

    We argue that the velocity dispersions and masses of galactic bulges and spheroids are byproducts of the feedback that regulates rapid black hole growth in protogalaxies. We suggest that the feedback energy liberated by accretion must pass through the accreting material, in an energy-conserving flux near the black hole and a momentum-conserving flux farther away from the black hole. If the inflowing gas dominates the gravitational potential outside the Bondi radius, feedback from Eddington-limited accretion drives the density profile of the gas to that of a singular isothermal sphere. We find that the velocity dispersion associated with the isothermal potential, σ, increases with time as the black hole mass M grows, in such a way that M~σ4. The coefficient of this proportionality depends on the radius at which the flow switches from energy conserving to momentum conserving, and gives the observed M-σ relation if the transition occurs at ~100 Schwarzschild radii. We associate this transition with radiative cooling and show that bremsstrahlung, strongly boosted by inverse Compton scattering in a two-temperature (Tp>>Te) plasma, leads to a transition at the desired radius. According to this picture, bulge masses Mb are insensitive to the virial masses of their dark matter haloes, but correlate linearly with black hole mass. Our analytic model also explains the Mb-σ (Faber-Jackson) relation as a relic of black hole accretion. The model naturally explains why the M-σ relation has less scatter than either the M-Mb (Magorrian) or the Faber-Jackson relation. It suggests that the M-σ relation could extend down to very low velocity dispersions, and predicts that the relation should not evolve with redshift.

  9. Schwarzschild Black Holes can Wear Scalar Wigs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barranco, Juan; Bernal, Argelia; Degollado, Juan Carlos; Diez-Tejedor, Alberto; Megevand, Miguel; Alcubierre, Miguel; Núñez, Darío; Sarbach, Olivier

    2012-08-01

    We study the evolution of a massive scalar field surrounding a Schwarzschild black hole and find configurations that can survive for arbitrarily long times, provided the black hole or the scalar field mass is small enough. In particular, both ultralight scalar field dark matter around supermassive black holes and axionlike scalar fields around primordial black holes can survive for cosmological times. Moreover, these results are quite generic in the sense that fairly arbitrary initial data evolve, at late times, as a combination of those long-lived configurations.

  10. Schwarzschild black holes can wear scalar wigs.

    PubMed

    Barranco, Juan; Bernal, Argelia; Degollado, Juan Carlos; Diez-Tejedor, Alberto; Megevand, Miguel; Alcubierre, Miguel; Núñez, Darío; Sarbach, Olivier

    2012-08-24

    We study the evolution of a massive scalar field surrounding a Schwarzschild black hole and find configurations that can survive for arbitrarily long times, provided the black hole or the scalar field mass is small enough. In particular, both ultralight scalar field dark matter around supermassive black holes and axionlike scalar fields around primordial black holes can survive for cosmological times. Moreover, these results are quite generic in the sense that fairly arbitrary initial data evolve, at late times, as a combination of those long-lived configurations. PMID:23002734

  11. Observational Evidences of Black Hole Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tianxi

    2010-01-01

    Recently, the author has proposed an alternative cosmological model called black hole universe. According to this model, the universe originated from a hot star-like black hole with several solar masses, and gradually grew up through a supermassive black hole with billion solar masses to the present state with hundred billion-trillion solar masses by accreting ambient materials and merging with other black holes. The entire space is structured with an infinite number of layers hierarchically. The innermost three layers are the universe that we are living, the outside called mother universe, and the inside star-like and supermassive black holes called child universes. The outermost layer has an infinite radius and a zero limit for both the mass density and absolute temperature. The relationships among all layers or universes can be connected by a universe family tree. The entire space can be represented as a set of all universes. All layers or universes are governed by the same physics, the Einstein general theory of relativity with the Robertson-Walker metric of spacetime, and tend to expand outward physically. The evolution of the space structure is iterative. When one universe expands out, a new similar universe grows up from its inside. This presentation will demonstrate the observational evidences of the black hole universe in terms of the universe expansion, star-like and supermassive black holes, galactic evolutions, quasars, background radiation, and large scale structure. We will also compare the black hole universe with the big bang cosmology.

  12. Black Hole Universe Model and Dark Energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tianxi

    2011-01-01

    Considering black hole as spacetime and slightly modifying the big bang theory, the author has recently developed a new cosmological model called black hole universe, which is consistent with Mach principle and Einsteinian general relativity and self consistently explains various observations of the universe without difficulties. According to this model, the universe originated from a hot star-like black hole and gradually grew through a supermassive black hole to the present universe by accreting ambient material and merging with other black holes. The entire space is infinitely and hierarchically layered and evolves iteratively. The innermost three layers are the universe that we lives, the outside space called mother universe, and the inside star-like and supermassive black holes called child universes. The outermost layer has an infinite radius and zero limits for both the mass density and absolute temperature. All layers or universes are governed by the same physics, the Einstein general relativity with the Robertson-Walker metric of spacetime, and tend to expand outward physically. When one universe expands out, a new similar universe grows up from its inside black holes. The origin, structure, evolution, expansion, and cosmic microwave background radiation of black hole universe have been presented in the recent sequence of American Astronomical Society (AAS) meetings and published in peer-review journals. This study will show how this new model explains the acceleration of the universe and why dark energy is not required. We will also compare the black hole universe model with the big bang cosmology.

  13. Hot versus Cold: the Dichotomy in Spherical Accretion of Cooling Flows onto Supermassive Black Holes in Elliptical Galaxies, Galaxy Groups, and Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Fulai; Mathews, William G.

    2014-01-01

    Feedback heating from active galactic nuclei (AGNs) has been commonly invoked to suppress cooling flows predicted in hot gas in elliptical galaxies, galaxy groups, and clusters. Previous studies have focused on if and how AGN feedback heats the gas but have little paid attention to its triggering mechanism. Using spherically symmetric simulations, we investigate how large-scale cooling flows are accreted by central supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in eight well-observed systems and find an interesting dichotomy. In massive clusters, the gas develops a central cooling catastrophe within about the cooling time (typically ~100-300 Myr), resulting in cold-mode accretion onto SMBHs. However, in our four simulated systems on group and galaxy scales at a low metallicity Z = 0.3 Z ⊙, the gas quickly settles into a long-term state that has a cuspy central temperature profile extending to several tens to about 100 pc. At the more realistic solar metallicity, two groups (with R e ~ 4 kpc) still host the long-term, hot-mode accretion. Both accretion modes naturally appear in our idealized calculations where only cooling, gas inflow, and compressional heating are considered. The long-term, hot-mode accretion is maintained by the quickly established closeness between the timescales of these processes, preferably in systems with low gas densities, low gas metallicities, and importantly, compact central galaxies, which result in strong gravitational acceleration and compressional heating at the intermediate radii. Our calculations predict that central cuspy temperature profiles appear more often in smaller systems than galaxy clusters, which instead often host significant cold gas and star formation.

  14. Coevolution between Supermassive Black Holes and Bulges Is Not via Internal Feedback Regulation but by Rationed Gas Supply due to Angular Momentum Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cen, Renyue

    2015-05-01

    We reason that without physical fine-tuning, neither the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) nor the stellar bulges can self-regulate or inter-regulate by driving away already fallen cold gas to produce the observed correlation between them. We suggest an alternative scenario where the observed mass ratios of the SMBHs to bulges reflect the angular momentum distribution of infallen gas such that the mass reaching the stable accretion disk is a small fraction of that reaching the bulge region, averaged over the cosmological timescales. We test this scenario using high-resolution, large-scale cosmological hydrodynamic simulations, without active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback, assuming the angular momentum distribution of gas landing in the bulge region yields a Mestel disk that is supported by independent simulations resolving the Bondi radii of SMBHs. A mass ratio of 0.1%-0.3% between the very low angular momentum gas that free falls to the subparsec region to accrete to the SMBH and the overall star formation rate is found. This ratio is found to increase with increasing redshift to within a factor of ˜2, suggesting that the SMBH-to-bulge ratio is nearly redshift independent, with a modest increase with redshift, which is a testable prediction. Furthermore, the duty cycle of AGNs with high Eddington ratios is expected to increase significantly with redshift. Finally, while SMBHs and bulges are found to coevolve on ˜30-150 Myr timescales or longer, there is indication that on still smaller timescales, the SMBH accretion and star formation may be less correlated.

  15. Hot versus cold: The dichotomy in spherical accretion of cooling flows onto supermassive black holes in elliptical galaxies, galaxy groups, and clusters

    SciTech Connect

    Guo, Fulai; Mathews, William G.

    2014-01-10

    Feedback heating from active galactic nuclei (AGNs) has been commonly invoked to suppress cooling flows predicted in hot gas in elliptical galaxies, galaxy groups, and clusters. Previous studies have focused on if and how AGN feedback heats the gas but have little paid attention to its triggering mechanism. Using spherically symmetric simulations, we investigate how large-scale cooling flows are accreted by central supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in eight well-observed systems and find an interesting dichotomy. In massive clusters, the gas develops a central cooling catastrophe within about the cooling time (typically ∼100-300 Myr), resulting in cold-mode accretion onto SMBHs. However, in our four simulated systems on group and galaxy scales at a low metallicity Z = 0.3 Z {sub ☉}, the gas quickly settles into a long-term state that has a cuspy central temperature profile extending to several tens to about 100 pc. At the more realistic solar metallicity, two groups (with R {sub e} ∼ 4 kpc) still host the long-term, hot-mode accretion. Both accretion modes naturally appear in our idealized calculations where only cooling, gas inflow, and compressional heating are considered. The long-term, hot-mode accretion is maintained by the quickly established closeness between the timescales of these processes, preferably in systems with low gas densities, low gas metallicities, and importantly, compact central galaxies, which result in strong gravitational acceleration and compressional heating at the intermediate radii. Our calculations predict that central cuspy temperature profiles appear more often in smaller systems than galaxy clusters, which instead often host significant cold gas and star formation.

  16. NuSTAR reveals the extreme properties of the super-Eddington accreting supermassive black hole in PG 1247+267

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzuisi, G.; Perna, M.; Comastri, A.; Cappi, M.; Dadina, M.; Marinucci, A.; Masini, A.; Matt, G.; Vagnetti, F.; Vignali, C.; Ballantyne, D. R.; Bauer, F. E.; Boggs, S. E.; Brandt, W. N.; Brusa, M.; Christensen, F. E.; Craig, W. W.; Fabian, A. C.; Farrah, D.; Hailey, C. J.; Harrison, F. A.; Luo, B.; Piconcelli, E.; Puccetti, S.; Ricci, C.; Saez, C.; Stern, D.; Walton, D. J.; Zhang, W. W.

    2016-05-01

    PG1247+267 is one of the most luminous known quasars at z ~ 2 and is a strongly super-Eddington accreting supermassive black hole (SMBH) candidate. We obtained NuSTAR data of this intriguing source in December 2014 with the aim of studying its high-energy emission, leveraging the broad band covered by the new NuSTAR and the archival XMM-Newton data. Several measurements are in agreement with the super-Eddington scenario for PG1247+267: the soft power law (Γ = 2.3 ± 0.1); the weak ionized Fe emission line; and a hint of the presence of outflowing ionized gas surrounding the SMBH. The presence of an extreme reflection component is instead at odds with the high accretion rate proposed for this quasar. This can be explained with three different scenarios; all of them are in good agreement with the existing data, but imply very different conclusions: i) a variable primary power law observed in a low state, superimposed on a reflection component echoing a past, higher flux state; ii) a power law continuum obscured by an ionized, Compton thick, partial covering absorber; and iii) a relativistic disk reflector in a lamp-post geometry, with low coronal height and high BH spin. The first model is able to explain the high reflection component in terms of variability. The second does not require any reflection to reproduce the hard emission, while a rather low high-energy cutoff of ~100 keV is detected for the first time in such a high redshift source. The third model require a face-on geometry, which may affect the SMBH mass and Eddington ratio measurements. Deeper X-ray broad-band data are required in order to distinguish between these possibilities.

  17. HYDROSTATIC GAS CONSTRAINTS ON SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE MASSES: IMPLICATIONS FOR HYDROSTATIC EQUILIBRIUM AND DYNAMICAL MODELING IN A SAMPLE OF EARLY-TYPE GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Humphrey, Philip J.; Buote, David A.; Brighenti, Fabrizio; Gebhardt, Karl; Mathews, William G.

    2009-10-01

    We present new mass measurements for the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in the centers of three early-type galaxies. The gas pressure in the surrounding, hot interstellar medium (ISM) is measured through spatially resolved spectroscopy with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, allowing the SMBH mass (M {sub BH}) to be inferred directly under the hydrostatic approximation. This technique does not require calibration against other SMBH measurement methods and its accuracy depends only on the ISM being close to hydrostatic, which is supported by the smooth X-ray isophotes of the galaxies. Combined with results from our recent study of the elliptical galaxy NGC 4649, this brings the number of galaxies with SMBHs measured in this way to four. Of these, three already have mass determinations from the kinematics of either the stars or a central gas disk, and hence join only a handful of galaxies with M {sub BH} measured by more than one technique. We find good agreement between the different methods, providing support for the assumptions implicit in both the hydrostatic and the dynamical models. The stellar mass-to-light ratios for each galaxy inferred by our technique are in agreement with the predictions of stellar population synthesis models assuming a Kroupa initial mass function (IMF). This concurrence implies that no more than {approx}10%-20% of the ISM pressure is nonthermal, unless there is a conspiracy between the shape of the IMF and nonthermal pressure. Finally, we compute Bondi accretion rates (M-dot{sub bondi}), finding that the two galaxies with the highest M-dot{sub bondi} exhibit little evidence of X-ray cavities, suggesting that the correlation with the active galactic nuclei jet power takes time to be established.

  18. OBSCURED GOODS ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI AND THEIR HOST GALAXIES AT z < 1.25: THE SLOW BLACK HOLE GROWTH PHASE

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, B. D.; Urry, C. M.; Van Duyne, J.; Treister, E.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Grogin, N. A.

    2011-06-20

    We compute black hole masses and bolometric luminosities for 87 obscured active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the redshift range 0.25 {<=} z {<=} 1.25, selected from the GOODS deep multi-wavelength survey fields via their X-ray emission. We fit the optical images and obtain morphological parameters for the host galaxy, separating the galaxy from its central point source, thereby obtaining a four-band optical spectral energy distribution (SED) for each active nucleus. We calculate bolometric luminosities for these AGNs by reddening a normalized mean SED of GOODS broad-line AGNs to match the observed central point-source SED of each obscured AGN. This estimate of L{sub bol} has a smaller spread than simple bolometric corrections to the X-ray luminosity or direct integration of the observed multi-wavelength SED, suggesting it is a better measure. We estimate central black hole masses from the bulge luminosities. The black hole masses span a wide range, 7 x 10{sup 6} M{sub sun} to 6 x 10{sup 9} M{sub sun}; the median black hole mass is 5 x 10{sup 8} M{sub sun}. The majority of these AGNs have L/L{sub Edd} {<=} 0.01, and we detect no significant evolution of the mean Eddington ratio to z = 1.25. This implies that the bulk of black hole growth in these obscured AGNs must have occurred at z {approx}> 1 and that we are observing these AGNs in a slow- or no-growth state.

  19. Building Black Holes: Supercomputer Cinema

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, Stuart L.; Teukolsky, Saul A.

    1988-07-01

    A new computer code can solve Einstein's equations of general relativity for the dynamical evolution of a relativistic star cluster. The cluster may contain a large number of stars that move in a strong gravitational field at speeds approaching the speed of light. Unstable star clusters undergo catastrophic collapse to black holes. The collapse of an unstable cluster to a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy may explain the origin of quasars and active galactic nuclei. By means of a supercomputer simulation and color graphics, the whole process can be viewed in real time on a movie screen.

  20. Galaxy Formation with Self-Consistently Modeled Stars and Massive Black Holes. I: Feedback-Regulated Star Formation and Black Hole Growth

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Ji-hoon; Wise, John H.; Alvarez, Marcelo A.; Abel, Tom; /KIPAC, Menlo Park /Stanford U., Phys. Dept.

    2011-11-04

    There is mounting evidence for the coevolution of galaxies and their embedded massive black holes (MBHs) in a hierarchical structure formation paradigm. To tackle the nonlinear processes of gala