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Sample records for accreting supermassive black

  1. 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.

  2. Accretion flows onto supermassive black holes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begelman, Mitchell C.

    1988-01-01

    The radiative and hydrodynamic properties of an angular momentum-dominated accretion flow onto a supermassive black hole depend largely on the ratio of the accretion rate to the Eddington accretion rate. High values of this ratio favor optically thick flows which produce largely thermal radiation, while optically thin 'two-temperature' flows may be present in systems with small values of this ratio. Observations of some AGN suggest that thermal and nonthermal sources of radiation may be of comparable importance in the 'central engine'. Consideration is given to the possibilities for coexistence of different modes of accretion in a single flow. One intriguing possibility is that runaway pair production may cause an optically thick 'accretion annulus' to form at the center of a two-temperature inflow.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-05

    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.

  4. 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

    2016-06-09

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. MAGNETICALLY LEVITATING ACCRETION DISKS AROUND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Gaburov, Evghenii; Johansen, Anders; Levin, Yuri

    2012-10-20

    In this paper, we report on the formation of magnetically levitating accretion disks around supermassive black holes (SMBHs). The structure of these disks is calculated by numerically modeling tidal disruption of magnetized interstellar gas clouds. We find that the resulting disks are entirely supported by the pressure of the magnetic fields against the component of gravitational force directed perpendicular to the disks. The magnetic field shows ordered large-scale geometry that remains stable for the duration of our numerical experiments extending over 10% of the disk lifetime. Strong magnetic pressure allows high accretion rate and inhibits disk fragmentation. This in combination with the repeated feeding of magnetized molecular clouds to an SMBH yields a possible solution to the long-standing puzzle of black hole growth in the centers of galaxies.

  7. Forming supermassive black holes by accreting dark and baryon matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Jian; Shen, Yue; Lou, Yu-Qing; Zhang, Shuangnan

    2006-01-01

    Given a large-scale mixture of self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) particles and baryon matter distributed in the early Universe, we advance here a two-phase accretion scenario for forming supermassive black holes (SMBHs) with masses around ~109Msolar at high redshifts z(>~6). The first phase is conceived to involve a rapid quasi-spherical and quasi-steady Bondi accretion of mainly SIDM particles embedded with baryon matter on to seed black holes (BHs) created at redshifts z<~ 30 by the first generation of massive Population III stars; this earlier phase rapidly gives birth to significantly enlarged seed BH masses of during z~ 20-15, where σ0 is the cross-section per unit mass of SIDM particles and Cs is the velocity dispersion in the SIDM halo referred to as an effective `sound speed'. The second phase of BH mass growth is envisaged to proceed primarily via baryon accretion, eventually leading to SMBH masses of MBH~ 109Msolar such SMBHs may form either by z~ 6 for a sustained accretion at the Eddington limit or later at lower z for sub-Eddington mean accretion rates. In between these two phases, there is a transitional yet sustained diffusively limited accretion of SIDM particles which in an eventual steady state would be much lower than the accretion rates of the two main phases. We intend to account for the reported detections of a few SMBHs at early epochs, e.g. Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) 1148+5251 and so forth, without necessarily resorting to either super-Eddington baryon accretion or very frequent BH merging processes. Only extremely massive dark SIDM haloes associated with rare peaks of density fluctuations in the early Universe may harbour such early SMBHs or quasars. Observational consequences are discussed. During the final stage of accumulating a SMBH mass, violent feedback in circumnuclear environs of a galactic nucleus leads to the central bulge formation and gives rise to the familiar empirical MBH-σb correlation inferred for nearby normal

  8. The growth of supermassive black holes fed by accretion disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesinos Armijo, M. A.; de Freitas Pacheco, J. A.

    2011-02-01

    Context. Supermassive black holes are probably present in the centre of the majority of the galaxies. There is consensus that these exotic objects are formed by the growth of seeds either by mass accretion from a circumnuclear disk and/or by coalescences during merger episodes. Aims: The mass fraction of the disk captured by the central object and the related timescale are still open questions, as is how these quantities depend on parameters, such as the initial mass of the disk or the seed, or on the angular momentum transport mechanism. This paper addresses these particular aspects of the accretion disk evolution and the growth of seeds. Methods: The time-dependent hydrodynamic equations were solved numerically for an axisymmetric disk in which the gravitational potential includes contributions from both the central object and the disk itself. The numerical code is based on a Eulerian formalism, using a finite difference method of second-order, according to the Van Leer upwind algorithm on a staggered mesh. Results: The present simulations indicate that seeds capture about a half of the initial disk mass, a result weakly dependent on model parameters. The timescales required for accreting 50% of the disk mass are in the range 130-540 Myr, depending on the adopted parameters. These timescales can explain the presence of bright quasars at z ~ 6.5. Moreover, at the end of the disk evolution, a "torus-like" geometry develops, offering a natural explanation for the presence of these structures in the central regions of AGNs, representing an additional support to the unified model.

  9. Accretion and Feedback from Supermassive Black Holes in Galaxy Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Yu; Bogdanovic, Tamara; Park, KwangHo

    2017-01-01

    A significant fraction of galaxy clusters, namely the cool-core clusters, exhibit a dip in their central temperature profiles, with radiative cooling times much shorter than the Hubble time. Unchecked, radiative cooling of this magnitude is expected to cause the accumulation of cold gas at the cluster center that leads to star formation rates 100-1000 times higher than those inferred by observations. This discrepancy suggests the existence of active heating mechanisms that counteract the overcooling in cluster centers. The dominant mechanism has now been widely recognized as the mechanical feedback from the radio-loud active galactic nuclei. However, recent observations find substantial amounts of cold gas in a number of cool-core clusters, as well as evidence that some clusters host quasars in their central dominant galaxies, raising concerns about the significance of radiative feedback in such systems. Motivated by these findings we use 3D radiation hydrodynamic simulations to explore the joint role of the radio- and quasar-mode feedback in the accretion and feedback cycle of supermassive black holes in cool-core clusters.

  10. Accretion Onto Supermassive Black Holes: Observational Signals from 3-Dimensional Disk Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Miller, Warner A.

    2003-01-01

    Our project was to model accretion flows onto supermassive black holes which reside in the centers of many galaxies. In this report we summarize the results which we obtained with the support of our NASA ATP grant. The scientific results associated with the grant are given in approximately chronological order. We also provide a list of references which acknowledge funding from this grant.

  11. 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.

  12. Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loeb, Abraham

    2007-04-01

    Recent data indicates that almost all galaxies possess a supermassive black hole at their center. When gas accretes onto the black hole it heats-up and shines, resulting in the appearance of a bright quasar. The earliest quasars are found to exist only a billion years after the big-bang. I will describe recent observations of both the nearest and the most distant supermassive black holes in the universe. The formation and evolution of the black hole population can be described in the context of popular models for galaxy formation. I will describe the key questions that drive current research on supermassive black holes and present theoretical work on the radiative and hydrodynamic effects that quasars have on their cosmic habitat. Within the coming decade it would be possible to test general relativity by monitoring over time, and possibly even imaging, the polarized emission from hot spots around the black hole in the center of our Galaxy (SgrA*).

  13. 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.

  14. 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}⊙ , 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.

  15. Cosmological evolution of supermassive black holes and AGN: a synthesis model for accretion and feedback .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merloni, A.

    The growth of supermassive black holes (SMBH) through accretion is accompanied by the release of enormous amounts of energy which can either be radiated away, as happens in quasars, advected into the black hole, or disposed of in kinetic form through powerful jets, as is observed, for example, in radio galaxies. Here, I will present new constraints on the evolution of the SMBH mass function and Eddington ratio distribution, obtained from a study of AGN luminosity functions aimed at accounting for both radiative and kinetic energy output of AGN in a systematic way. First, I discuss how a refined Soltan argument leads to joint constraints on the mass-weighted average spin of SMBH and of the total mass density of high redshift (z˜ 5) and ``wandering'' black holes. Then, I will show how to describe the ``downsizing'' trend observed in the AGN population in terms of cosmological evolution of physical quantities (black hole mass, accretion rate, radiative and kinetic energy output). Finally, the redshift evolution of the AGN kinetic feedback will be briefly discussed and compared with the radiative output of the evolving SMBH population, thus providing a robust physical framework for phenomenological models of AGN feedback within structure formation.

  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. 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. Direct probe of the inner accretion flow around the supermassive black hole in NGC 2617

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giustini, M.; Costantini, E.; De Marco, B.; Svoboda, J.; Motta, S. E.; Proga, D.; Saxton, R.; Ferrigno, C.; Longinotti, A. L.; Miniutti, G.; Grupe, D.; Mathur, S.; Shappee, B. J.; Prieto, J. L.; Stanek, K.

    2017-01-01

    Aims: NGC 2617 is a nearby (z 0.01) active galaxy that recently switched from being a Seyfert 1.8 to be a Seyfert 1.0. At the same time, it underwent a strong increase of X-ray flux by one order of magnitude with respect to archival measurements. We characterise the X-ray spectral and timing properties of NGC 2617 with the aim of studying the physics of a changing-look active galactic nucleus (AGN). Methods: We performed a comprehensive timing and spectral analysis of two XMM-Newton pointed observations spaced by one month, complemented by archival quasi-simultaneous INTEGRAL observations. Results: We found that, to the first order, NGC 2617 looks like a type 1 AGN in the X-ray band and, with the addition of a modest reflection component, its continuum can be modelled well either with a power law plus a phenomenological blackbody, a partially covered power law, or a double Comptonisation model. Independent of the continuum adopted, in all three cases a column density of a few 1023 cm-2 of neutral gas covering 20-40% of the continuum source is required by the data. Most interestingly, absorption structures due to highly ionised iron have been detected in both observations with a redshift of about 0.1c with respect to the systemic redshift of the host galaxy. Conclusions: The redshifted absorber can be ascribed to a failed wind/aborted jets component, to gravitational redshift effects, and/or to matter directly falling towards the central supermassive black hole. In either case, we are probing the innermost accretion flow around the central supermassive black hole of NGC 2617 and might be even watching matter in a direct inflow towards the black hole itself.

  19. Effects of high-energy particles on accretion flows onto a supermassive black hole

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-20

    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{sup −4} M-dot c{sup 2} to 10{sup −2} M-dot c{sup 2}, where M-dot 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Brightening of an accretion disk due to viscous dissipation of gravitational waves during the coalescence of supermassive black holes.

    PubMed

    Kocsis, Bence; Loeb, Abraham

    2008-07-25

    Mergers of supermassive black hole binaries release peak power of up to approximately 10(57) erg s(-1) in gravitational waves (GWs). As the GWs propagate through ambient gas, they induce shear and a small fraction of their power is dissipated through viscosity. The dissipated heat appears as electromagnetic (EM) radiation, providing a prompt EM counterpart to the GW signal. For thin accretion disks, the GW heating rate exceeds the accretion power at distances farther than approximately 10(3) Schwarzschild radii, independently of the accretion rate and viscosity coefficient.

  2. 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.

  3. A Particular Appetite: Cosmological Hydrodynamic Simulations of Preferential Accretion in the Supermassive Black Holes of Milky Way Size Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, Natalie; Bellovary, Jillian M.; Holley-Bockelmann, Kelly

    2016-01-01

    With the use of cosmological hydrodynamic simulations of Milky Way-type galaxies, we identify the preferential source of gas that is accreted by the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) they host. We examine simulations of two Milky Way analogs, each distinguished by a differing merger history. One galaxy is characterized by several major mergers and the other has a more quiescent history. By examining and comparing these two galaxies, which have a similar structure at z=0, we asses the importance of merger history on black hole accretion. This study is an extension of Bellovary et. al. 2013, which studied accretion onto SMBHs in massive, high redshift galaxies. Bellovary found that the fraction of gas accreted by the galaxy was proportional to that which was accreted by its SMBH. Contrary to Bellovary's previous results, we found that though the gas accreted by a quiescent galaxy will mirror the accretion of its central SMBH, a galaxy that is characterized by an active merger history will have a SMBH that preferentially accretes gas gained through mergers. We move forward by examining the angular momentum of the gas accreted by these Milky Way-type galaxies to better understand the mechanisms fueling their central SMBH.

  4. Dependence of the Spin of Supermassive Black Holes on the Eddington Factor for Accretion Disks in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piotrovich, M. Yu.; Buliga, S. D.; Gnedin, Yu. N.; Mikhailov, A. G.; Natsvlishvili, T. M.

    2016-12-01

    An equation relating the spin of supermassive black holes (SMBH) to the Eddington factor, i.e., the ratio of the bolometric and Eddington luminosities for accretion disks in active galactic nuclei (AGN), is presented. This equation also depends on the relationship between the magnetic field pressure and the flux of accreted matter at the radius of the event horizon for a black hole. When the pressures of the magnetic field and of the accreted matter are equal, there is a direct relationship between the spin of the black hole and the Eddington factor. Based on available data on the bolometric luminosity and mass of black holes, it is possible to determine the spin of a black hole. The spins of the central SMBH are given for a number of AGN. The proposed method can also be used to determine the ratio of the magnetic field pressure and the pressure of the accreted gas at the event horizon of SMBH for AGN for which the spin of the black hole has been determined reliably.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A new way to measure supermassive black hole spin in accretion disc-dominated active galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Done, Chris; Jin, C.; Middleton, M.; Ward, Martin

    2013-09-01

    We show that disc continuum fitting can be used to constrain black hole spin in a subclass of narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) active galactic nuclei as their low mass and high mass accretion rate means that the disc peaks at energies just below the soft X-ray bandpass. We apply the technique to the NLS1 PG1244+026, where the optical/UV/X-ray spectrum is consistent with being dominated by a standard disc component. This gives a best estimate for black hole spin which is low, with a firm upper limit of a* <0.86. This contrasts with the recent X-ray determinations of (close to) maximal black hole spin in other NLS1 based on relativistic smearing of the iron profile. While our data on PG1244+026 do not have sufficient statistics at high energy to give a good measure of black hole spin from the iron line profile, cosmological simulations predict that black holes with similar masses have similar growth histories and so should have similar spins. This suggests that there is a problem either in our understanding of disc spectra, or/and X-ray reflection or/and the evolution of black hole spin.

  10. 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

  11. The Final Fates of Accreting Supermassive Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umeda, Hideyuki; Hosokawa, Takashi; Omukai, Kazuyuki; Yoshida, Naoki

    2016-10-01

    The formation of supermassive stars (SMSs) via rapid mass accretion and their direct collapse into black holes (BHs) is a promising pathway for sowing seeds of supermassive BHs in the early universe. We calculate the evolution of rapidly accreting SMSs by solving the stellar structure equations including nuclear burning as well as general relativistic (GR) effects up to the onset of the collapse. We find that such SMSs have a less concentrated structure than a fully convective counterpart, which is often postulated for non-accreting ones. This effect stabilizes the stars against GR instability even above the classical upper mass limit ≳105 M ⊙ derived for the fully convective stars. The accreting SMS begins to collapse at the higher mass with the higher accretion rate. The collapse occurs when the nuclear fuel is exhausted only for cases with \\dot{M}≲ 0.1 {M}⊙ {{{yr}}}-1. With \\dot{M}≃ 0.3{--}1 {M}⊙ {{{yr}}}-1, the star becomes GR unstable during the helium-burning stage at M ≃ 2-3.5 × 105 M ⊙. In an extreme case with 10 {M}⊙ {{{yr}}}-1, the star does not collapse until the mass reaches ≃8.0 × 105 M ⊙, where it is still in the hydrogen-burning stage. We expect that BHs with roughly the same mass will be left behind after the collapse in all the cases.

  12. 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

  13. Wavelength dependence of polarization and physical mechanisms of magnetic field generation in accretion disks around supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piotrovich, M. Yu.; Gnedin, Yu. N.; Buliga, S. D.; Natsvlishvili, T. M.

    2014-08-01

    Analysis of the wavelength dependence of the polarization of radiation from active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is shown to allow the main physical mechanisms of magnetic field generation in accretion disks around supermassive black holes in these objects to be determined. These main processes include the generation of magnetic fields as a result of the equality between the magnetic and radiation pressures or as a result of the equality between the magnetic and gas pressures. In several cases, the wavelength dependence of polarization is shown to be explained, provided that the Shakura-Sunyaev viscosity parameter depends on the accretion-disk radius.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Supermassive Black Holes with High Accretion Rates in Active Galactic Nuclei. IV. Hβ Time Lags and Implications for Super-Eddington Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Pu; Hu, Chen; Lu, Kai-Xing; Huang, Ying-Ke; Cheng, Cheng; Qiu, Jie; Li, Yan-Rong; Zhang, Yang-Wei; Fan, Xu-Liang; Bai, Jin-Ming; Bian, Wei-Hao; Yuan, Ye-Fei; Kaspi, Shai; Ho, Luis C.; Netzer, Hagai; Wang, Jian-Min; SEAMBH Collaboration

    2015-06-01

    We have completed two years of photometric and spectroscopic monitoring of a large number of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with very high accretion rates. In this paper, we report on the result of the second phase of the campaign, during 2013-2014, and the measurements of five new Hβ time lags out of eight monitored AGNs. All five objects were identified as super-Eddington accreting massive black holes (SEAMBHs). The highest measured accretion rates for the objects in this campaign are \\mathscr{\\dot{M}} {\\mkern 1mu} ≳ 200, where \\mathscr{\\dot{M}} {\\mkern 1mu} ={{\\dot{M}}\\bullet }/{{L}Edd}{{c}-2}, {{\\dot{M}}\\bullet } is the mass accretion rates, {{L}Edd} is the Eddington luminosity and c is the speed of light. We find that the Hβ time lags in SEAMBHs are significantly shorter than those measured in sub-Eddington AGNs, and the deviations increase with increasing accretion rates. Thus, the relationship between broad-line region size ({{R}_{Hβ }}) and optical luminosity at 5100 Å, {{R}_{Hβ }}-{{L}5100}, requires accretion rate as an additional parameter. We propose that much of the effect may be due to the strong anisotropy of the emitted slim-disk radiation. Scaling {{R}_{Hβ }} by the gravitational radius of the black hole (BH), we define a new radius-mass parameter (Y) and show that it saturates at a critical accretion rate of \\mathscr{\\dot{M}} {\\mkern 1mu} {{}c}=6˜ 30, indicating a transition from thin to slim accretion disk and a saturated luminosity of the slim disks. The parameter Y is a very useful probe for understanding the various types of accretion onto massive BHs. We briefly comment on implications to the general population of super-Eddington AGNs in the universe and applications to cosmology.

  17. Supermassive Black Holes with High Accretion Rates in Active Galactic Nuclei. I. First Results from a New Reverberation Mapping Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Pu; Hu, Chen; Lu, Kai-Xing; Wang, Fang; Qiu, Jie; Li, Yan-Rong; Bai, Jin-Ming; Kaspi, Shai; Netzer, Hagai; Wang, Jian-Min; SEAMBH Collaboration

    2014-02-01

    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^{+1.7}_{-2.9}, 6.4^{+0.8}_{-2.2} and 11.4^{+2.9}_{-1.9} days, respectively. The corresponding BH masses are (8.3_{-3.2}^{+2.6})\\times 10^6\\,M_{\\odot }, (3.4_{-1.2}^{+0.5})\\times 10^6\\,M_{\\odot }, and (7.5_{-4.1}^{+4.3})\\times 10^6\\,M_{\\odot }, 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Formation of primordial supermassive stars by rapid mass accretion

    SciTech Connect

    Hosokawa, Takashi; Yoshida, Naoki; Yorke, Harold W.; Inayoshi, Kohei; Omukai, Kazuyuki E-mail: hosokwtk@gmail.com

    2013-12-01

    Supermassive stars (SMSs) forming via very rapid mass accretion ( M-dot {sub ∗}≳0.1 M{sub ⊙} yr{sup −1}) could be precursors of supermassive black holes observed beyond a redshift of about six. Extending our previous work, here we study the evolution of primordial stars growing under such rapid mass accretion until the stellar mass reaches 10{sup 4–5} M {sub ☉}. Our stellar evolution calculations show that a star becomes supermassive while passing through the 'supergiant protostar' stage, whereby the star has a very bloated envelope and a contracting inner core. The stellar radius increases monotonically with the stellar mass until ≅ 100 AU for M {sub *} ≳ 10{sup 4} M {sub ☉}, after which the star begins to slowly contract. Because of the large radius, the effective temperature is always less than 10{sup 4} K during rapid accretion. The accreting material is thus almost completely transparent to the stellar radiation. Only for M {sub *} ≳ 10{sup 5} M {sub ☉} can stellar UV feedback operate and disturb the mass accretion flow. We also examine the pulsation stability of accreting SMSs, showing that the pulsation-driven mass loss does not prevent stellar mass growth. Observational signatures of bloated SMSs should be detectable with future observational facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope. Our results predict that an inner core of the accreting SMS should suffer from the general relativistic instability soon after the stellar mass exceeds 10{sup 5} M {sub ☉}. An extremely massive black hole should form after the collapse of the inner core.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Making Supermassive Black Holes Spin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-12-01

    Where does the angular momentum come from that causes supermassive black holes (SMBHs) to spin on their axes and launch powerful jets? A new study of nearby SMBHs may help to answer this question.High-mass SMBHs are thought to form when two galaxies collide and the SMBHs at their centers merge. [NASA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)]High- vs. Low-Mass MonstersObservational evidence suggests a dichotomy between low-mass SMBHs (those with 106-7 M) and high-mass ones (those with 108-10 M). High-mass SMBHs are thought to form via the merger of two smaller black holes, and the final black hole is likely spun up by the rotational dynamics of the merger. But what spins up low-mass SMBHs, which are thought to build up very gradually via accretion?A team of scientists led by Jing Wang (National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences) have attempted to address this puzzle by examining the properties of the galaxies hosting low-mass SMBHs.A Sample of Neighboring SMBHsWang and collaborators began by constructing a sample of radio-selected nearby Seyfert 2 galaxies: those galaxies in which the stellar population and morphology of the host galaxy are visible to us, instead of being overwhelmed by continuum emission from the galaxys active nucleus.An example of a galaxy with a concentrated, classical bulge (M87; top) and a one with a disk-like pseudo bulge (Triangulum Galaxy; bottom). The authors find that for galaxies hosting low-mass SMBHs, those with more disk-like bulges appear to have more powerful radio jets. [Top: NASA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI), Bottom: Hewholooks]From this sample, the authors then selected 31 galaxies that have low-mass SMBHs at their centers, as measured using the surrounding stellar dynamics. Wang and collaborators cataloged radio information revealing properties of the powerful jets launched by the SMBHs, and they analyzed the host galaxies properties by modeling their brightness profiles.Spin-Up From Accreting GasBy examining this

  4. Growth of Supermassive Black Holes, Galaxy Mergers and Supermassive Binary Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komossa, S.; Baker, J. G.; Liu, F. K.

    The study of galaxy mergers and supermassive binary black holes (SMBBHs) is central to our understanding of the galaxy and black hole assembly and (co-)evolution at the epoch of structure formation and throughout cosmic history. Galaxy mergers are the sites of major accretion episodes, they power quasars, grow supermassive black holes (SMBHs), and drive SMBH-host scaling relations. The coalescing SMBBHs at their centers are the loudest sources of gravitational waves (GWs) in the Universe, and the subsequent GW recoil has a variety of potential astrophysical implications which are still under exploration. Future GW astronomy will open a completely new window on structure formation and galaxy mergers, including the direct detection of coalescing SMBBHs, high-precision measurements of their masses and spins, and constraints on BH formation and evolution in the high-redshift Universe.

  5. Formation and Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Combes, F.

    The correlation between the mass of supermassive black holes in galaxy nuclei and the mass of the galaxy spheroids or bulges (or more precisely their central velocity dispersion), suggests a common formation scenario for galaxies and their central black holes. The growth of bulges and black holes can commonly proceed through external gas accretion or hierarchical mergers, and are both related to starbursts. Internal dynamical processes control and regulate the rate of mass accretion. Self-regulation and feedback are key to the correlation. It is possible that the growth of one component, either BH or bulge, takes over, breaking the correlation, as in Narrow Line Seyfert 1 objects. The formation of supermassive black holes can begin early in the Universe, from the collapse of Population III stars, and then through gas accretion. The active black holes can then play a significant role in the re-ionization of the Universe. The nuclear activity is now frequently invoked as a feedback to star formation in galaxies, and even more spectacularly in cooling flows. The growth of SMBH is certainly self-regulated there. SMBHs perturb their local environment, and the mergers of binary SMBHs help to heat and destroy central stellar cusps. The interpretation of the X-ray background yields important constraints on the history of AGN activity and obscuration, and the census of AGN at low and at high redshifts reveals the downsizing effect, already observed for star formation. History appears quite different for bright QSO and low-luminosity AGN: the first grow rapidly at high z, and their number density decreases then sharply, while the density of low-luminosity objects peaks more recently, and then decreases smoothly.

  6. 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.

  7. Precocious Supermassive Black Holes Challenge Theories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-11-01

    after the Big Bang." There is general agreement among astronomers that X-radiation from the vicinity of supermassive black holes is produced as gas is pulled toward a black hole, and heated to temperatures ranging from millions to billions of degrees. Most of the infalling gas is concentrated in a rapidly rotating disk, the inner part of which has a hot atmosphere or corona where temperatures can climb to billions of degrees. Although the precise geometry and details of the X-ray production are not known, observations of numerous quasars, or supermassive black holes, have shown that many of them have very similar X-ray spectra, especially at high X-ray energies. This suggests that the basic geometry and mechanism are the same for these objects. Chandra X-ray Image of SDSSp J1306 Chandra X-ray Image of SDSSp J1306 The remarkable similarity of the X-ray spectra of the young supermassive black holes to those of much older ones means that the supermassive black holes and their accretion disks, were already in place less than a billion years after the Big Bang. One possibility is that millions of 100 solar mass black holes formed from the collapse of massive stars in the young galaxy, and subsequently built up a billion-solar mass black hole in the center of the galaxy through mergers and accretion of gas. To answer the question of how and when supermassive black holes were formed, astronomers plan to use the very deep Chandra exposures and other surveys to identify and study quasars at even earlier ages. The paper by Schwartz and Virani on SDSSp J1306 was published in the November 1, 2004 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. The paper by Duncan Farrah and colleagues on SDSS J1030 was published in the August 10, 2004 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. Chandra observed J1306 with its Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) instrument for approximately 33 hours in November 2003. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA

  8. Rethinking Black Hole Accretion Discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvesen, Greg

    Accretion discs are staples of astrophysics. Tapping into the gravitational potential energy of the accreting material, these discs are highly efficient machines that produce copious radiation and extreme outflows. While interesting in their own right, accretion discs also act as tools to study black holes and directly influence the properties of the Universe. Black hole X-ray binaries are fantastic natural laboratories for studying accretion disc physics and black hole phenomena. Among many of the curious behaviors exhibited by these systems are black hole state transitions -- complicated cycles of dramatic brightening and dimming. Using X-ray observations with high temporal cadence, we show that the evolution of the accretion disc spectrum during black hole state transitions can be described by a variable disc atmospheric structure without invoking a radially truncated disc geometry. The accretion disc spectrum can be a powerful diagnostic for measuring black hole spin if the effects of the disc atmosphere on the emergent spectrum are well-understood; however, properties of the disc atmosphere are largely unconstrained. Using statistical methods, we decompose this black hole spin measurement technique and show that modest uncertainties regarding the disc atmosphere can lead to erroneous spin measurements. The vertical structure of the disc is difficult to constrain due to our ignorance of the contribution to hydrostatic balance by magnetic fields, which are fundamental to the accretion process. Observations of black hole X-ray binaries and the accretion environments near supermassive black holes provide mounting evidence for strong magnetization. Performing numerical simulations of accretion discs in the shearing box approximation, we impose a net vertical magnetic flux that allows us to effectively control the level of disc magnetization. We study how dynamo activity and the properties of turbulence driven by the magnetorotational instability depend on the

  9. Formation of Supermassive Black Hole Seeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latif, Muhammad A.; Ferrara, Andrea

    2016-10-01

    The detection of quasars at z > 6 unveils the presence of supermassive black holes of a few billion solar masses. The rapid formation process of these extreme objects remains a fascinating and open issue. Such discovery implies that seed black holes must have formed early on, and grown via either rapid accretion or BH/galaxy mergers. In this theoretical review, we discuss in detail various BH seed formation mechanisms and the physical processes at play during their assembly. We discuss the three most popular BH formation scenarios, involving the (i) core-collapse of massive stars, (ii) dynamical evolution of dense nuclear star clusters, (iii) collapse of a protogalactic metal free gas cloud. This article aims at giving a broad introduction and an overview of the most advanced research in the field.

  10. Observing stellar mass and supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherepashchuk, A. M.

    2016-07-01

    During the last 50 years, great progress has been made in observing stellar-mass black holes (BHs) in binary systems and supermassive BHs in galactic nuclei. In 1964, Zeldovich and Salpeter showed that in the case of nonspherical accretion of matter onto a BH, huge energy releases occur. The theory of disk accretion of matter onto BHs was developed in 1972-1973 by Shakura and Sunyaev, Pringle and Rees, and Novikov and Thorne. Up to now, 100 years after the creation of Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which predicts the existence of BHs, the masses of tens of stellar-mass BHs ( M_BH=(4-35) M_⊙) and many hundreds of supermassive BHs ( M_BH=(10^6-1010) M_⊙) have been determined. A new field of astrophysics, so-called BH demography, is developing. The recent discovery of gravitational waves from BH mergers in binary systems opens a new era in BH studies.

  11. Close supermassive binary black holes.

    PubMed

    Gaskell, C Martin

    2010-01-07

    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 black-hole binary (SMBB). 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 J1536+0441 is an example of line emission from a disk. If this is correct, the lack of clear optical spectral evidence for close SMBBs is significant, and argues either that the merging of close SMBBs 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.

  12. Supermassive Black Hole Mimics Smaller Cousins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2002-06-01

    shooting away perpendicularly from the plane of a black hole's accretion disk, moving at 98 percent of the speed of light. In microquasars, radio-emitting features become visible in a jet shortly after X rays from the accretion disk get dimmer -- as if the accretion disk suddenly flushes into the black hole and disappears, fueling the jet. These radio "blobs" then appear to move at faster-than- light speeds, an illusion caused by their ultra-high speeds and their orientation with respect to Earth. Now the team of scientists sees this same phenomenon in 3C120. Roughly every ten months, the X-ray-emitting accretion disk around its supermassive black hole becomes suddenly dim, and a month later the telltale bright spot of radio emission appears in the jet. Over a three-year period, the team observed a series of radio blobs floating along the particle jet like smoke puffs, each time following a dip in the brightness of X rays from the accretion disk. "What we are likely seeing is the inner part of the accretion disk becoming unstable and suddenly plunging into the black hole," said Marscher. "We detect a 'dip' in the X-ray flux as the hot gas in the disk disappears after it passes the event horizon. The remainder of the disk is channeled into the jets, which we see as a knot of radio emission bubbling away from the black hole. Slowly the accretion disk fills with more interstellar gas until about ten months later, when something disturbs the accretion disk orbit, and the whole thing flushes and blows again." Joining Marscher on this observation and analysis are Svetlana Jorstad of Boston University; Jose-Luis Gomez of the Astrophysical Institute of Andalucia in Granada, Spain; Margo Aller of the University of Michigan; Harri Terasranta of the Helsinki University of Technology; Matthew Lister of NRAO; and Alastair Stirling of the University of Central Lancashire, England. The VLBA is a continent-wide radio-telescope system, with one telescope on Hawaii, another on St. Croix in

  13. 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.

  14. No supermassive black hole in M33?

    PubMed

    Merritt, D; Ferrarese, L; Joseph, C L

    2001-08-10

    We observed the nucleus of M33, the third-brightest galaxy in the Local Group, with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph at a resolution at least a factor of 10 higher than previously obtained. Rather than the steep rise expected within the radius of gravitational influence of a supermassive black hole, the random stellar velocities showed a decrease within a parsec of the center of the galaxy. The implied upper limit on the mass of the central black hole is only 3000 solar masses, about three orders of magnitude lower than the dynamically inferred mass of any other supermassive black hole. Detecting black holes of only a few thousand solar masses is observationally challenging, but it is critical to establish how supermassive black holes relate to their host galaxies, and which mechanisms influence the formation and evolution of both.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Gravitational Waves From Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di Girolamo, Tristano

    2016-10-01

    In this talk, I will present the first direct detections of gravitational waves from binary stellar-mass black hole mergers during the first observing run of the two detectors of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, which opened the field of gravitational-wave astronomy, and then discuss prospects for observing gravitational waves from supermassive black holes with future detectors.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The Supermassive Black Hole—Galaxy Connection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Andrew

    2014-09-01

    The observed scaling relations imply that supermassive black holes (SMBH) and their host galaxies evolve together. Near-Eddington winds from the SMBH accretion discs explain many aspects of this connection. The wind Eddington factor should be in the range ˜1-30. A factor give black hole winds with velocities v˜0.1 c, observable in X-rays, just as seen in the most extreme ultrafast outflows (UFOs). Higher Eddington factors predict slower and less ionized winds, observable in the UV, as in BAL QSOs. In all cases the wind must shock against the host interstellar gas and it is plausible that these shocks should cool efficiently. There is detailed observational evidence for this in some UFOs. The wind sweeps up the interstellar gas into a thin shell and propels it outwards. For SMBH masses below a certain critical ( M- σ) value, all these outflows eventually stall and fall back, as the Eddington thrust of the wind is too weak to drive the gas to large radii. But once the SMBH mass reaches the critical M- σ value the global character of the outflow changes completely. The wind shock is no longer efficiently cooled, and the resulting thermal expansion drives the interstellar gas far from the black hole, which is unlikely to grow significantly further. Simple estimates of the maximum stellar bulge mass M b allowed by self-limited star formation show that the SMBH mass is typically about 10-3 M b at this point, in line with observation. The expansion-driven outflow reaches speeds v out≃1200 km s-1 and drives rates in cool (molecular) gas, giving a typical outflow mechanical energy L mech≃0.05 L Edd, where L Edd is the Eddington luminosity of the central SMBH. This is again in line with observation. These massive outflows may be what makes galaxies become red and dead, and can have several other potentially observable effects. In particular they have the right properties to enrich the intergalactic gas with metals. Our current picture of SMBH-galaxy coevolution is

  2. The Environmental Impact of Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loeb, A.

    The supermassive black holes observed at the centers of almost all present-day galaxies had a profound impact on their environment. I highlight the principle of self-regulation, by which supermassive black holes grow until they release sufficient energy to unbind the gas that feeds them from their host galaxy. This principle explains several observed facts, including the correlation between the mass of a central black hole and the depth of the gravitational potential well of its host galaxy, and the abundance and clustering properties of bright quasars in the redshift interval of z~ 2-6. At lower redshifts, quasars might have limited the maximum mass of galaxies through the suppression of cooling flows in X-ray clusters. The seeds of supermassive black holes were likely planted in dwarf galaxies at redshifts z> 10, through the collapse of massive or supermassive stars. The minimum seed mass can be identified observationally through the detection of gravitational waves from black hole binaries by Advanced LIGO or LISA. Aside from shaping their host galaxies, quasar outflows filled the intergalactic medium with magnetic fields and heavy elements. Beyond the reach of these outflows, the brightest quasars at z>6 have ionized exceedingly large volumes of gas (tens of comoving Mpc) prior to global reionization, and must have suppressed the faint end of the galaxy luminosity function in these volumes before the same occurred through the rest of the universe.

  3. SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES WITH HIGH ACCRETION RATES IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI. VI. VELOCITY-RESOLVED REVERBERATION MAPPING OF THE Hβ LINE

    SciTech Connect

    Du, Pu; Lu, Kai-Xing; Hu, Chen; Qiu, Jie; Li, Yan-Rong; Huang, Ying-Ke; Wang, Jian-Min; Wang, Fang; Bai, Jin-Ming; Bian, Wei-Hao; Yuan, Ye-Fei; Ho, Luis C. E-mail: wangjm@ihep.ac.cn; Collaboration: SEAMBH Collaboration

    2016-03-20

    In the sixth of a series of papers reporting on a large reverberation mapping (RM) campaign of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with high accretion rates, we present velocity-resolved time lags of Hβ emission lines for nine objects observed in the campaign during 2012–2013. In order to correct the line broadening caused by seeing and instruments before analyzing the velocity-resolved RM, we adopt the Richardson–Lucy deconvolution to reconstruct their Hβ profiles. The validity and effectiveness of the deconvolution are checked using Monte Carlo simulation. Five among the nine objects show clear dependence of the time delay on velocity. Mrk 335 and Mrk 486 show signatures of gas inflow whereas the clouds in the broad-line regions (BLRs) of Mrk 142 and MCG +06-26-012 tend to be radial outflowing. Mrk 1044 is consistent with having virialized motions. The lags of the remaining four are not velocity-resolvable. The velocity-resolved RM of super-Eddington accreting massive black holes (SEAMBHs) shows that they have diverse kinematics in their BLRs. Comparing with the AGNs with sub-Eddington accretion rates, we do not find significant differences in the BLR kinematics of SEAMBHs.

  4. Supermassive Black Holes with High Accretion Rates in Active Galactic Nuclei. VI. Velocity-resolved Reverberation Mapping of the Hβ Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Pu; Lu, Kai-Xing; Hu, Chen; Qiu, Jie; Li, Yan-Rong; Huang, Ying-Ke; Wang, Fang; Bai, Jin-Ming; Bian, Wei-Hao; Yuan, Ye-Fei; Ho, Luis C.; Wang, Jian-Min; SEAMBH Collaboration

    2016-03-01

    In the sixth of a series of papers reporting on a large reverberation mapping (RM) campaign of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with high accretion rates, we present velocity-resolved time lags of Hβ emission lines for nine objects observed in the campaign during 2012-2013. In order to correct the line broadening caused by seeing and instruments before analyzing the velocity-resolved RM, we adopt the Richardson-Lucy deconvolution to reconstruct their Hβ profiles. The validity and effectiveness of the deconvolution are checked using Monte Carlo simulation. Five among the nine objects show clear dependence of the time delay on velocity. Mrk 335 and Mrk 486 show signatures of gas inflow whereas the clouds in the broad-line regions (BLRs) of Mrk 142 and MCG +06-26-012 tend to be radial outflowing. Mrk 1044 is consistent with having virialized motions. The lags of the remaining four are not velocity-resolvable. The velocity-resolved RM of super-Eddington accreting massive black holes (SEAMBHs) shows that they have diverse kinematics in their BLRs. Comparing with the AGNs with sub-Eddington accretion rates, we do not find significant differences in the BLR kinematics of SEAMBHs.

  5. Do stellar winds prevent the formation of supermassive stars by accretion?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakauchi, Daisuke; Hosokawa, Takashi; Omukai, Kazuyuki; Saio, Hideyuki; Nomoto, Ken'ichi

    2017-03-01

    Supermassive stars (SMSs; ∼105 M⊙) formed from metal-free gas in the early Universe attract attention as progenitors of supermassive black holes observed at high redshifts. To form SMSs by accretion, central protostars must accrete at as high rates as ∼0.1-1 M⊙ yr-1. Such protostars have very extended structures with bloated envelopes, like supergiant stars, and are called supergiant protostars (SGPSs). Under the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium, SGPSs have density-inverted layers, where the luminosity becomes locally super-Eddington, near the surface. If the envelope matter is allowed to flow out, however, a stellar wind could be launched and hinder the accretion growth of SGPSs before reaching the supermassive regime. We examine whether radiation-driven winds are launched from SGPSs by constructing steady and spherically symmetric wind solutions. We find that the wind velocity does not reach the escape velocity in any case considered. This is because once the temperature falls below ∼104 K, the opacity plummet drastically owing to the recombination of hydrogen and the acceleration ceases suddenly. This indicates that, in realistic non-steady cases, even if outflows are launched from the surface of SGPSs, they would fall back again. Such a 'wind' does not result in net mass-loss and does not prevent the growth of SGPSs. In conclusion, SGPSs will grow to SMSs and eventually collapse to massive black holes of ∼105 M⊙, as long as the rapid accretion is maintained.

  6. 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.

  7. Supermassive star formation via episodic accretion: protostellar disc instability and radiative feedback efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakurai, Y.; Vorobyov, E. I.; Hosokawa, T.; Yoshida, N.; Omukai, K.; Yorke, H. W.

    2016-06-01

    The formation of supermassive stars (SMSs) is a potential pathway to seed supermassive black holes in the early universe. A critical issue for forming SMSs is stellar UV feedback, which may limit the stellar mass growth via accretion. In this paper, we study the evolution of an accreting SMS and its UV emissivity with realistic variable accretion from a circumstellar disc. First we conduct a 2D hydrodynamical simulation to follow the protostellar accretion until the stellar mass exceeds 104 M⊙. The disc fragments by gravitational instability, creating many clumps that migrate inward to fall on to the star. The resulting accretion history is highly time-dependent: short episodic accretion bursts are followed by longer quiescent phases. We show that the disc for the direct collapse model is more unstable and generates greater variability than normal Pop III cases. Next, we conduct a stellar evolution calculation using the obtained accretion history. Our results show that, regardless of the variable accretion, the stellar radius monotonically increases with almost constant effective temperature at Teff ≃ 5000 K as the stellar mass increases. The resulting UV feedback is too weak to hinder accretion due to the low flux of stellar UV photons. The insensitivity of stellar evolution to variable accretion is attributed to the fact that time-scales of variability, ≲103 yr, are too short to affect the stellar structure. We argue that this evolution will continue until the SMS collapses to produce a black hole by the general relativistic instability after the mass reaches ≳105 M⊙.

  8. Accretion Disk Emission Around Kerr Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campitiello, Samuele; Sbarrato, T.; Ghisellini, G.

    2016-10-01

    Measuring the spin of supermassive Black holes in Active Galactic Nuclei is a further step towards a better understanding of the evolution of their physics. We proposed a new method to estimate the Black hole spin, based on data-fitting. We consider a numerical model called KERRBB, including all relativistic effects (i.e. light-bending, gravitational redshift and Doppler beaming). We found that the same spectrum can be produced by different masses, accretion rates and spins, but that these three quantities are related. In other words, having a robust indipendent estimate on one of these three quantities fixes the other two. By using the Black hole mass, estimated by the virial method, we can pinpoint a narrow range of possible spins and accretion rates for the 32 blazars we have studied. For these objects, we found a lower limit of the spin, that must be a/M > 0.6-0.7

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Alignment of Supermassive Black Hole Binary Orbits and Spins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 ~1 pc to ~10-3-10-2 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 ~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 ~(m 1/m 2)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. 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.

  13. MIGRATION TRAPS IN DISKS AROUND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Bellovary, Jillian M.; Low, Mordecai-Mark Mac; McKernan, Barry; Ford, K. E. Saavik

    2016-03-10

    Accretion disks around supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) contain stars, stellar mass black holes, and other stellar remnants, which perturb the disk gas gravitationally. The resulting density perturbations exert torques on the embedded masses causing them to migrate through the disk in a manner analogous to planets in protoplanetary disks. We determine the strength and direction of these torques using an empirical analytic description dependent on local disk gradients, applied to two different analytic, steady-state disk models of SMBH accretion disks. We find that there are radii in such disks where the gas torque changes sign, trapping migrating objects. Our analysis shows that major migration traps generally occur where the disk surface density gradient changes sign from positive to negative, around 20–300R{sub g}, where R{sub g} = 2GM/c{sup 2} is the Schwarzschild radius. At these traps, massive objects in the AGN disk can accumulate, collide, scatter, and accrete. Intermediate mass black hole formation is likely in these disk locations, which may lead to preferential gap and cavity creation at these radii. Our model thus has significant implications for SMBH growth as well as gravitational wave source populations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chartas, G.; Krawczynski, H.; Zalesky, L.; Kochanek, C. S.; Dai, X.; Morgan, C. W.; Mosquera, A.

    2017-03-01

    We present a promising new technique, the g-distribution method, for measuring the inclination angle (i), the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO), and the spin of a supermassive black hole. The g-distribution method uses measurements of the energy shifts in the relativistic iron line emitted by the accretion disk of a supermassive black hole due to microlensing by stars in a foreground galaxy relative to the g-distribution shifts predicted from microlensing caustic calculations. We apply the method to the gravitationally lensed quasars RX J1131–1231 (z s = 0.658, z l = 0.295), QJ 0158–4325 (z s = 1.294, z l = 0.317), and SDSS 1004+4112 (z s = 1.734, z l = 0.68). For RX J1131‑1231, our initial results indicate that r ISCO ≲ 8.5 gravitational radii (r g) and i ≳ 55° (99% confidence level). We detect two shifted Fe lines in several observations, as predicted in our numerical simulations of caustic crossings. The current ΔE distribution of RX J1131–1231 is sparsely sampled, but further X-ray monitoring of RX J1131–1231 and other lensed quasars will provide improved constraints on the inclination angles, ISCO radii, and spins of the black holes of distant quasars.

  15. 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.

  16. Light or heavy supermassive black hole seeds: the role of internal rotation in the fate of supermassive stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiacconi, Davide; Rossi, Elena M.

    2017-01-01

    Supermassive black holes are a key ingredient of galaxy evolution. However, their origin is still highly debated. In one of the leading formation scenarios, a black hole of ˜100 M⊙ results from the collapse of the inner core of a supermassive star (≳104-5 M⊙), created by the rapid accumulation (≳0.1 M⊙ yr-1) of pristine gas at the centre of newly formed galaxies at z ˜ 15. The subsequent evolution is still speculative: the remaining gas in the supermassive star can either directly plunge into the nascent black hole or part of it can form a central accretion disc, whose luminosity sustains a surrounding, massive, and nearly hydrostatic envelope (a system called a `quasi-star'). To address this point, we consider the effect of rotation on a quasi-star, as angular momentum is inevitably transported towards the galactic nucleus by the accumulating gas. Using a model for the internal redistribution of angular momentum that qualitatively matches results from simulations of rotating convective stellar envelopes, we show that quasi-stars with an envelope mass greater than a few 105 M_{⊙} × (black hole mass/100 M_{⊙})^{0.82} have highly sub-Keplerian gas motion in their core, preventing gas circularization outside the black hole's horizon. Less massive quasi-stars could form but last for only ≲104 yr before the accretion luminosity unbinds the envelope, suppressing the black hole growth. We speculate that this might eventually lead to a dual black hole seed population: (i) massive (>104 M⊙) seeds formed in the most massive (>108 M⊙) and rare haloes; (ii) lighter (˜102 M⊙) seeds to be found in less massive and therefore more common haloes.

  17. Black hole growth and AGN feedback under clumpy accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeGraf, C.; Dekel, A.; Gabor, J.; Bournaud, F.

    2017-04-01

    High-resolution simulations of supermassive black holes in isolated galaxies have suggested the importance of short (∼10 Myr) episodes of rapid accretion caused by interactions between the black hole and massive dense clouds within the host. Accretion of such clouds could potentially provide the dominant source for black hole growth in high-z galaxies, but it remains unresolved in cosmological simulations. Using a stochastic subgrid model calibrated by high-resolution isolated galaxy simulations, we investigate the impact that variability in black hole accretion rates has on black hole growth and the evolution of the host galaxy. We find this clumpy accretion to more efficiently fuel high-redshift black hole growth. This increased mass allows for more rapid accretion even in the absence of high-density clumps, compounding the effect and resulting in substantially faster overall black hole growth. This increased growth allows the black hole to efficiently evacuate gas from the central region of the galaxy, driving strong winds up to ∼2500 km s-1, producing outflows ∼10 × stronger than the smooth accretion case, suppressing the inflow of gas on to the host galaxy, and suppressing the star formation within the galaxy by as much as a factor of 2. This suggests that the proper incorporation of variability is a key factor in the co-evolution between black holes and their hosts.

  18. Supermassive black holes in local galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bender, Ralf; Saglia, Roberto P.

    2007-01-01

    Over the past decade we have learned that probably all ellipticals and bulges of galaxies contain central supermassive black holes (SMBH). SMBH masses correlate well with the luminosities, and in turn the stellar masses of the bulges harboring them, with about 0.15% of the bulge mass being found in the SMBH. Pure disk galaxies, on the other hand, do not, in general, seem to contain SMBHs. Here we review the best cases for SMBH detection in galaxies, discuss methods and associated uncertainties, summarize correlations between SMBH masses and host galaxy properties, and finally address possible future developments. To cite this article: R. Bender, R.P. Saglia, C. R. Physique 8 (2007).

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Detection of Gravitational Wave Emission by Supermassive Black Hole Binaries Through Tidal Disruption Flares.

    PubMed

    Hayasaki, Kimitake; Loeb, Abraham

    2016-10-21

    Galaxy mergers produce supermassive black hole binaries, which emit gravitational waves prior to their coalescence. We perform three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations to study the tidal disruption of stars by such a binary in the final centuries of its life. We find that the gas stream of the stellar debris moves chaotically in the binary potential and forms accretion disks around both black holes. The accretion light curve is modulated over the binary orbital period owing to relativistic beaming. This periodic signal allows to detect the decay of the binary orbit due to gravitational wave emission by observing two tidal disruption events that are separated by more than a decade.

  2. Detection of Gravitational Wave Emission by Supermassive Black Hole Binaries Through Tidal Disruption Flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayasaki, Kimitake; Loeb, Abraham

    2016-10-01

    Galaxy mergers produce supermassive black hole binaries, which emit gravitational waves prior to their coalescence. We perform three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations to study the tidal disruption of stars by such a binary in the final centuries of its life. We find that the gas stream of the stellar debris moves chaotically in the binary potential and forms accretion disks around both black holes. The accretion light curve is modulated over the binary orbital period owing to relativistic beaming. This periodic signal allows to detect the decay of the binary orbit due to gravitational wave emission by observing two tidal disruption events that are separated by more than a decade.

  3. Detection of Gravitational Wave Emission by Supermassive Black Hole Binaries Through Tidal Disruption Flares

    PubMed Central

    Hayasaki, Kimitake; Loeb, Abraham

    2016-01-01

    Galaxy mergers produce supermassive black hole binaries, which emit gravitational waves prior to their coalescence. We perform three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations to study the tidal disruption of stars by such a binary in the final centuries of its life. We find that the gas stream of the stellar debris moves chaotically in the binary potential and forms accretion disks around both black holes. The accretion light curve is modulated over the binary orbital period owing to relativistic beaming. This periodic signal allows to detect the decay of the binary orbit due to gravitational wave emission by observing two tidal disruption events that are separated by more than a decade. PMID:27767188

  4. Chaotic cold accretion on to black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaspari, M.; Ruszkowski, M.; Oh, S. Peng

    2013-07-01

    Bondi theory is often assumed to adequately describe the mode of accretion in astrophysical environments. However, the Bondi flow must be adiabatic, spherically symmetric, steady, unperturbed, with constant boundary conditions. Using 3D adaptive mesh refinement simulations, linking the 50 kpc to the sub-parsec (sub-pc) scales over the course of 40 Myr, we systematically relax the classic assumptions in a typical galaxy hosting a supermassive black hole. In the more realistic scenario, where the hot gas is cooling, while heated and stirred on large scales, the accretion rate is boosted up to two orders of magnitude compared with the Bondi prediction. The cause is the non-linear growth of thermal instabilities, leading to the condensation of cold clouds and filaments when tcool/tff ≲ 10. The clouds decouple from the hot gas, `raining' on to the centre. Subsonic turbulence of just over 100 km s-1 (M > 0.2) induces the formation of thermal instabilities, even in the absence of heating, while in the transonic regime turbulent dissipation inhibits their growth (tturb/tcool ≲ 1). When heating restores global thermodynamic balance, the formation of the multiphase medium is violent, and the mode of accretion is fully cold and chaotic. The recurrent collisions and tidal forces between clouds, filaments and the central clumpy torus promote angular momentum cancellation, hence boosting accretion. On sub-pc scales the clouds are channelled to the very centre via a funnel. In this study, we do not inject a fixed initial angular momentum, though vorticity is later seeded by turbulence. A good approximation to the accretion rate is the cooling rate, which can be used as subgrid model, physically reproducing the boost factor of 100 required by cosmological simulations, while accounting for the frequent fluctuations. Since our modelling is fairly general (turbulence/heating due to AGN feedback, galaxy motions, mergers, stellar evolution), chaotic cold accretion may be common in

  5. Tidal disruption events from supermassive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coughlin, Eric R.; Armitage, Philip J.; Nixon, Chris; Begelman, Mitchell C.

    2017-03-01

    We investigate the pre-disruption gravitational dynamics and post-disruption hydrodynamics of the tidal disruption of stars by supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries. We focus on binaries with relatively low mass primaries (106 M⊙), moderate mass ratios, and separations with reasonably long gravitational wave inspiral times (tens of Myr). First, we generate a large ensemble (between 1 and 10 million) of restricted three-body integrations to quantify the statistical properties of tidal disruptions by circular SMBH binaries of initially unbound stars. Compared to the reference case of a disruption by a single SMBH, the binary potential induces a significant variance into the specific energy and angular momentum of the star at the point of disruption. Second, we use Newtonian numerical hydrodynamics to study the detailed evolution of the fallback debris from 120 disruptions randomly selected from the three-body ensemble (excluding only the most deeply penetrating encounters). We find that the overall morphology of the debris is greatly altered by the presence of the second black hole, and the accretion rate histories display a wide range of behaviours, including order of magnitude dips and excesses relative to control simulations that include only one black hole. Complex evolution typically persists for many orbital periods of the binary. We find evidence for power in the accretion curves on time-scales related to the binary orbital period, though there is no exact periodicity. We discuss our results in the context of future wide-field surveys, and comment on the prospects of identifying and characterizing the subset of events occurring in nuclei with binary SMBHs.

  6. Jet-launching structure resolved near the supermassive black hole in M87.

    PubMed

    Doeleman, Sheperd S; Fish, Vincent L; Schenck, David E; Beaudoin, Christopher; Blundell, Ray; Bower, Geoffrey C; Broderick, Avery E; Chamberlin, Richard; Freund, Robert; Friberg, Per; Gurwell, Mark A; Ho, Paul T P; Honma, Mareki; Inoue, Makoto; Krichbaum, Thomas P; Lamb, James; Loeb, Abraham; Lonsdale, Colin; Marrone, Daniel P; Moran, James M; Oyama, Tomoaki; Plambeck, Richard; Primiani, Rurik A; Rogers, Alan E E; Smythe, Daniel L; SooHoo, Jason; Strittmatter, Peter; Tilanus, Remo P J; Titus, Michael; Weintroub, Jonathan; Wright, Melvyn; Young, Ken H; Ziurys, Lucy M

    2012-10-19

    Approximately 10% of active galactic nuclei exhibit relativistic jets, which are powered by the accretion of matter onto supermassive black holes. Although the measured width profiles of such jets on large scales agree with theories of magnetic collimation, the predicted structure on accretion disk scales at the jet launch point has not been detected. We report radio interferometry observations, at a wavelength of 1.3 millimeters, of the elliptical galaxy M87 that spatially resolve the base of the jet in this source. The derived size of 5.5 ± 0.4 Schwarzschild radii is significantly smaller than the innermost edge of a retrograde accretion disk, suggesting that the M87 jet is powered by an accretion disk in a prograde orbit around a spinning black hole.

  7. 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

  8. Is There a Size Limit for Supermassive Black Holes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-09-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) lurk in the centers of galaxies, and weve measured their masses to range from hundreds of thousands to ten billion solar masses. But is there a maximum mass that these monsters are limited to?Observed MaximumSince the era when the first SMBHs formed, enough time has passed for them to potentially grow to monstrous size, assuming a sufficient supply of fuel.Instead, however, we observe that SMBHs in the centers of the largest local-universe galaxies max out at a top mass of a few times 1010 solar masses. Even more intriguingly, this limit appears to be redshift-independent: we see the same maximum mass of a few 1010 solar masses for SMBHs fueling the brightest of quasars at redshifts up to z~7.Accretion rate (solid) and star formation rate (dashed) vs. radius in a star-forming accretion disk, for several different values of black-hole mass. Though accretion rates start out very high at large radius, they drop to just a few solar masses per year at small radii, because much of the gas is lost to star formation in the disk. [Inayoshi Haiman 2016]So why dont we see any giants larger than around 10 billion solar masses, regardless of where we look? Two astronomers from Columbia University, Kohei Inayoshi (Simons Fellow) and Zoltn Haiman, suggest that there is a limiting mass for SMBHs thats set by small-scale physical processes, rather than large processes like galaxy evolution, star formation history, or background cosmology.Challenges for AccretionGrowing an SMBH thats more massive than 1010 solar masses requires gas to be quickly funneled from the outer regions of the galaxy (hundreds of light-years out), through the large accretion disk that surrounds the black hole, and into the nuclear region (light-year scales): the gas must be brought in at rates as high as 1,000 solar masses per year.Modeling this process, Inayoshi and Haiman demonstrate that at such high rates, the majority of the gas instead gets stuck in the disk, causing

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. A Nearly Naked Supermassive Black Hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Condon, J. J.; Darling, Jeremy; Kovalev, Y. Y.; Petrov, L.

    2017-01-01

    During a systematic search for supermassive black holes (SMBHs) not in galactic nuclei, we identified the compact, symmetric radio source B3 1715+425 with an emission-line galaxy offset ≈ 8.5 {kpc} from the nucleus of the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) in the redshift z = 0.1754 cluster ZwCl 8193. B3 1715+425 is too bright (brightness temperature {T}{{b}}∼ 3× {10}10 {{K}} at observing frequency ν =7.6 {GHz}) and too luminous (1.4 GHz luminosity {L}1.4{GHz}∼ {10}25 {{W}} {{Hz}}-1) to be powered by anything but an SMBH, but its host galaxy is much smaller (∼ 0.9 {kpc}× 0.6 {kpc} full width between half-maximum points) and optically fainter (R-band absolute magnitude {M}{{r}}≈ -18.2) than any other radio galaxy. Its high radial velocity {v}{{r}}≈ 1860 {km} {{{s}}}-1 relative to the BCG, continuous ionized wake extending back to the BCG nucleus, and surrounding debris indicate that the radio galaxy was tidally shredded passing through the BCG core, leaving a nearly naked SMBH fleeing from the BCG with space velocity v≳ 2000 {km} {{{s}}}-1. The radio galaxy has mass M≲ 6× {10}9 {M}ȯ and infrared luminosity {L}{IR}∼ 3× {10}11 {L}ȯ close to its dust Eddington limit, so it is vulnerable to further mass loss from radiative feedback.

  15. 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. .

  16. ALMA Explores How Supermassive Black Holes Talk to Their Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-03-01

    We believe that supermassive black holes evolve in tandem with their host galaxies but how do the two communicate? Observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have revealed new clues about how a monster black hole talks to its galaxy.A Hubble image of the central galaxy in the Phoenix cluster. [Adapted from Russell et al. 2017]Observing FeedbackActive galactic nuclei (AGN), the highly luminous centers of some galaxies, are thought to radiate due to active accretion onto the supermassive black hole at their center.Its long been suspected that the radiation and outflowing material which often takes the form of enormous bipolar radio jets emitted into the surroundings influence the AGNs host galaxy, affecting star formation rates and the evolution of the galaxy. This AGN feedback has been alternately suggested to trigger star formation, quench it, and truncate the growth of massive galaxies.The details of this feedback process, however, have yet to be thoroughly understood in part because its difficult to obtain detailed observations of how AGN outflows interact with the galactic gas surrounding them. Now, a team of scientists led by Helen Russell (Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, UK) has published the results of a new, high-resolution look at the gas in a massive galaxy in the center of the Phoenix cluster.Many Uses for FuelThe Phoenix cluster, a nearby (z = 0.596) group of star-forming galaxies, is the most luminous X-ray cluster known. The central galaxy in the cluster is especially active: it hosts a starburst of 500800 solar masses per year, the largest starburst found in any galaxy below a redshift of z= 1.The star formation in this galaxy is sustained by an enormous reservoir of cold molecular gas roughly 20 billion solar masses worth. This reservoir also powers the galaxys central black hole, fueling powerful radio jets that extend into the hot atmosphere of the galaxy and blow a giant bubble into the hot gas at each pole

  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. 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].

  19. Circularization of tidally disrupted stars around spinning supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayasaki, Kimitake; Stone, Nicholas; Loeb, Abraham

    2016-10-01

    We study the circularization of tidally disrupted stars on bound orbits around spinning supermassive black holes by performing 3D smoothed particle hydrodynamic simulations with post-Newtonian corrections. Our simulations reveal that debris circularization depends sensitively on the efficiency of radiative cooling. There are two stages in debris circularization if radiative cooling is inefficient: first, the stellar debris streams self-intersect due to relativistic apsidal precession; shocks at the intersection points thermalize orbital energy and the debris forms a geometrically thick, ring-like structure around the black hole. The ring rapidly spreads via viscous diffusion, leading to the formation of a geometrically thick accretion disc. In contrast, if radiative cooling is efficient, the stellar debris circularizes due to self-intersection shocks and forms a geometrically thin ring-like structure. In this case, the dissipated energy can be emitted during debris circularization as a precursor to the subsequent tidal disruption flare. The circularization time-scale is remarkably long in the radiatively efficient cooling case, and is also sensitive to black hole spin. Specifically, Lense-Thirring torques cause dynamically important nodal precession, which significantly delays debris circularization. On the other hand, nodal precession is too slow to produce observable signatures in the radiatively inefficient case. Since the stellar debris is optically thick and its photon diffusion time is likely longer than the time-scale of shock heating, our inefficient cooling scenario is more generally applicable in eccentric tidal disruption events (TDEs). However, in parabolic TDEs for MBH ≳ 2 × 106 M⊙, the spin-sensitive behaviour associated with efficient cooling may be realized.

  20. Physics of Coevolution of Galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cen, Renyue

    2012-08-01

    A new physically based model for coevolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes (SMBHs) is presented. The evolutionary track starts with an event that triggers a significant starburst in the central region of a galaxy. In this model, the main SMBH growth takes place in the post-starburst phase, fueled by recycled gas from inner bulge stars in a self-regulated fashion on a timescale that is substantially longer than 100 Myr and at a diminishing Eddington ratio with time. We argue that the SMBH cannot gorge itself during the starburst phase, despite the abundant supply of cold gas, because star formation (SF) is a preferred mode of gas consumption over accretion to the central SMBH in such an environment. We also show that feedback from SF is at least as strong as that from an active galactic nucleus (AGN); thus, if SF is in need of being quenched, AGN feedback generally does not play the primary role. The predicted relation between SMBH mass and bulge mass/velocity dispersion is consistent with observations. A clear prediction is that early-type galaxy hosts of high-Eddington-rate AGNs are expected to be light blue to green in optical color, gradually evolving to the red sequences with decreasing AGN luminosity. A suite of falsifiable predictions and implications with respect to relationships between various types of galaxies, AGNs, and others are made. For those where comparisons to extant observations are possible, the model appears to be in good standing.

  1. 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.

  2. The Formation and Growth of the Earliest Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aird, James; Comastri, Andrea; Topical Panel 2. 1

    2015-09-01

    Understanding how supermassive black holes (BHs) form and grow in the very early (z>6) Universe, when the first stars and galaxies were forming, is one of the major science aims of the Athena mission. The physical processes responsible for the initial formation of these BHs and their early growth via accretion - when they are seen as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) - remain unclear. Large-scale optical/near-infrared imaging surveys have identified a few tens of luminous AGNs at z>6, powered by extremely massive BHs, and place vital constraints on the range of possible formation and growth mechanisms. To make further progress, however, we must identify lower luminosity and obscured AGNs at z>6, which represent the bulk of early BH growth. I will discuss recent measurements that trace the evolution of AGN population out to the highest possible redshifts (z~5-6) using the latest X-ray surveys with Chandra and XMM-Newton. However, Athena will provide the superb sensitivity over a wide field-of-view that is required to identify the earliest (z>6) growing BHs, trace their evolution within the early galaxy population, and determine the physical mechanisms that drive their formation and growth. Achieving these aims represents a major challenge that will push the capabilities of both Athena and supporting ground- and space-based observatories. I will present the prospects for a large Athena survey programme and discuss both the technical and scientific challenges that must be addressed in preparation for the Athena mission.

  3. PHYSICS OF COEVOLUTION OF GALAXIES AND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Cen Renyue

    2012-08-10

    A new physically based model for coevolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes (SMBHs) is presented. The evolutionary track starts with an event that triggers a significant starburst in the central region of a galaxy. In this model, the main SMBH growth takes place in the post-starburst phase, fueled by recycled gas from inner bulge stars in a self-regulated fashion on a timescale that is substantially longer than 100 Myr and at a diminishing Eddington ratio with time. We argue that the SMBH cannot gorge itself during the starburst phase, despite the abundant supply of cold gas, because star formation (SF) is a preferred mode of gas consumption over accretion to the central SMBH in such an environment. We also show that feedback from SF is at least as strong as that from an active galactic nucleus (AGN); thus, if SF is in need of being quenched, AGN feedback generally does not play the primary role. The predicted relation between SMBH mass and bulge mass/velocity dispersion is consistent with observations. A clear prediction is that early-type galaxy hosts of high-Eddington-rate AGNs are expected to be light blue to green in optical color, gradually evolving to the red sequences with decreasing AGN luminosity. A suite of falsifiable predictions and implications with respect to relationships between various types of galaxies, AGNs, and others are made. For those where comparisons to extant observations are possible, the model appears to be in good standing.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Valtaoja, L.; Valtonen, M.J.; Byrd, G.G.; Alabama Univ., Tuscaloosa )

    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. 39 refs.

  5. 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.

  6. Merging a Pair of Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-10-01

    When galaxies merge, the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at the galaxies centers are thought to coalesce, forming a new, larger black hole. But can this merger process take place on timescales short enough that we could actually observe it? Results from a new simulation suggests that it can!When Galaxies CollideThese stills demonstrate the time evolution of the galaxy merger after the beginning of the authors simulation (starting from z=3.6). The red and blue dots mark the positions of the SMBHs. [Adapted from Khan et al. 2016]At present, its not well understood how the merger of two SMBHs proceeds from the merger of their host galaxies. Whats more, there are concerns about whether the SMBHs can coalesce on reasonable timescales; in many simulations and models, the inspiral of these behemoths stalls out when they are about a parsec apart, in whats known as the final parsec problem.Why are these mergers poorly understood? Modeling them from the initial interactions of the host galaxies all the way down to the final coalescence of their SMBHs in a burst of gravitational waves is notoriously complicated, due to the enormous range of scales and different processes that must be accounted for.But in a recent study, a team of scientists led by Fazeel Khan (Institute of Space Technology in Pakistan) has presented a simulation that successfully manages to track the entire merger making it the first multi-scale simulation to model the complete evolution of an SMBH binary that forms within a cosmological galaxy merger.Stages of aSimulationKhan and collaborators tackled the challenges of this simulation by using a multi-tiered approach.Beginning with the output of a cosmological hydrodynamical simulation, the authors select a merger of two typical massive galaxies at z=3.6 and use this as the starting point for their simulation. They increase the resolution and add in two supermassive black holes, one at the center of each galaxy.They then continue to evolve the galaxies

  7. General Relativistic Simulations of Magnetized Plasmas around Merging Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giacomazzo, Bruno; Baker, John G.; Miller, M. Coleman; Reynolds, Christopher S.; van Meter, James R.

    2012-06-01

    Coalescing supermassive black hole binaries are produced by the mergers of galaxies and are the most powerful sources of gravitational waves accessible to space-based gravitational observatories. Some such mergers may occur in the presence of matter and magnetic fields and hence generate an electromagnetic counterpart. In this Letter, we present the first general relativistic simulations of magnetized plasma around merging supermassive black holes using the general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic code Whisky. By considering different magnetic field strengths, going from non-magnetically dominated to magnetically dominated regimes, we explore how magnetic fields affect the dynamics of the plasma and the possible emission of electromagnetic signals. In particular, we observe a total amplification of the magnetic field of ~2 orders of magnitude, which is driven by the accretion onto the binary and that leads to much stronger electromagnetic signals, more than a factor of 104 larger than comparable calculations done in the force-free regime where such amplifications are not possible.

  8. Accretion disks around black holes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abramowicz, M. A.

    1994-01-01

    The physics of accretion flow very close to a black hole is dominated by several general relativistic effects. It cannot be described by the standard Shakura Sunyaev model or by its relativistic version developed by Novikov and Thome. The most important of these effects is a dynamical mass loss from the inner edge of the disk (Roche lobe overflow). The relativistic Roche lobe overflow induces a strong advective cooling, which is sufficient to stabilize local, axially symmetric thermal and viscous modes. It also stabilizes the non-axially-symmetric global modes discovered by Papaloizou and Pringle. The Roche lobe overflow, however, destabilizes sufficiently self-gravitating accretion disks with respect to a catastrophic runaway of mass due to minute changes of the gravitational field induced by the changes in the mass and angular momentum of the central black hole. One of the two acoustic modes may become trapped near the inner edge of the disk. All these effects, absent in the standard model, have dramatic implications for time-dependent behavior of the accretion disks around black holes.

  9. 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

    2016-11-01

    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), utilizing the reference cosmological hydrodynamical simulation from the EAGLE suite. These simulations assume a Lambda cold dark matter 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 time-scale 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.

  10. Tidal disruptions by supermassive black holes - Hydrodynamic evolution of stars on a Schwarzschild background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laguna, Pablo; Miller, Warner A.; Zurek, Wojciech H.; Davies, Melvyn B.

    1993-01-01

    We present a three-dimensional numerical study of tidal disruption of a main-sequence star by a supermassive black hole. The simulations include general relativistic effects which are important in this regime. We analyze stars in a marginally bound orbit around the black hole with pericentric separation of a few Schwarzschild radii. We show that during a close passage, as a result of relativistic effects analogous to the perihelion shift, the trajectories of the debris of the star fan out into a crescent-like shape centered on the black hole. We also discuss the increase of the central density of the star as it approaches pericentric distance, the fraction of the debris accreted by the hole, its accretion rate, the distribution of debris orbits bound to the hole, and the velocity of unbound ejected material. We compare these results with the disruption of the star by a Newtonian point mass.

  11. INTERRUPTION OF TIDAL-DISRUPTION FLARES BY SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, F. K.; Li, S.; Chen Xian E-mail: lis@bac.pku.edu.c

    2009-11-20

    Supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) are products of galaxy mergers, and are important in testing LAMBDA cold dark matter cosmology and locating gravitational-wave-radiation sources. A unique electromagnetic signature of SMBHBs in galactic nuclei is essential in identifying the binaries in observations from the IR band through optical to X-ray. Recently, the flares in optical, UV, and X-ray caused by supermassive black holes (SMBHs) tidally disrupting nearby stars have been successfully used to observationally probe single SMBHs in normal galaxies. In this Letter, we investigate the accretion of the gaseous debris of a tidally disrupted star by a SMBHB. Using both stability analysis of three-body systems and numerical scattering experiments, we show that the accretion of stellar debris gas, which initially decays with time propor tot {sup -5/3}, would stop at a time T{sub tr} approx = etaT{sub b}. Here, eta approx 0.25 and T{sub b} is the orbital period of the SMBHB. After a period of interruption, the accretion recurs discretely at time T{sub r} approx = xi{sub b}, where xi approx 1. Both eta and xi sensitively depend on the orbital parameters of the tidally disrupted star at the tidal radius and the orbit eccentricity of SMBHB. The interrupted accretion of the stellar debris gas gives rise to an interrupted tidal flare, which could be used to identify SMBHBs in non-active galaxies in the upcoming transient surveys.

  12. Where do Accretion Disks Around Black Holes End?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asmus, D.; Duschl, W. J.

    2010-10-01

    Accretion disks around (supermassive) black holes act as "machines" which extract gravitational energy. In fact, the observed radiation allows to sample the physical conditions very close to the event horizon. For a test particle, the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) is located at 3 rS for a non-rotating hole (Schwarzschild metrics; at smaller radii for a rotating black hole). This ISCO is usually identified with the inner edge of the accretion disk. For a given black hole mass, it allows, in principle, to determine the Kerr parameter. In "real life," however, we deal not with test particles but with a viscous flow, which introduces additional forces. We have calculated the location of the inner edge in a more realistic environment. The results show that the true inner edge of the disk is no longer located at the ISCO, when radial advection of energy is taken into account with a careful treatment of the transonic nature of the flow.

  13. 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.

  14. A Supermassive Black Hole in a Nearby Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-03-01

    board the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) . That close view of the galaxy nucleus revealed a thin gaseous disk of material close to the center, which looked very much like an accretion disk that was feeding material into a central black hole. The HST image prompted further spectroscopic observations to probe the rotation of the disk, and thus to measure the mass of the central object. The ISAAC spectra ESO PR Photo 08b/01 ESO PR Photo 08b/01 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 303 pix - 216k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 606 pix - 572k] [Hires - JPEG: 2274 x 3000 pix - 4.0M] Caption : PR Photo 08b/01 shows two wavelength regions of one of the infrared ISAAC spectra of the center of Centaurus A . The direction of the long spectrograph slit is vertical and the dispersion (wavelength) direction is horizontal; longer wavelengths are towards the right. The two emission lines shown originate in singly ionized Iron ([FeII]; rest wavelength 1256.68 nm) and in Hydrogen (Paschen-Beta; 1281.81 nm) and both are clearly tilted. This is due to the rapid rotation of the accretion disk surrounding the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. The light from the receding edge of the disk is Doppler-shifted towards the red (to the right) and the light from the part of the disk approaching us is shifted to the left. This may be better seen in the inserted enlargements. Therefore the inclined disk shows a tilted spectrum. These motions may be represented in a rotation curve, cf. PR Photo 08c/01 . There are other emitting areas above and below the nucleus, especially in the Paschen-Beta line. Technical information about these photos is available below. ESO PR Photo 08c/01 ESO PR Photo 08c/01 [Preview - JPEG: 341 x 400 pix - 56k] [Normal - JPEG: 682 x 800 pix - 132k] Caption : PR Photo 08c/01 shows the rotation curve (velocity vrs. distance from the centre) of the disk surrounding the black hole at the centre of Centaurus A . From the ISAAC spectrum displayed in PR Photo 08b/01 , the `average' gas

  15. Watching a supermassive black hole eat -- Sgr A* and cloud G2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazio, Giovanni; Ashby, Matthew; Becklin, Eric; Carey, Sean; Ghez, Andrea; Hora, Joseph; Huang, Jiasheng; Ingalls, James; Meyer, Leo; Morris, Mark; Smith, Howard; Wang, Zhong; Witzel, Gunther; Willner, Steven

    2013-10-01

    The Galactic center supermassive black hole is a fluctuating source of electromagnetic radiation derived from its accretion flow. For the past decade, the black hole's ingestion has been modest, but in the near future, its accretion rate and luminosity are expected to surge as the cloud G2 swings by and feeds Sgr A* with a helping of fresh gas. We propose to monitor Sgr A* with Spitzer/IRAC at a wavelength of 4.5 microns as the elevated accretion episode proceeds. Near-infrared wavelengths are where the black hole's emission has been best characterized in the past, and IRAC observations will complement planned observations with other observatories at X-ray, radio, and submillimeter wavelengths. The variability of Sgr A* is a random red-noise process, but the limited duration of continuous ground-based observations (<6 hr) has prevented direct measurement of the correlation timescale. This timescale corresponds to a thermal or viscous timescale associated with the inner radius of the accretion disk, and knowing it is critical for the black hole accretion physics. IRAC offers the unique capability to observe in the infrared for 24 hours continuously at each epoch and to observe during the critical winter months when no ground-based observatories will be able to carry out infrared or submm observations. Our plan is to observe at seven epochs spread over a 14-month interval, including initial observations before the G2 periapsis. This will let us follow the initial stages of what is expected to be an extended accretion episode. Although Sgr A* lies in a crowded field, the sensitivity and the known, stable point spread function of IRAC will allow us recover all variability information on time scales longer than about 20 minutes (and perhaps shorter). The IRAC observations will at last reveal the correlation time of the variation and whether it changes during the accretion episode, yielding new information about black hole accretion disk physics.

  16. Strongly Magnetized Accretion Disks Around Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvesen, Greg; Armitage, Philip J.; Simon, Jacob B.; Begelman, Mitchell C.

    2017-01-01

    Recent observations are suggestive of strongly magnetized accretion disks around black holes. Performing local (shearing box) simulations of accretion disks, we investigate how a strong magnetization state can develop and persist. We demonstrate that poloidal flux is a necessary prerequisite for the sustainability of strongly magnetized accretion disks. We also show that black hole spin measurements can become unconstrained if magnetic fields provide a significant contribution to the vertical pressure support of the accretion disk atmosphere.

  17. 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.

  18. Dynamical structure of magnetized dissipative accretion flow around black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarkar, Biplob; Das, Santabrata

    2016-09-01

    We study the global structure of optically thin, advection dominated, magnetized accretion flow around black holes. We consider the magnetic field to be turbulent in nature and dominated by the toroidal component. With this, we obtain the complete set of accretion solutions for dissipative flows where bremsstrahlung process is regarded as the dominant cooling mechanism. We show that rotating magnetized accretion flow experiences virtual barrier around black hole due to centrifugal repulsion that can trigger the discontinuous transition of the flow variables in the form of shock waves. We examine the properties of the shock waves and find that the dynamics of the post-shock corona (PSC) is controlled by the flow parameters, namely viscosity, cooling rate and strength of the magnetic field, respectively. We separate the effective region of the parameter space for standing shock and observe that shock can form for wide range of flow parameters. We obtain the critical viscosity parameter that allows global accretion solutions including shocks. We estimate the energy dissipation at the PSC from where a part of the accreting matter can deflect as outflows and jets. We compare the maximum energy that could be extracted from the PSC and the observed radio luminosity values for several supermassive black hole sources and the observational implications of our present analysis are discussed.

  19. ACCRETION DISKS AROUND KICKED BLACK HOLES: POST-KICK DYNAMICS

    SciTech Connect

    Ponce, Marcelo; Faber, Joshua A.; Lombardi, James C. E-mail: jafsma@rit.edu

    2012-01-20

    Numerical calculations of merging black hole binaries indicate that asymmetric emission of gravitational radiation can kick the merged black hole at up to thousands of km s{sup -1}, and a number of systems have been observed recently whose properties are consistent with an active galactic nucleus containing a supermassive black hole moving with substantial velocity with respect to its broader accretion disk. We study here the effect of an impulsive kick delivered to a black hole on the dynamical evolution of its accretion disk using a smoothed particle hydrodynamics code, focusing attention on the role played by the kick angle with respect to the orbital angular momentum vector of the pre-kicked disk. We find that for more vertical kicks, for which the angle between the kick and the normal vector to the disk {theta} {approx}< 30 Degree-Sign , a gap remains present in the inner disk, in accordance with the prediction from an analytic collisionless Keplerian disk model, while for more oblique kicks with {theta} {approx}> 45 Degree-Sign , matter rapidly accretes toward the black hole. There is a systematic trend for higher potential luminosities for more oblique kick angles for a given black hole mass, disk mass, and kick velocity, and we find large amplitude oscillations in time in the case of a kick oriented 60 Degree-Sign from the vertical.

  20. 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.

  1. Magnetorotatioal Collapse of Supermassive Stars: Black Hole Formation and Jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Lunan; Paschalidis, Vasileios; Ruiz, Milton; Shapiro, Stuart

    2017-01-01

    We perform magnetohydrodynamic simulations in full general relativity of the collapse of radially unstable, uniformly rotating, massive stars to black holes. The stars spin at the mass-shedding limit, account for magnetic fields and obey a Γ = 4/3 EOS. The calculations lift the restriction of axisymmetry imposed in previous simulations. Our simulations model the direct collapse of supermassive stars to supermassive BHs (>=104M⊙) at high cosmological redshifts, which may explain the appearance of supermassive BHs and quasars by z 7. They also crudely model the collapse of massive Pop III stars to massive BHs, which could power some of the long gamma-ray bursts observed by FERMI and SWIFT at z 6-8. We analyze the properties of the electromagnetic and gravitational wave signatures of these events and discuss the detectability of such multimessenger sources.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-12-01

    moving in the lensing galaxy, the microlensing magnification also changes with time. From Earth, the brightness of the quasar images (four in the case of the Einstein Cross) flickers around a mean value, due to microlensing. The size of the area magnified by the moving stars is a few light-days, i.e., comparable in size to the quasar accretion disc. The microlensing affects various emission regions of the disc in different ways, with smaller regions being more magnified. Because differently sized regions have different colours (or temperatures), the net effect of the microlensing is to produce colour variations in the quasar images, in addition to the brightness variations. By observing these variations in detail for several years, astronomers can measure how matter and energy are distributed about the supermassive black hole that lurks inside the quasar. Astronomers observed the Einstein Cross three times a month over a period of three years using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), monitoring all the brightness and colour changes of the four images. "Thanks to this unique dataset, we could show that the most energetic radiation is emitted in the central light-day away from the supermassive black hole and, more importantly, that the energy decreases with distance to the black hole almost exactly in the way predicted by theory," says Alexander Eigenbrod, who completed the analysis of the data. The use of the macro- and microlensing, coupled with the giant eye of the VLT, enabled astronomers to probe regions on scales as small as a millionth of an arcsecond. This corresponds to the size of a one euro coin seen at a distance of five million kilometres, i.e., about 13 times the distance to the Moon! "This is 1000 times better than can be achieved using normal techniques with any existing telescope," adds Courbin. Measuring the way the temperature is distributed around the central black hole is a unique achievement. Various theories exist for the formation and fuelling of

  4. Supermassive black holes formed by direct collapse of inflationary perturbations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakama, Tomohiro; Suyama, Teruaki; Yokoyama, Jun'ichi

    2016-11-01

    We propose a mechanism of producing a new type of primordial perturbations that collapse to primordial black holes, whose mass can be as large as necessary for them to grow to the supermassive black holes observed at high redshifts, without contradicting Cosmic Background Explorer/Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (COBE/FIRAS) upper limits on cosmic microwave background (CMB) spectral distortions. In our model, the observable Universe consists of two kinds of many small patches which experienced different expansion histories during inflation. Primordial perturbations large enough to form primordial black holes are realized on patches that experienced more Hubble expansion than the others. By making these patches the minor component, the rarity of supermassive black holes can be explained. On the other hand, most regions of the Universe experienced the standard history and, hence, only have standard almost-scale-invariant adiabatic perturbations confirmed by observations of CMB or large-scale structures of the Universe. Thus, our mechanism can evade the constraint from the nondetection of the CMB distortion set by the COBE/FIRAS measurement. Our model predicts the existence of supermassive black holes even at redshifts much higher than those observed. Hence, our model can be tested by future observations peeking into the higher-redshift Universe.

  5. AGN Variability: Probing Black Hole Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, Jackeline; O'Brien, Jack; Vogeley, Michael S.; Richards, Gordon T.; Kasliwal, Vishal P.

    2017-01-01

    We combine the long temporal baseline of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) for quasars in Stripe 82 with the high precision photometry of the Kepler/K2 Satellite to study the physics of optical variability in the accretion disk and supermassive black hole engine. We model the lightcurves directly as Continuous-time Auto Regressive Moving Average processes (C-ARMA) with the Kali analysis package (Kasliwal et al. 2016). These models are extremely robust to irregular sampling and can capture aperiodic variability structure on various timescales. We also estimate the power spectral density and structure function of both the model family and the data. A Green's function kernel may also be estimated for the resulting C-ARMA parameter fit, which may be interpreted as the response to driving impulses such as hotspots in the accretion disk. We also examine available spectra for our AGN sample to relate observed and modelled behavior to spectral properties. The objective of this work is twofold: to explore the proper physical interpretation of different families of C-ARMA models applied to AGN optical flux variability and to relate empirical characteristic timescales of our AGN sample to physical theory or to properties estimated from spectra or simulations like the disk viscosity and temperature. We find that AGN with strong variability features on timescales resolved by K2 are well modelled by a low order C-ARMA family while K2 lightcurves with weak amplitude variability are dominated by outliers and measurement errors which force higher order model fits. This work explores a novel approach to combining SDSS and K2 data sets and presents recovered characteristic timescales of AGN variability.

  6. Event-horizon-scale structure in the supermassive black hole candidate at the Galactic Centre.

    PubMed

    Doeleman, Sheperd S; Weintroub, Jonathan; Rogers, Alan E E; Plambeck, Richard; Freund, Robert; Tilanus, Remo P J; Friberg, Per; Ziurys, Lucy M; Moran, James M; Corey, Brian; Young, Ken H; Smythe, Daniel L; Titus, Michael; Marrone, Daniel P; Cappallo, Roger J; Bock, Douglas C-J; Bower, Geoffrey C; Chamberlin, Richard; Davis, Gary R; Krichbaum, Thomas P; Lamb, James; Maness, Holly; Niell, Arthur E; Roy, Alan; Strittmatter, Peter; Werthimer, Daniel; Whitney, Alan R; Woody, David

    2008-09-04

    The cores of most galaxies are thought to harbour supermassive black holes, which power galactic nuclei by converting the gravitational energy of accreting matter into radiation. Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), the compact source of radio, infrared and X-ray emission at the centre of the Milky Way, is the closest example of this phenomenon, with an estimated black hole mass that is 4,000,000 times that of the Sun. A long-standing astronomical goal is to resolve structures in the innermost accretion flow surrounding Sgr A*, where strong gravitational fields will distort the appearance of radiation emitted near the black hole. Radio observations at wavelengths of 3.5 mm and 7 mm have detected intrinsic structure in Sgr A*, but the spatial resolution of observations at these wavelengths is limited by interstellar scattering. Here we report observations at a wavelength of 1.3 mm that set a size of 37(+16)(-10) microarcseconds on the intrinsic diameter of Sgr A*. This is less than the expected apparent size of the event horizon of the presumed black hole, suggesting that the bulk of Sgr A* emission may not be centred on the black hole, but arises in the surrounding accretion flow.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2011-12-14

    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.

  10. In Search Of Tiny Giants: Finding Supermassive Black Holes In Low Mass Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanner Berger, Dillon; Satyapal, Shobita; Abel, Nick; Blecha, Laura; Mushotzky, Richard; Reynolds, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    Most, if not all, massive galaxies have a central supermassive black hole (SMBH) with a mass of up to 1 billion times the mass of the Sun. While the properties of SMBHs and their host galaxies have been well-studied in massive galaxies, very few SMBHs have been found in galaxies with low masses and those with small bulges. This is a significant deficiency since the study of this population allows us to gain an understanding of merger-free pathways to black hole growth, and to gain insight into the origin and growth efficiency of SMBH seeds, thought to have formed at high redshift. Most studies aimed at finding SMBHs have been conducted using optical spectroscopic studies, where active SMBHs (active galactic nuclei or AGNs) display distinctive optical emission lines indicative of accreting SMBHs. However, in low mass galaxies, the SMBHs will likely be less massive. As the black hole masses decreases, the Schwartzchild radius of the black hole decreases, and in response, the temperature of the surrounding accretion disk increases. The shape of the ionizing radiation field therefore changes with black hole mass, potentially affecting the optical spectroscopic signatures generally associated with AGNs. In this work, we investigate the effect of black hole mass on the emission line spectrum from AGNs.

  11. Foundations of Black Hole Accretion Disk Theory.

    PubMed

    Abramowicz, Marek A; Fragile, P Chris

    2013-01-01

    This review covers the main aspects of black hole accretion disk theory. We begin with the view that one of the main goals of the theory is to better understand the nature of black holes themselves. In this light we discuss how accretion disks might reveal some of the unique signatures of strong gravity: the event horizon, the innermost stable circular orbit, and the ergosphere. We then review, from a first-principles perspective, the physical processes at play in accretion disks. This leads us to the four primary accretion disk models that we review: Polish doughnuts (thick disks), Shakura-Sunyaev (thin) disks, slim disks, and advection-dominated accretion flows (ADAFs). After presenting the models we discuss issues of stability, oscillations, and jets. Following our review of the analytic work, we take a parallel approach in reviewing numerical studies of black hole accretion disks. We finish with a few select applications that highlight particular astrophysical applications: measurements of black hole mass and spin, black hole vs. neutron star accretion disks, black hole accretion disk spectral states, and quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs).

  12. 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.

  13. LOW-MASS AGNs AND THEIR RELATION TO THE FUNDAMENTAL PLANE OF BLACK HOLE ACCRETION

    SciTech Connect

    Gültekin, Kayhan; King, Ashley L.; Miller, Jon M.; Cackett, Edward M.; Pinkney, Jason

    2014-06-20

    We put active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with low-mass black holes on the fundamental plane of black hole accretion—the plane that relates X-ray emission, radio emission, and mass of an accreting black hole—to test whether or not the relation is universal for both stellar-mass and supermassive black holes. We use new Chandra X-ray and Very Large Array radio observations of a sample of black holes with masses less than 10{sup 6.3} M {sub ☉}, which have the best leverage for determining whether supermassive black holes and stellar-mass black holes belong on the same plane. Our results suggest that the two different classes of black holes both belong on the same relation. These results allow us to conclude that the fundamental plane is suitable for use in estimating supermassive black hole masses smaller than ∼10{sup 7} M {sub ☉}, in testing for intermediate-mass black holes, and in estimating masses at high accretion rates.

  14. 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.

  15. Imaging Compact Supermassive Binary Black Holes with Very Long Baseline Interferometry

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-01

    International Astronomical Union doi:10.1017/S174392130700511X Imaging compact supermassive binary black holes with Very Long Baseline Interferometry G. B. Taylor...University, Stanford, CA 94305 USA email: gbtaylor@unm.edu Abstract.We report on the discovery of a supermassive binary black - hole (SBBH) system in... Black hole physics – gravitational waves – galaxies: active – radio continuum: galaxies 1. Introduction Given that most galaxies harbor supermassive

  16. Structure and Spectroscopy of Black Hole Accretion Disks

    SciTech Connect

    Liedahl, D; Mauche, C

    2005-02-14

    The warped spacetime near black holes is one of the most exotic observable environments in the Universe. X-ray spectra from active galaxies obtained with the current generation of X-ray observatories reveal line emission that is modified by both special relativistic and general relativistic effects. The interpretation is that we are witnessing X-ray irradiated matter orbiting in an accretion disk around a supermassive black hole, as it prepares to cross the event horizon. This interpretation, however, is based upon highly schematized models of accretion disk structure. This report describes a project to design a detailed computer model of accretion disk atmospheres, with the goal of elucidating the high radiation density environments associated with mass flows in the curved spacetime near gravitationally collapsed objects. We have evolved the capability to generate realistic theoretical X-ray line spectra of accretion disks, thereby providing the means for a workable exploration of the behavior of matter in the strong-field limit of gravitation.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Black Hole Accretion Discs on a Moving Mesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, Geoffrey

    2017-01-01

    We present multi-dimensional numerical simulations of black hole accretion disks relevant for the production of electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources. We perform these simulations with a new general relativistic version of the moving-mesh magnetohydrodynamics code DISCO which we will present. This open-source code, GR-DISCO uses an orbiting and shearing mesh which moves with the dominant flow velocity, greatly improving the numerical accuracy of the thermodynamic variables in supersonic flows while also reducing numerical viscosity and greatly increasing computational efficiency by allowing for a larger time step. We have used GR-DISCO to study black hole accretion discs subject to gravitational torques from a binary companion, relevant for both current and future supermassive binary black hole searches and also as a possible electromagnetic precursor mechanism for LIGO events. Binary torques in these discs excite spiral shockwaves which effectively transport angular momentum in the disc and propagate through the innermost stable orbit, leading to stress corresponding to an alpha-viscosity of 10-2. We also present three-dimensional GRMHD simulations of neutrino dominated accretion flows (NDAFs) occurring after a binary neutron star merger in order to elucidate the conditions for electromagnetic transient production accompanying these gravitational waves sources expected to be detected by LIGO in the near future.

  1. 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.

  2. How Supermassive Black Hole Feedback Might Work

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donahue, Megan

    2017-01-01

    How black holes regulate their own growth and the growth of their host galaxy is an unsolved problem in galaxy evolution. The problem is particularly acute in the centers of clusters of galaxies, where the largest and most massive galaxies in the universe are found. That is, coincidentally, also where the interaction between the black hole and the surrounding gas is the easiest to study because the gas is sufficiently hot and dense to emit X-rays. The massive central galaxies of clusters of galaxies (BCGs) exhibit striking patterns in their relationships between star formation, radio AGN activity, and the thermodynamic state of the hot, X-ray emitting intracluster gas (ICM) surrounding the galaxies. The AGN jets excavate giant, kpc-scale cavities in the hot gas, in principle, supplying enough heat to the ICM to replace energy lost to radiative cooling. Simulations suggest (by elimination) that AGN feedback must be required to explain the luminosity and colors of these galaxies, but cosmological simulations still struggle with modeling how AGN feedback works in detail. In clusters of galaxies with active AGN and star-forming BCGs, the AGN somehow regulates the gaseous atmosphere to be marginally critical, with a ratio of the cooling time to the free fall time of ~ 5-20. This behavior is also seen in elliptical galaxies, where the feedback is mostly coming from stars. I will discuss the observations that motivated this model. The precipitation model in BCGs is a class of models known as "preventative" feedback, regulated by jets in BCGs. Further, the complex behaviour seen in recent idealized simulations seem to follow emergent patterns predicted by this model, while reproducing the scatter and the time scales inferred from the observations. The link between the thermal instabilities and the depth of the gravitational potential may explain scaling laws such as the black hole mass-velocity dispersion relation, the galaxy mass-metallicity relation and the baryonic

  3. Transonic disk accretion onto black holes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liang, E. P. T.; Thompson, K. A.

    1980-01-01

    The solution for the radial drift velocity of thin disk accretion onto black holes must be transonic, and is analogous to the critical solution in spherical Bondi accretion, except for the presence of angular momentum. The transonic requirement yields a correct treatment of the inner region of the disk not found in the conventional Keplerian models and may lead to significantly different overall disk structures. Possible observational consequences, relevant to the black hole hypothesis for Cyg X-1 and other candidates, are discussed.

  4. Accretion-induced variability links young stellar objects, white dwarfs, and black holes.

    PubMed

    Scaringi, Simone; Maccarone, Thomas J; Körding, Elmar; Knigge, Christian; Vaughan, Simon; Marsh, Thomas R; Aranzana, Ester; Dhillon, Vikram S; Barros, Susana C C

    2015-10-01

    The central engines of disc-accreting stellar-mass black holes appear to be scaled down versions of the supermassive black holes that power active galactic nuclei. However, if the physics of accretion is universal, it should also be possible to extend this scaling to other types of accreting systems, irrespective of accretor mass, size, or type. We examine new observations, obtained with Kepler/K2 and ULTRACAM, regarding accreting white dwarfs and young stellar objects. Every object in the sample displays the same linear correlation between the brightness of the source and its amplitude of variability (rms-flux relation) and obeys the same quantitative scaling relation as stellar-mass black holes and active galactic nuclei. We also show that the most important parameter in this scaling relation is the physical size of the accreting object. This establishes the universality of accretion physics from proto-stars still in the star-forming process to the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies.

  5. Accretion-induced variability links young stellar objects, white dwarfs, and black holes

    PubMed Central

    Scaringi, Simone; Maccarone, Thomas J.; Körding, Elmar; Knigge, Christian; Vaughan, Simon; Marsh, Thomas R.; Aranzana, Ester; Dhillon, Vikram S.; Barros, Susana C. C.

    2015-01-01

    The central engines of disc-accreting stellar-mass black holes appear to be scaled down versions of the supermassive black holes that power active galactic nuclei. However, if the physics of accretion is universal, it should also be possible to extend this scaling to other types of accreting systems, irrespective of accretor mass, size, or type. We examine new observations, obtained with Kepler/K2 and ULTRACAM, regarding accreting white dwarfs and young stellar objects. Every object in the sample displays the same linear correlation between the brightness of the source and its amplitude of variability (rms-flux relation) and obeys the same quantitative scaling relation as stellar-mass black holes and active galactic nuclei. We also show that the most important parameter in this scaling relation is the physical size of the accreting object. This establishes the universality of accretion physics from proto-stars still in the star-forming process to the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies. PMID:26601307

  6. Improved Constraints to the Local Supermassive Black Hole Occupation Fraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jianfeng; Gallo, Elena; Miller, Brendan P.

    2017-01-01

    The occupation fraction of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in local dwarf galaxies is thought to be related to the formation mechanism of the first black holes in the early Universe. Light black hole seeds, such as Pop III star remnants, are likely to result in a significantly higher occupation fraction compared to heavy seeds (~104 solar mass) arising from the global collapse of massive gas clouds. Chandra observations of nearby dwarf galaxies can push the detection threshold for SMBH activity down to the lowest observable Eddington ratios. This, folded with analytical prescriptions for the intrinsic occupation fraction across the mass spectrum, yields an observational constraints to the SMBH occupation fraction in the dwarf galaxy regime. Building on previous work by Miller et al. (2015), here we analyze a sample of ~240 early-type galaxies (D < 30 Mpc) with archival Chandra coverage, and report on our improved constraints to the local SMBH occupation fraction.

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

    PubMed

    Boroson, Todd A; Lauer, Tod R

    2009-03-05

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Prospects for Measuring Supermassive Black Hole Masses with TMT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

    The next generation of giant-segmented mirror telescopes 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 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 ˜10^4 M⊙ to the most massive black holes known today of >10^10 M⊙. I will present simulations across a spectrum of black hole masses and galaxy types to show the ability of IRIS and TMT to quantitatively explore the demographics of black holes in the universe. I will discuss how these observations will enable our study of the origin of the MBH - galaxy velocity dispersion and MBH - galaxy luminosity relationships, and the evolution of black holes through cosmic time.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Rapid X-ray flaring from the direction of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre.

    PubMed

    Baganoff, F K; Bautz, M W; Brandt, W N; Chartas, G; Feigelson, E D; Garmire, G P; Maeda, Y; Morris, M; Ricker, G R; Townsley, L K; Walter, F

    2001-09-06

    The nuclei of most galaxies are now believed to harbour supermassive black holes. The motions of stars in the central few light years of our Milky Way Galaxy indicate the presence of a dark object with a mass of about 2.6 x 106 solar masses (refs 2, 3). This object is spatially coincident with the compact radio source Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) at the dynamical centre of the Galaxy, and the radio emission is thought to be powered by the gravitational potential energy released by matter as it accretes onto a supermassive black hole. Sgr A* is, however, much fainter than expected at all wavelengths, especially in X-rays, which has cast some doubt on this model. The first strong evidence for X-ray emission was found only recently. Here we report the discovery of rapid X-ray flaring from the direction of Sgr A*, which, together with the previously reported steady X-ray emission, provides compelling evidence that the emission is coming from the accretion of gas onto a supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre.

  13. Constraints on supermassive black hole spins from observations of active galaxy jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kun, E.; Wiita, P. J.; Gergely, L. Á.; Keresztes, Z.; Gopal-Krishna; Biermann, P. L.

    2013-11-01

    We discuss the origin of the low-energy cutoff, or LEC, seen in the radio spectra of many extragalactic jets and relate this to the spin of the supermassive black holes that presumably power them. Pion decay via proton-proton collisions is a possible mechanism to supply a secondary positron population with a low energy limit. We expect that pion production would occur in advection dominated accretion flows or ADAFs. In radiatively inefficient ADAFs the heat energy of the accreting gas is unable to radiate in less than the accretion time and the particle temperature could be high enough so that thermal protons can yield such pion production. Strong starbursts are another option for the injection of a truncated particle population into the jet. The role of both mechanisms is discussed with respect to the black hole spin estimate. The energy demanded to produce the pion decay process involves a minimum threshold for kinetic energy of the interacting protons. Therefore the mean proton speed in the flow can determine whether a LEC is generated. In ADAFs the random velocity of the protons can exceed the minimum speed limit of pion production around the jet launching region in the innermost part of the flow. Finally we summarize the additional work needed to put the model assumptions on a more rigorous basis.

  14. Evolution of Supermassive Black Hole Binaries in Merging Galaxies and Evidence for Potential Sub-parsec Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrows, Robert Scott; Galaxy Evolution Survey, Arkansas; Lacy, C. H. S.; Kennefick, D.; Kennefick, J.; Seigar, M.

    2010-01-01

    As a result of galactic mergers, a significant number of supermassive black holes are expected to be in binary systems and at various stages in their orbital evolution. During galactic mergers, matter in the form of gas and stars is available for the black holes to accrete, providing fuel for black hole growth and a potential mechanism for the onset of a quasar phase. To better understand how supermassive black holes and their active phases evolve over time, the Arkansas Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES) team is studying binary black hole systems at a range of separations, r. We have examined the scarce number of binary systems (10,000 > r > 1,000 pc) to infer information about their individual masses, the amount of gas and dust in the nuclear regions, the accretion rates of the individual nuclei, and the estimated timescale for dynamical friction to reduce the black holes’ separation to parsec scales. We have compared these results to those from theoretical calculations. Furthermore, we have visually examined the spectra of SDSS quasars for "unusual” double-peaked emitters looking for evidence of binary orbital motion at separations of < 1 pc. If found, such close binaries will have measurable orbital periods and will provide important information about the environments of quasars in the final stages of a merger. In addition, they will be excellent sources for gravitational wave emission for future space-based detectors such as LISA.

  15. The Direct Collapse of Supermassive Black Hole Seeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    The direct collapse model of supermassive black hole seed formation requires that thegas cools predominantly via atomic hydrogen. To this end we simulate the effect of ananisotropic radiation source on the collapse of a halo at high redshift. The radiationsource is placed at a distance of 3 kpc (physical) from the collapsing object and is setto emit monochromatically in the center of the Lyman-Werner (LW) band. The LW radiationemitted from the high redshift source is followed self-consistently using ray tracingtechniques. Due to self-shielding, a small amount of H2 is able to form at the verycenter of the collapsing halo even under very strong LW radiation. Furthermore, we find thata radiation source, emitting < 1054 (~103 J21) photons per second isrequired to cause the collapse of a clump of M ~ 105 M⊙. The resultingaccretion rate onto the collapsing object is ~ 0.25 M⊙ yr-1.Our results display significant differences, compared to the isotropic radiation field case,in terms of H2 fraction at an equivalent radius. These differences will significantly effectthe dynamics of the collapse. With the inclusion of a strong anisotropic radiation source, thefinal mass of the collapsing object is found to be M ~ 105 M⊙. This is consistentwith predictions for the formation of a supermassive star or quasi-star leading to asupermassive black hole.

  16. A Good Hard Look at Growing Supermassive Black Holes in the Distant Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, W. Niel; Chandra Deep Fields Team

    2017-01-01

    Sensitive cosmic X-ray surveys with the Chandra, XMM-Newton, and now NuSTAR observatories have revolutionized our ability to find and study distant active galactic nuclei (AGNs), the main sites of supermassive black hole growth in the Universe. I will describe some of the resulting discoveries about the demographics, physics, and ecology of distant AGNs with an emphasis on the deepest Chandra surveys, the Chandra Deep Fields. Some specific topics covered will include (1) robust X-ray spectral and variability characterization of the AGNs producing most of cosmic accretion power; (2) the demographics of AGNs in the first galaxies as revealed by direct detection and stacking; (3) AGN/galaxy interactions as investigated via the host properties of X-ray AGNs; and (4) the cosmic balance of power between supermassive black holes and stars. I will also briefly describe other remarkable discoveries coming from the deepest X-ray surveys; e.g., measurements of the evolving X-ray binary populations of normal and starburst galaxies. I will end by discussing some key outstanding questions and new observations and missions aiming to answer them.

  17. GENERAL RELATIVISTIC SIMULATIONS OF MAGNETIZED PLASMAS AROUND MERGING SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Giacomazzo, Bruno; Baker, John G.; Van Meter, James R.; Coleman Miller, M.; Reynolds, Christopher S.

    2012-06-10

    Coalescing supermassive black hole binaries are produced by the mergers of galaxies and are the most powerful sources of gravitational waves accessible to space-based gravitational observatories. Some such mergers may occur in the presence of matter and magnetic fields and hence generate an electromagnetic counterpart. In this Letter, we present the first general relativistic simulations of magnetized plasma around merging supermassive black holes using the general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic code Whisky. By considering different magnetic field strengths, going from non-magnetically dominated to magnetically dominated regimes, we explore how magnetic fields affect the dynamics of the plasma and the possible emission of electromagnetic signals. In particular, we observe a total amplification of the magnetic field of {approx}2 orders of magnitude, which is driven by the accretion onto the binary and that leads to much stronger electromagnetic signals, more than a factor of 10{sup 4} larger than comparable calculations done in the force-free regime where such amplifications are not possible.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. ROTATING ACCRETION FLOWS: FROM INFINITY TO THE BLACK HOLE

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Jason; Ostriker, Jeremiah; Sunyaev, Rashid

    2013-04-20

    Accretion onto a supermassive black hole of a rotating inflow is a particularly difficult problem to study because of the wide range of length scales involved. There have been broadly utilized analytic and numerical treatments of the global properties of accretion flows, but detailed numerical simulations are required to address certain critical aspects. We use the ZEUS code to run hydrodynamical simulations of rotating, axisymmetric accretion flows with Bremsstrahlung cooling, considering solutions for which the centrifugal balance radius significantly exceeds the Schwarzschild radius, with and without viscous angular momentum transport. Infalling gas is followed from well beyond the Bondi radius down to the vicinity of the black hole. We produce a continuum of solutions with respect to the single parameter M-dot{sub B}/ M-dot{sub Edd}, and there is a sharp transition between two general classes of solutions at an Eddington ratio of M-dot{sub B}/M-dot{sub Edd}{approx}few Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -2}. Our high inflow solutions are very similar to the standard Shakura and Sunyaev results. But our low inflow results are to zeroth order the stationary Papaloizou and Pringle solution, which has no accretion. To next order in the small, assumed viscosity they show circulation, with disk and conical wind outflows almost balancing inflow. These solutions are characterized by hot, vertically extended disks, and net accretion proceeds at an extremely low rate, only of order {alpha} times the inflow rate. Our simulations have converged with respect to spatial resolution and temporal duration, and they do not depend strongly on our choice of boundary conditions.

  1. On the dynamics of misaligned accretion discs and spinning black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lodato, G.; Pringle, J. E.

    2005-12-01

    In this contribution, I discuss the dynamics of misaligned accretion discs and spinning black holes in Active Galactic Nuclei, by using a nself-consistent time-dependent approach, that allows to properly track the evolution of the spin of the black hole during the alignment process. I show that, contrary to previous beliefs, the disc angular momentum and the black hole spin can end up counter-aligned, in such a way that accretion proceeds through retrograde orbits. I will discuss the implications that this counter-aligned mode of accretion has on observables from AGNs, such as the shape of X-ray iron lines, the shape of jets, and the possibility of obscuration of the central engine. I will also discuss, more in general, the effects of the alignment (or counter-alignment) process on the spin history of super-massive black holes.

  2. On the location of the supermassive black hole in CTA 102

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fromm, Christian M.; Perucho, Manel; Ros, Eduardo; Savolainen, Tuomas; Zensus, J. Anton

    2015-04-01

    Context. Relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei are one of the most powerful phenomena in the Universe. They form in the surroundings of the supermassive black holes as a by-product of accretion onto the central black hole in active galaxies. The flow in the jets propagates at velocities close to the speed of light. The distance between the first part of the jet that is visible in radio images (core) and the black hole is still a matter of debate. Aims: Only very-long-baseline interferometry observations resolve the innermost compact regions of the radio jet. These observations can access the jet base, and by combining data at different wavelenghts, address the physical parameters of the outflow from its emission. Methods: We have performed an accurate analysis of the frequency-dependent shift of the VLBI core location for a multi-wavelength set of images of the blazar CTA 102 including data from 6 cm down to 3 mm. Results: The measure of the position of the central black hole, with mass ~108.93M⊙, in the blazar CTA 102 reveals a distance of ~8 × 104 gravitational radii to the 86 GHz core, in agreement with similar measures obtained for other blazars and distant radio galaxies, and in contrast with recent results for the case of nearby radio galaxies, which show distances between the black hole and the radio core that can be two orders of magnitude smaller.

  3. Hi Observations of the Supermassive Binary Black Hole System in 0402+379

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-05-20

    Printed in the U.S.A. H i OBSERVATIONS OF THE SUPERMASSIVE BINARY BLACK HOLE SYSTEM IN 0402+379 C. Rodriguez1, G. B. Taylor1,5, R. T. Zavala2, Y. M...April 30 ABSTRACT 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Modelling the cosmological co-evolution of supermassive black holes and galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marulli, F.; Bonoli, S.; Branchini, E.; Moscardini, L.; Springel, V.; White, S. D. M.

    2008-10-01

    We model the cosmological co-evolution of galaxies and their central supermassive black holes (BHs) within a semi-analytical framework developed on the outputs of the Millennium Simulation. This model, described in detail by Croton et al. and De Lucia and Blaizot, introduces a `radio mode' feedback from AGN at the centre of X-ray emitting atmospheres in galaxy groups and clusters. We investigate how well this model can reproduce the physical properties of BHs and AGN. We analyse the scaling relations, the fundamental plane and the mass function of BHs, and compare them with the most recent observational data. Moreover, we extend the semi-analytic model to follow the evolution of the BH mass accretion and its conversion into radiation, and compare the derived AGN bolometric luminosity function with the observed one. While we find for the most part a very good agreement between predicted and observed BH properties, the semi-analytic model underestimates the number density of luminous AGN at high redshifts, independently of the adopted Eddington factor and accretion efficiency. However, an agreement with the observations is possible within the framework of our model, provided it is assumed that the cold gas fraction accreted by BHs at high redshifts is larger than at low redshifts.

  9. Coevolution of supermassive black holes and circumnuclear dense molecular gas disk in Seyfert galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Izumi, T.

    2015-09-01

    The energy emitted by an active galactic nucleus (AGN) is commonly ascribed to mass accretion onto a supermassive black hole (SMBH). However, the physics of angular momentum transfer at r < 100 pc from the SMBH is still unclear. Interestingly, recent high resolution IR observations suggest a possible connection between a circumnuclear (i.e., < 100 pc scale) star formation rate and a mass accretion rate onto a SMBH (e.g., Esquej et al. 2014). But to study such a tentative AGN-starburst connection in detail, it is also necessary to investigate properties of circumnuclear molecular gas, because such gas is the site of massive star formation, and also be the fuel for AGNs. Therefore, we compiled interferometric data of the 100 pc scale circumnuclear molecular gas disk (CND) in nearby Seyfert galaxies, and found a (tentative) correlation between (1) a ratio of the mass of the CND and the mass of the SMBH and (2) a mass accretion rate onto the SMBH. The mass of the CND is estimated by using HCN(1-0) emission line, which is a typical tracer of dense molecular gas (unlike J=1-0 CO). This correlation can be expected in a turbulent disk

  10. Constraining Supermassive Black Hole Binary Dynamics Using Pulsar Timing Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis, Justin

    2015-08-01

    Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) offer a unique opportunity to detect low frequency gravitational waves (GWs) in the near future. In this frequency band, the expected source of GWs are Supermassive Black Hole Binaries (SMBHBs) and they will most likely form in an ensemble creating a stochastic GW background with the possibility of a few nearby/massive sources that will be individually resolvable. In this talk we present upper limits on the strength of the isotropic stochastic background of gravitational waves using the new 9-year North American NanoHertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) data release. Using several published models for merger rate of SMBHBs we place meaningful constraints on the transition frequency at which environmental factors such as stellar hardening and circumbinary interactions become comparable to the energy loss due to GW emission.

  11. A PROBABLE MILLI-PARSEC SUPERMASSIVE BINARY BLACK HOLE IN THE NEAREST QUASAR MRK 231

    SciTech Connect

    Yan, Chang-Shuo; Lu, Youjun; Dai, Xinyu; Yu, Qingjuan

    2015-08-10

    Supermassive binary black holes (BBHs) are unavoidable products of galaxy mergers and are expected to exist in the cores of many quasars. Great effort has been made during the past several decades to search for BBHs among quasars; however, observational evidence for BBHs remains elusive and ambiguous, which is difficult to reconcile with theoretical expectations. In this paper, we show that the distinct optical-to-UV spectrum of Mrk 231 can be well interpreted as emission from accretion flows onto a BBH, with a semimajor axis of ∼590 AU and an orbital period of ∼1.2 years. The flat optical and UV continua are mainly emitted from a circumbinary disk and a mini-disk around the secondary black hole (BH), respectively; and the observed sharp drop off and flux deficit at λ ∼ 4000–2500 Å is due to a gap (or hole) opened by the secondary BH migrating within the circumbinary disk. If confirmed by future observations, this BBH will provide a unique laboratory to study the interplay between BBHs and accretion flows onto them. Our result also demonstrates a new method to find sub-parsec scale BBHs by searching for deficits in the optical-to-UV continuum among the spectra of quasars.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. COSMOLOGICAL EVOLUTION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES. I. MASS FUNCTION AT 0 < z {approx}< 2

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-11-20

    We present the mass function of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) over the redshift range z = 0-2, using the latest deep luminosity and mass functions of field galaxies to constrain the masses of their spheroids, which we relate to SMBH mass through the empirical correlation between SMBH and spheroid mass (the M{sub .}-M{sub sph} relation). In addition to luminosity fading of the stellar content of the spheroids, we carefully consider the variation of the bulge-to-total luminosity ratio of the galaxy populations and the M{sub .}/M{sub sph} ratio, which, according to numerous recent studies, evolves rapidly with redshift. The SMBH mass functions derived from the galaxy luminosity and mass functions show very good agreement, both in shape and in normalization. The resultant SMBH mass function and integrated mass density for the local epoch (z Almost-Equal-To 0) match well those derived independently by other studies. Consistent with other evidence for cosmic downsizing, the upper end of the mass function remains roughly constant since z Almost-Equal-To 2, while the space density of lower mass black holes undergoes strong evolution. We carefully assess the impact of various sources of uncertainties on our calculations. A companion paper uses the mass function derived in this work to determine the radiative efficiency of black hole accretion and constraints that can be imposed on the cosmological evolution of black hole spin.

  15. Cosmic string loops as the seeds of super-massive black holes

    SciTech Connect

    Bramberger, Sebastian F.; Brandenberger, Robert H.; Jreidini, Paul; Quintin, Jerome E-mail: rhb@physics.mcgill.ca E-mail: jquintin@physics.mcgill.ca

    2015-06-01

    Recent discoveries of super-massive black holes at high redshifts indicate a possible tension with the standard ΛCDM paradigm of early universe cosmology which has difficulties in explaining the origin of the required nonlinear compact seeds which trigger the formation of these super-massive black holes. Here we show that cosmic string loops which result from a scaling solution of strings formed during a phase transition in the very early universe lead to an additional source of compact seeds. The number density of string-induced seeds dominates at high redshifts and can help trigger the formation of the observed super-massive black holes.

  16. INTERACTION OF RECOILING SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES WITH STARS IN GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Li Shuo; Liu, F. K.; Berczik, Peter; Spurzem, Rainer; Chen Xian E-mail: fkliu@bac.pku.edu.cn

    2012-03-20

    Supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) are the products of frequent galaxy mergers. The coalescence of the SMBHBs is a distinct source of gravitational wave (GW) radiation. The detections of the strong GW radiation and their possible electromagnetic counterparts are essential. Numerical relativity suggests that the post-merger supermassive black hole (SMBH) gets a kick velocity up to 4000 km s{sup -1} due to the anisotropic GW radiations. Here, we investigate the dynamical coevolution and interaction of the recoiling SMBHs and their galactic stellar environments with one million direct N-body simulations including the stellar tidal disruption by the recoiling SMBHs. Our results show that the accretion of disrupted stars does not significantly affect the SMBH dynamical evolution. We investigate the stellar tidal disruption rates as a function of the dynamical evolution of oscillating SMBHs in the galactic nuclei. Our simulations show that most stellar tidal disruptions are contributed by the unbound stars and occur when the oscillating SMBHs pass through the galactic center. The averaged disruption rate is {approx}10{sup -6} M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1}, which is about an order of magnitude lower than that by a stationary SMBH at similar galactic nuclei. Our results also show that a bound star cluster is around the oscillating SMBH of about {approx}0.7% the black hole mass. In addition, we discover a massive cloud of unbound stars following the oscillating SMBH. We also investigate the dependence of the results on the SMBH masses and density slopes of the galactic nuclei.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hayasaki, K.; Sohn, B.W.; Jung, T.; Zhao, G.; Okazaki, A.T.; Naito, T. E-mail: bwsohn@kasi.re.kr E-mail: thjung@kasi.re.kr E-mail: tsuguya@ygu.ac.jp

    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/r∼<0.1, 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{sup −2} pc for 10{sup 7} M{sub ⊙} 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The Role of Nuclear Star Clusters in Enhancing Supermassive Black Hole Feeding Rates During Galaxy Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naiman, J. P.; Ramirez-Ruiz, E.; Debuhr, J.; Ma, C.-P.

    2015-04-01

    During galaxy mergers the gas falls to the center, triggers star formation, and feeds the rapid growth of supermassive black holes (SMBHs). SMBHs respond to this fueling by supplying energy back to the ambient gas. Numerical studies suggest that this feedback is necessary to explain why the properties of SMBHs and the formation of bulges are closely related. This intimate link between the SMBH’s mass and the large scale dynamics and luminosity of the host has proven to be a difficult issue to tackle with simulations due to the inability to resolve all the relevant length scales simultaneously. In this paper we simulate SMBH growth at high-resolution with FLASH, accounting for the gravitational focusing effects of nuclear star clusters (NSCs), which appear to be ubiquitous in galactic nuclei. In the simulations, the NSC core is resolved by a minimum cell size of about 0.001 pc or approximately 10-3 of the cluster’s radius. We discuss the conditions required for effective gas funneling to occur, which are mainly dominated by a relationship between NSC velocity dispersion and the local sound speed, and provide a sub-grid prescription for the augmentation of central SMBH accretion rates in the presence of NSCs. For the conditions expected to persist in the centers of merging galaxies, the resultant large central gas densities in NSCs should produce drastically enhanced embedded SMBH accretion rates—up to an order of magnitude increase can be achieved for gas properties resembling those in large-scale galaxy merger simulations. This will naturally result in faster black hole growth rates and higher luminosities than predicted by the commonly used Bondi-Hoyle-Lyttleton accretion formalism.

  20. THE ROLE OF NUCLEAR STAR CLUSTERS IN ENHANCING SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE FEEDING RATES DURING GALAXY MERGERS

    SciTech Connect

    Naiman, J. P.; Ramirez-Ruiz, E.; Debuhr, J.; Ma, C.-P.

    2015-04-20

    During galaxy mergers the gas falls to the center, triggers star formation, and feeds the rapid growth of supermassive black holes (SMBHs). SMBHs respond to this fueling by supplying energy back to the ambient gas. Numerical studies suggest that this feedback is necessary to explain why the properties of SMBHs and the formation of bulges are closely related. This intimate link between the SMBH’s mass and the large scale dynamics and luminosity of the host has proven to be a difficult issue to tackle with simulations due to the inability to resolve all the relevant length scales simultaneously. In this paper we simulate SMBH growth at high-resolution with FLASH, accounting for the gravitational focusing effects of nuclear star clusters (NSCs), which appear to be ubiquitous in galactic nuclei. In the simulations, the NSC core is resolved by a minimum cell size of about 0.001 pc or approximately 10{sup −3} of the cluster’s radius. We discuss the conditions required for effective gas funneling to occur, which are mainly dominated by a relationship between NSC velocity dispersion and the local sound speed, and provide a sub-grid prescription for the augmentation of central SMBH accretion rates in the presence of NSCs. For the conditions expected to persist in the centers of merging galaxies, the resultant large central gas densities in NSCs should produce drastically enhanced embedded SMBH accretion rates—up to an order of magnitude increase can be achieved for gas properties resembling those in large-scale galaxy merger simulations. This will naturally result in faster black hole growth rates and higher luminosities than predicted by the commonly used Bondi–Hoyle–Lyttleton accretion formalism.

  1. The Coevolution of Galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes: Insights from Surveys of the Contemporary Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heckman, Timothy M.; Best, Philip N.

    2014-08-01

    We summarize what large surveys of the contemporary Universe have taught us about the physics and phenomenology of the processes that link the formation and evolution of galaxies with their central supermassive black holes. We present a picture in which the population of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) can be divided into two distinct populations. The radiative-mode AGNs are associated with black holes (BHs) that produce radiant energy powered by accretion at rates in excess of ˜1% of the Eddington limit. They are primarily associated with less massive BHs growing in high-density pseudobulges at a rate sufficient to produce the total mass budget in these BHs in ˜10 Gyr. The circumnuclear environment contains high-density cold gas and associated star formation. Major mergers are not the primary mechanism for transporting this gas inward; secular processes appear dominant. Stellar feedback is generic in these objects, and strong AGN feedback is seen only in the most powerful AGNs. In jet-mode AGNs the bulk of energetic output takes the form of collimated outflows (jets). These AGNs are associated with the more massive BHs in more massive (classical) bulges and elliptical galaxies. Neither the accretion onto these BHs nor star formation in their host bulge is significant today. These AGNs are probably fueled by the accretion of slowly cooling hot gas that is limited by the feedback/heating provided by AGN radio sources. Surveys of the high-redshift Universe paint a similar picture. Noting that the volume-averaged ratio of star formation to BH growth has remained broadly constant over the past 10 Gyrs, we argue that the processes that linked the cosmic evolution of galaxies and BHs are still at play today.

  2. Diagnosing the Black Hole Accretion Physics of Sgr A*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazio, Giovanni; Ashby, Matthew; Baganoff, Frederick; Becklin, Eric; Carey, Sean; Gammie, Charles; Ghez, Andrea; Glaccum, William; Gurwell, Mark; Haggard, Daryl; Hora, Joseph; Ingalls, James; Marrone, Daniel; Meyer, Leo; Morris, Mark; Smith, Howard; Willner, Steven; Witzel, Gunther

    2016-08-01

    The Galactic center offers the closest opportunity for studying accretion onto supermassive black holes. The fluctuating source, Sgr A*, is detected across the electromagnetic spectrum and may originate in the accretion flow or jet. Recent general relativistic magneto-hydrodynamic (GRMHD) models indicate that variability can be produced by a tilted inner disk, gravitational lensing of bright spots in the disk by the hole, or particle acceleration in reconnection events. These models produce different flare characteristics, and in particular better characterization of flares may enable us to distinguish between strong and weakly magnetized disks. Disentangling the power source and emission mechanisms of the flares is a central challenge to our understanding of the Sgr A* accretion flow. Following our successful observations of the variability of Sgr A* with IRAC in 2013 and 2014, we propose simultaneous IRAC (4.5 micron) and Chandra (2-10 keV) observations to (1) probe the accretion physics of Sgr A* on event-horizon scales and (2) detect any effect of the object G2 on Sgr A*. Specifically, we propose six additional epochs of observation, each of 24 uninterrupted hours; four in 2017 July and two in 2018 July. In this proposal we request two 24-hour (86.4 ks) Chandra periods, and are requesting another four through the Chandra TAC to have simultaneous X-ray observations in each of the six Spitzer epochs. Independent of this proposal we will also request NuSTAR (3-79 keV), SMA/ALMA/APEX (0.8 mm), and Keck/Magellan NIR (2.2 micron) observations during the IRAC/Chandra epochs. Only such long-duration, continuous, multi-wavelength observations can achieve a comprehensive view of the dominant emission process(es) and quantify the physical properties near the event horizon. Theoretical models are increasing in physical sophistication, and our study will provide essential constraints for the next generation of models.

  3. Coevolution of Supermassive Black Holes and Their Host Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiner, Kyle Devon

    The role of black holes in galaxy evolution has come under intense scrutiny since it was discovered that every galaxy in the local universe contains a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at its nucleus. The existence of scaling relations between the SMBH and its host galaxy show that their presence is not coincidental, but rather that SMBHs and their hosts have a shared evolution. The nature of this coevolution is still debated with some proposing it to be a natural result of hierarchical merging models, while others invoke SMBH feedback mechanisms that couple BH growth with that of the host galaxy. In this dissertation, I examine different regimes of SMBH activity and host galaxy properties. I investigate a sample of post-starburst galaxies to gain insight into the morphological and spectrophotometric evolution of galaxies through galaxy interactions and mergers. I plot detailed comparisons of the galaxy kinematics as measured from different stellar populations. I also investigate post-starburst galaxies that simultaneously host an AGN. I develop a technique to study the properties of both the host galaxy and the SMBH in these objects, directly investigating the scaling relation between the two. I describe analysis performed on red quasars in another study that directly probes the scaling relations in the non-local universe. Lastly, I conduct SED fitting of quasars to illuminate the differences between two major spectral types, and investigate host galaxy properties including star formation. All of these projects focus on the relationship between the SMBH and host galaxy. I show that a range of galaxy interactions can lead to black hole growth and are part of galaxy evolution over cosmic time.

  4. On the Supermassive Black Hole-Galaxy Coevolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hegde, Sahil; Zhang, Shawn; Rodriguez, Aldo; Primack, Joel R.

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, a major focus of astronomy has been the study of the effects of supermassive black holes (SMBH) on their host galaxies. Recent results have found strong correlations between SMBH mass and host galaxy properties, most notably in the bulge velocity dispersion and galaxy stellar mass. We utilize these relations along with a novel convolution method to construct number density models of different galaxy properties. Using these models, we compare two fundamental methods for constructing a black hole mass function (BHMF) with the M⊙-σ and M⊙-M* relations. With these methods, we estimate the redshift evolution of the BHMF and, based on that, compare mass growth histories of central black holes and their host galaxies. Additionally, we utilize a data compilation of over 500 galaxies with individual measurements of galaxy properties (BH mass, stellar velocity dispersion, stellar mass, etc.) and classify galaxies by their morphologies in order to shed light on the controversial Shankar et al. (2016) argument that observations are biased in favor of massive SMBHs. We find that such a bias has little impact on the SMBH-galaxy relations.We conclude that the galaxy sample is a fair representation of the local universe and argue that our BH number density and scaling relations can be employed in the future to constrain relevant mechanisms for galaxy formation. We emphasize that this is the most comprehensive and accurate study of SMBH-galaxy coevolution as of now. Most of this work was carried out by high school students working under the auspices of the Science Internship Program at UC Santa Cruz.

  5. 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.

  6. Astrophysical ZeV acceleration in the relativistic jet from an accreting supermassive blackhole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebisuzaki, Toshikazu; Tajima, Toshiki

    2014-04-01

    An accreting supermassive blackhole, the central engine of active galactic nucleus (AGN), is capable of exciting extreme amplitude Alfven waves whose wavelength (wave packet) size is characterized by its clumpiness. The pondermotive force and wakefield are driven by these Alfven waves propagating in the AGN (blazar) jet, and accelerate protons/nuclei to extreme energies beyond Zetta-electron volt (ZeV=1021 eV). Such acceleration is prompt, localized, and does not suffer from the multiple scattering/bending enveloped in the Fermi acceleration that causes excessive synchrotron radiation loss beyond 1019 eV. The production rate of ZeV cosmic rays is found to be consistent with the observed gamma-ray luminosity function of blazars and their time variabilities.

  7. The impact of non-thermal electrons on resolved black hole accretion disk images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Shengkai; Dexter, Jason; Quataert, Eliot

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in radio astronomy (in particular, the Event Horizon Telescope) allow us for the first time to resolve length scales around the Milky Way's Sgr A* comparable to the event horizon radius. These observations are opening up new opportunities to study strong gravity and accretion physics in the vicinity of a supermassive black hole. However, the processes governing black hole accretion are not well understood. In particular, the electron thermodynamics in black hole accretion disks remain mysterious, and current models vary significantly from each other. The impact of these differences between current electron thermodynamics models on results obtained from EHT images is not well understood. Thus, in this work, we explore the effects of non-thermal electrons on black hole images and radio spectra in the context of both semi-analytic and numerical models of accretion flows. Using general relativistic ray-tracing and radiative transfer code, we simulate images of the accretion disk around Sgr A* and compare our simulations to observed radio data. We estimate the range of electron energy distribution functions permissible by the data. In so doing, we also explore the range and variety of black hole images obtained by varying the distribution function.

  8. Binary Black Holes, Accretion Disks and Relativistic Jets: Photocenters of Nearby AGN and Quasars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wehrle, Ann E.; Jones, Dayton L.; Meier, David L.; Piner, B. Glenn; Unwin, Stephen C.

    2004-01-01

    One of the most challenging questions in astronomy today is to understand the origin, structure, and evolution of the central engines in the nuclei of quasars and active galaxies (AGNs). The favoured theory involves the activation of relativistic jets from the fueling of a supermassive black hole through an accretion disk. In some AGN an outer optically thick, dusty torus is seen orbiting the black hole system. This torus is probably related to an inner accretion disk - black hole system that forms the actual powerhouse of the AGN. In radio-loud AGN two oppositely-directed radio jets are ejected perpendicular to the torus/disk system. Although there is a wealth of observational data on AGN, some very basic questions have not been definitively answered. The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) will address the following three key questions about AGN. 1) Does the most compact optical emission from an AGN come from an accretion disk or from a relativistic jet? 2) Does the separation of the radio core and optical photocenter of the quasars used for the reference frame tie, change on the timescales of their photometric variability, or is the separation stable at the level of a few microarcseconds? 3) Do the cores of galaxies harbor binary supermassive black holes remaining from galaxy mergers? It is not known whether such mergers are common, and whether binaries would persist for a significant time.

  9. Normal Modes of Black Hole Accretion Disks

    SciTech Connect

    Ortega-Rodriguez, Manuel; Silbergleit, Alexander S.; Wagoner, Robert V.; /Stanford U., Phys. Dept. /KIPAC, Menlo Park

    2006-11-07

    This paper studies the hydrodynamical problem of normal modes of small adiabatic oscillations of relativistic barotropic thin accretion disks around black holes (and compact weakly magnetic neutron stars). Employing WKB techniques, we obtain the eigen frequencies and eigenfunctions of the modes for different values of the mass and angular momentum of the central black hole. We discuss the properties of the various types of modes and examine the role of viscosity, as it appears to render some of the modes unstable to rapid growth.

  10. Gravitational waves from binary supermassive black holes in galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merritt, David

    2017-01-01

    Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) will eventually detect the gravitational wave (GW) background produced by a cosmological population of binary supermassive black hole (SBHs). In this talk, I review the ways in which the formation and evolution of the binary population determine the amplitude and form of the GW spectrum. A major source of systematic uncertainty is the mass function of SBHs; in the past, SBH masses have often been overestimated, and the number of SBHs with trustworthy mass estimates is still very small. The presence of gas and stars around the binaries accelerates the evolution at large separations, reducing the amplitude of the GW spectrum at low frequencies. I will highlight two recent developments in our theoretical understanding of binary evolution. (1) Slight departures from axi-symmetry in a galaxy imply a sustained supply of stars to the very center, thus overcoming the “final-parsec problem”. (2) In the generic case of a rotating nucleus, the plane of the binary’s orbit evolves predictably toward alignment with the symmetry plane of the nucleus; the binary’s eccentricity also evolves in tandem with the orientation, sometimes reaching values close to one. These processes should leave distinct imprints on the stochastic GW spectrum, and have important implications for the likelihood of GW detection in the near future.

  11. The interaction between supermassive black holes and globular clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spera, Mario; Arca-Sedda, Manuel; Capuzzo-Dolcetta, Roberto

    2016-02-01

    Almost all galaxies along the Hubble sequence host a compact massive object (CMO) in their center. The CMO can be either a supermassive black hole (SMBH) or a very dense stellar cluster, also known as nuclear star cluster (NSC). Generally, heavier galaxies (mass >~ 1011 M⊙) host a central SMBH while lighter show a central NSC. Intermediate mass hosts, instead, contain both a NSC and a SMBH. One possible formation mechanisms of a NSC relies on the dry-merger (migratory) scenario, in which globular clusters (GCs) decay toward the center of the host galaxy and merge. In this framework, the absence of NSCs in high-mass galaxies can be imputed to destruction of the infalling GCs by the intense tidal field of the central SMBH. In this work, we report preliminary results of N-body simulations performed using our high-resolution, direct, code HiGPUs, to investigate the effects of a central SMBH on a single GC orbiting around it. By varying either the mass of the SMBH and the mass of the host galaxy, we derived an upper limit to the mass of the central SMBH, and thus to the mass of the host, above which the formation of a NSC is suppressed.

  12. Supermassive Black Hole Masses and Global Properties of Disk Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, Y. S.; Funes, J. G.; Díaz, R. J.

    2006-06-01

    Different scaling laws are known for the mass of supermassive black holes (M_{BH}): M_{BH}-σ M_{BH}-M_{Bulge}; M_{BH}-M_{DM}. We have reviewed these correlations for 17 disk galaxies and tried to find any correlation between M_{BH} and other disk properties (HI and H_2 masses, far infrared luminosity, star formation rate, etc.). The sample was taken from Marconi and Hunt (2003). For these galaxies we have done a search in the literature for the following properties: A) in the nucleus: star formation rates, and luminosities in Hα ; B) in the bulge: luminosity in B-band; C) in the disk: HI and H_2 total masses, total luminosities in X-ray, B band and far infrared, and total star formation rate. In this work we present the compiled data from the literature and the plots of M_{BH} against galaxy HI total mass, M_{BH} against galaxy H_2 total mass, and M_{BH} against disk blue luminosity. We did not find any evident correlation between the M_{BH} and the properties of the disk.

  13. Minidisks in Binary Black Hole Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, Geoffrey; MacFadyen, Andrew

    2017-02-01

    Newtonian simulations have demonstrated that accretion onto binary black holes produces accretion disks around each black hole (“minidisks”), fed by gas streams flowing through the circumbinary cavity from the surrounding circumbinary disk. We study the dynamics and radiation of an individual black hole minidisk using 2D hydrodynamical simulations performed with a new general relativistic version of the moving-mesh code Disco. We introduce a comoving energy variable that enables highly accurate integration of these high Mach number flows. Tidally induced spiral shock waves are excited in the disk and propagate through the innermost stable circular orbit, providing a Reynolds stress that causes efficient accretion by purely hydrodynamic means and producing a radiative signature brighter in hard X-rays than the Novikov–Thorne model. Disk cooling is provided by a local blackbody prescription that allows the disk to evolve self-consistently to a temperature profile where hydrodynamic heating is balanced by radiative cooling. We find that the spiral shock structure is in agreement with the relativistic dispersion relation for tightly wound linear waves. We measure the shock-induced dissipation and find outward angular momentum transport corresponding to an effective alpha parameter of order 0.01. We perform ray-tracing image calculations from the simulations to produce theoretical minidisk spectra and viewing-angle-dependent images for comparison with observations.

  14. 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

  15. Constraining supermassive black hole evolution through the continuity equation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tucci, Marco; Volonteri, Marta

    2017-03-01

    The population of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) is split between those that are quiescent, such as those seen in local galaxies including the Milky Way, and those that are active, resulting in quasars and active galactic nuclei (AGN). Outside our neighborhood, all the information we have on SMBHs is derived from quasars and AGN, giving us a partial view. We study the evolution of the SMBH population, total and active, by the continuity equation, backwards in time from z = 0 to z = 4. Type-1 and type-2 AGN are differentiated in our model on the basis of their respective Eddington ratio distributions, chosen on the basis of observational estimates. The duty cycle is obtained by matching the luminosity function of quasars, and the average radiative efficiency is the only free parameter in the model. For higher radiative efficiencies (≳ 0.07), a large fraction of the SMBH population, most of them quiescent, must already be in place by z = 4. For lower radiative efficiencies ( 0.05), the duty cycle increases with the redshift and the SMBH population evolves dramatically from z = 4 onwards. The mass function of active SMBHs does not depend on the choice of the radiative efficiency or of the local SMBH mass function, but it is mainly determined by the quasar luminosity function once the Eddington ratio distribution is fixed. Only direct measurement of the total black-hole mass function at redshifts z ≳ 2 could break these degeneracies, offering important constraints on the average radiative efficiency. Focusing on type-1 AGN, for which observational estimates of the mass function and Eddington ratio distribution exist at various redshifts, models with lower radiative efficiencies better reproduce the high-mass end of the mass function at high z, but tend to over-predict it at low z, and vice-versa for models with higher radiative efficiencies.

  16. 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.

  17. Recoiling Supermassive Black Holes: a search in the Nearby Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lena, Davide; Robinson, Andrew; Marconi, Alessandro; Axon, David; Capetti, Alessandro; Merritt, David; Batcheldor, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    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 HST archival images of 14 nearby core ellipticals, finding evidence for small (<=10 pc) displacements between the AGN (locating 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. 2010. In individual objects, these displacements can be attributed to residual gravitational recoil oscillations following a major or minor merger within the last few Gyr. 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 kpc-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.

  18. Recoiling Supermassive Black Holes: A Search in the Nearby Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

    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 (lsim 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Effects of supermassive binary black holes on gravitational lenses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Nan; Mao, Shude; Gao, Liang; Loeb, Abraham; di Stefano, R.

    2012-01-01

    Recent observations indicate that many, if not all, galaxies host massive central black holes (BHs). In this paper, we explore the influence of supermassive binary black holes (SMBBHs) on their actions as gravitational lenses. When lenses are modelled as singular isothermal ellipsoids, binary BHs change the critical curves and caustics differently as a function of distance. Each BH can in principle create at least one additional image, which, if observed, provides evidence of BHs. By studying how SMBBHs affect the cumulative distribution of magnification for images created by BHs, we find that the cross-section for at least one such additional image to have a magnification larger than 10-5 is comparable to the cross-section for producing multiple images in singular isothermal lenses. Such additional images may be detectable with high-resolution and large dynamic range maps of multiply imaged systems from future facilities, such as the Square Kilometre Array. The probability of detecting at least one image (two images) with magnification above 10-3 is ˜0.2fBH (˜0.05fBH) in a multiply imaged lens system, where fBH is the fraction of galaxies housing binary BHs. We also study the effects of SMBBHs on the core images when galaxies have shallower central density profiles (modelled as non-singular isothermal ellipsoids). We find that the cross-section of the usually faint core images is further suppressed by SMBBHs. Thus, their presence should also be taken into account when one constrains the core radius from the lack of central images in gravitational lenses.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. ALIGNMENTS OF BLACK HOLES WITH THEIR WARPED ACCRETION DISKS AND EPISODIC LIFETIMES OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yan-Rong; Wang, Jian-Min; Qiu, Jie; Cheng, Cheng

    2015-05-01

    Warped accretion disks have attracted intense attention because of their critical role in shaping the spin of supermassive massive black holes (SMBHs) through the Bardeen–Petterson effect, a general relativistic effect that leads to final alignments or anti-alignments between black holes and warped accretion disks. We study such alignment processes by explicitly taking into account the finite sizes of accretion disks and the episodic lifetimes of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) that delineate the duration of gas fueling onto accretion disks. We employ an approximate global model to simulate the evolution of accretion disks, allowing us to determine the gravitomagnetic torque that drives the alignments in a simple way. We then track down the evolutionary paths for mass and spin of black holes both in a single activity episode and over a series of episodes. Given with randomly and isotropically oriented gas fueling over episodes, we calculate the spin evolution with different episodic lifetimes and find that it is quite sensitive to the lifetimes. We therefore propose that the spin distribution of SMBHs can place constraints on the episodic lifetimes of AGNs and vice versa. The applications of our results on the observed spin distributions of SMBHs and the observed episodic lifetimes of AGNs are discussed, although both measurements at present are too ambiguous for us to draw a firm conclusion. Our prescription can be easily incorporated into semi-analytic models for black hole growth and spin evolution.

  4. Alignments Of Black Holes with Their Warped Accretion Disks and Episodic Lifetimes of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yan-Rong; Wang, Jian-Min; Cheng, Cheng; Qiu, Jie

    2015-05-01

    Warped accretion disks have attracted intense attention because of their critical role in shaping the spin of supermassive massive black holes (SMBHs) through the Bardeen-Petterson effect, a general relativistic effect that leads to final alignments or anti-alignments between black holes and warped accretion disks. We study such alignment processes by explicitly taking into account the finite sizes of accretion disks and the episodic lifetimes of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) that delineate the duration of gas fueling onto accretion disks. We employ an approximate global model to simulate the evolution of accretion disks, allowing us to determine the gravitomagnetic torque that drives the alignments in a simple way. We then track down the evolutionary paths for mass and spin of black holes both in a single activity episode and over a series of episodes. Given with randomly and isotropically oriented gas fueling over episodes, we calculate the spin evolution with different episodic lifetimes and find that it is quite sensitive to the lifetimes. We therefore propose that the spin distribution of SMBHs can place constraints on the episodic lifetimes of AGNs and vice versa. The applications of our results on the observed spin distributions of SMBHs and the observed episodic lifetimes of AGNs are discussed, although both measurements at present are too ambiguous for us to draw a firm conclusion. Our prescription can be easily incorporated into semi-analytic models for black hole growth and spin evolution.

  5. Suppression of the accretion rate in thin discs around binary black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ragusa, Enrico; Lodato, Giuseppe; Price, Daniel J.

    2016-08-01

    We present three-dimensional Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations investigating the dependence of the accretion rate on the disc thickness around an equal-mass, circular black hole binary system. We find that for thick/hot discs, with H/R ≳ 0.1, the binary torque does not prevent the gas from penetrating the cavity formed in the disc by the binary (in line with previous investigations). The situation drastically changes for thinner discs; in this case the mass accretion rate is suppressed, such that only a fraction (linearly dependent on H/R) of the available gas is able to flow within the cavity and accrete on to the binary. Extrapolating this result to the cold and thin accretion discs expected around supermassive black hole binary systems implies that this kind of system accretes less material than predicted so far, with consequences not only for the electromagnetic and gravitational waves emissions during the late inspiral phase but also for the recoil speed of the black hole formed after binary coalescence, thus influencing also the evolutionary path both of the binary and of the host galaxy. Our results, being scale-free, are also applicable to equal-mass, circular binaries of stellar mass black holes, such as the progenitor of the recently discovered gravitational wave source GW150914.

  6. 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.

  7. Electromagnetic counterparts of supermassive black hole binaries resolved by pulsar timing arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Takamitsu; Menou, Kristen; Haiman, Zoltán.

    2012-02-01

    Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) are expected to detect gravitational waves (GWs) from individual low-redshift (z≲ 1.5) compact supermassive (M≳ 109 M⊙) black hole (SMBH) binaries with orbital periods of ˜0.1-10 yr. Identifying the electromagnetic (EM) counterparts of these sources would provide confirmation of putative direct detections of GWs, present a rare opportunity to study the environments of compact SMBH binaries and could enable the use of these sources as standard sirens for cosmology. Here we consider the feasibility of such an EM identification. We show that because the host galaxies of resolved PTA sources are expected to be exceptionally massive and rare, it should be possible to find unique hosts of resolved sources out to z≈ 0.2. At higher redshifts, the PTA error boxes are larger, and may contain as many as ˜100 massive-galaxy interlopers. The number of candidates, however, remains tractable for follow-up searches in upcoming wide-field EM surveys. We develop a toy model to characterize the dynamics and the thermal emission from a geometrically thin gaseous disc accreting on to a PTA-source SMBH binary. Our model predicts that at optical and infrared frequencies, the source should appear similar to a typical luminous active galactic nucleus (AGN). However, owing to the evacuation of the accretion flow by the binary's tidal torques, the source might have an unusually low soft X-ray luminosity and weak ultraviolet (UV) and broad optical emission lines, as compared to an AGN powered by a single SMBH with the same total mass. For sources at z˜ 1, the decrement in the rest-frame UV should be observable as an extremely red optical colour. These properties would make the PTA sources stand out among optically luminous AGN, and could allow their unique identification. Our results also suggest that accreting compact SMBH binaries may be included among the observed population of optically bright, X-ray-dim AGN.

  8. A Search for Molecular Gas in the Nucleus of M87 and Implications for the Fueling of Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Jonathan C.; Beuther, Henrik; Walter, Fabian; Blackman, Eric G.

    2008-12-01

    Supermassive black holes in giant elliptical galaxies are remarkably faint given their expected accretion rates. This motivates models of radiatively inefficient accretion due to either ion-electron thermal decoupling, generation of outflows that inhibit accretion, or settling of gas to a gravitationally unstable disk that forms stars in preference to feeding the black hole. The latter model predicts the presence of cold molecular gas in a thin disk around the black hole. Here we report Submillimeter Array observations of the nucleus of the giant elliptical galaxy M87 that probe 230 GHz continuum and CO (J = 2-1) line emission. Continuum emission is detected from the nucleus and several knots in the jet, including one that has been undergoing flaring behavior. We estimate a conservative upper limit on the mass of molecular gas within ~100 pc and ±400 km s-1 line-of-sight velocity of the central black hole of ~8 × 106 M⊙, which includes an allowance for possible systematic errors associated with subtraction of the continuum. Ignoring such errors, we have a 3 σ sensitivity to ~3 × 106 M⊙. In fact, the continuum-subtracted spectrum shows weak emission features extending up to 4 σ above the rms dispersion of the line-free channels. These may be artifacts of the continuum subtraction process. Alternatively, if they are interpreted as CO emission, then the implied molecular gas mass is ~5 × 106 M⊙ spread out over a velocity range of 700 km s-1. These constraints on molecular gas mass are close to the predictions of the model of self-gravitating, star-forming accretion disks fed by Bondi accretion (Tan & Blackman 2005).

  9. 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.

  10. Physical Processes in the Vicinity of a Supermassive Black Hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Do, Tuan

    2010-08-01

    The Galactic center offers us an opportunity to study the environment around a supermassive black hole at a level of detail not possible in other galactic nuclei. This potential has been greatly expanded by the implementation of laser guide star adaptive optics and integral field spectroscopy on large ground-based telescopes. This thesis takes advantage of these technologies to address the nature of the variable near-infrared emission from the black hole as well as test theories of the equilibrium configuration of a star cluster with a supermassive black hole at its center. First, we present the results of near-infrared (2 and 3 micron) monitoring of Sgr A*-IR with 1 min time sampling. Sgr A*-IR was observed continuously for up to three hours on each of seven nights, between 2005 July and 2007 August. Sgr A*-IR is detectable at all times and is continuously variable, with a median observed 2 micron flux density of 0.192 mJy, corresponding to 16.3 magnitude at K^'. These observations allow us to investigate Nyquist sampled periods ranging from about 2 minutes to an hour. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we find that the variability of Sgr A* in this data set is consistent with models based on correlated noise with power spectra having frequency dependent power law slopes between 2.0 to 3.0, consistent with those reported for AGN light curves. Of particular interest are periods of ˜ 20 min, corresponding to a quasi-periodic signal claimed based upon previous near-infrared observations and interpreted as the orbit of a `hot spot' at or near the last stable orbit of a spinning black hole. We find no significant periodicity at any time scale probed in these new observations for periodic signals. This study is sensitive to periodic signals with amplitudes greater than 20% of the maximum amplitude of the underlying red noise component for light curves with duration greater than ˜ 2 hours at a 98% confidence limit. Second, we report on the structure of the nuclear star

  11. Observational constraints on black hole accretion disks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liang, Edison P.

    1994-01-01

    We review the empirical constraints on accretion disk models of stellar-mass black holes based on recent multiwavelength observational results. In addition to time-averaged emission spectra, the time evolutions of the intensity and spectrum provide critical information about the structure, stability, and dynamics of the disk. Using the basic thermal Keplerian disk paradigm, we consider in particular generalizations of the standard optically thin disk models needed to accommodate the extremely rich variety of dynamical phenomena exhibited by black hole candidates ranging from flares of electron-positron annihilations and quasiperiodic oscillations in the X-ray intensity to X-ray novae activity. These in turn provide probes of the disk structure and global geometry. The goal is to construct a single unified framework to interpret a large variety of black hole phenomena. This paper will concentrate on the interface between basic theory and observational data modeling.

  12. CIRCUMBINARY MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC ACCRETION INTO INSPIRALING BINARY BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Noble, Scott C.; Mundim, Bruno C.; Nakano, Hiroyuki; Campanelli, Manuela; Zlochower, Yosef; Krolik, Julian H.; Yunes, Nicolas

    2012-08-10

    We have simulated the magnetohydrodynamic evolution of a circumbinary disk surrounding an equal-mass binary comprising two non-spinning black holes during the period in which the disk inflow time is comparable to the binary evolution time due to gravitational radiation. Both the changing spacetime and the binary orbital evolution are described by an innovative technique utilizing high-order post-Newtonian approximations. Prior to the beginning of the inspiral, the structure of the circumbinary disk is predicted well by extrapolation from Newtonian results: a gap of roughly two binary separation radii is cleared, and matter piles up at the outer edge of this gap as inflow is retarded by torques exerted by the binary; the accretion rate is roughly half its value at large radius. During inspiral, the inner edge of the disk initially moves inward in coordination with the shrinking binary, but-as the orbital evolution accelerates-the inward motion of the disk edge falls behind the rate of binary compression. In this stage, the binary torque falls substantially, but the accretion rate decreases by only 10%-20%. When the binary separation is tens of gravitational radii, the rest-mass efficiency of disk radiation is a few percent, suggesting that supermassive binary black holes could be very luminous at this stage of their evolution. Inner disk heating is modulated at a beat frequency comparable to the binary orbital frequency. However, a disk with sufficient surface density to be luminous may be optically thick, suppressing periodic modulation of the luminosity.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Heckman, Timothy M; Kauffmann, Guinevere

    2011-07-08

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Modified evolution of stellar binaries from supermassive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Bin; Wang, Yi-Han; Yuan, Ye-Fei

    2017-04-01

    The evolution of main-sequence binaries resided in the galactic centre is influenced a lot by the central supermassive black hole (SMBH). Due to this perturbation, the stars in a dense environment are likely to experience mergers or collisions through secular or non-secular interactions. In this work, we study the dynamics of the stellar binaries at galactic centre, perturbed by another distant SMBH. Geometrically, such a four-body system is supposed to be decomposed into the inner triple (SMBH-star-star) and the outer triple (SMBH-stellar binary-SMBH). We survey the parameter space and determine the criteria analytically for the stellar mergers and the tidal disruption events (TDEs). For a relative distant and equal masses SMBH binary, the stars have more opportunities to merge as a result from the Lidov-Kozai (LK) oscillations in the inner triple. With a sample of tight stellar binaries, our numerical experiments reveal that a significant fraction of the binaries, ∼70 per cent, experience merger eventually. Whereas the majority of the stellar TDEs are likely to occur at a close periapses to the SMBH, induced by the outer Kozai effect. The tidal disruptions are found numerically as many as ∼10 per cent for a close SMBH binary that is enhanced significantly than the one without the external SMBH. These effects require the outer perturber to have an inclined orbit (≥40°) relatively to the inner orbital plane and may lead to a burst of the extremely astronomical events associated with the detection of the SMBH binary.

  18. Evolution of Binary Supermassive Black Holes in Rotating Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasskazov, Alexander; Merritt, David

    2017-03-01

    The interaction of a binary supermassive black hole with stars in a galactic nucleus can result in changes to all the elements of the binary’s orbit, including the angles that define its orientation. If the nucleus is rotating, the orientation changes can be large, causing large changes in the binary’s orbital eccentricity as well. We present a general treatment of this problem based on the Fokker–Planck equation for f, defined as the probability distribution for the binary’s orbital elements. First- and second-order diffusion coefficients are derived for the orbital elements of the binary using numerical scattering experiments, and analytic approximations are presented for some of these coefficients. Solutions of the Fokker–Planck equation are then derived under various assumptions about the initial rotational state of the nucleus and the binary hardening rate. We find that the evolution of the orbital elements can become qualitatively different when we introduce nuclear rotation: (1) the orientation of the binary’s orbit evolves toward alignment with the plane of rotation of the nucleus and (2) binary orbital eccentricity decreases for aligned binaries and increases for counteraligned ones. We find that the diffusive (random-walk) component of a binary’s evolution is small in nuclei with non-negligible rotation, and we derive the time-evolution equations for the semimajor axis, eccentricity, and inclination in that approximation. The aforementioned effects could influence gravitational wave production as well as the relative orientation of host galaxies and radio jets.

  19. 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

    2011-02-03

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. A population of short-period variable quasars from PTF as supermassive black hole binary candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charisi, M.; Bartos, I.; Haiman, Z.; Price-Whelan, A. M.; Graham, M. J.; Bellm, E. C.; Laher, R. R.; Márka, S.

    2016-12-01

    Supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) at sub-parsec separations should be common in galactic nuclei, as a result of frequent galaxy mergers. Hydrodynamical simulations of circum-binary discs predict strong periodic modulation of the mass accretion rate on time-scales comparable to the orbital period of the binary. As a result, SMBHBs may be recognized by the periodic modulation of their brightness. We conducted a statistical search for periodic variability in a sample of 35 383 spectroscopically confirmed quasars in the photometric data base of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). We analysed Lomb-Scargle periodograms and assessed the significance of our findings by modelling each individual quasar's variability as a damped random walk (DRW). We identified 50 quasars with significant periodicity beyond the DRW model, typically with short periods of a few hundred days. We find 33 of these to remain significant after a re-analysis of their periodograms including additional optical data from the intermediate-PTF and the Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey. Assuming that the observed periods correspond to the redshifted orbital periods of SMBHBs, we conclude that our findings are consistent with a population of unequal-mass SMBHBs, with a typical mass ratio as low as q ≡ M2/M1 ≈ 0.01.

  2. 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.

  3. A CHANDRA SURVEY OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES WITH DYNAMICAL MASS MEASUREMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Gueltekin, Kayhan; Miller, Jon M.; Richstone, Douglas O.; Cackett, Edward M.; Di Matteo, Tiziana; Markoff, Sera

    2012-04-20

    We present Chandra observations of 12 galaxies that contain supermassive black holes (SMBHs) with dynamical mass measurements. Each galaxy was observed for 30 ks and resulted in a total of 68 point-source detections in the target galaxies including SMBH sources, ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs), and extragalactic X-ray binaries. Based on our fits of the X-ray spectra, we report fluxes, luminosities, Eddington ratios, and slope of the power-law spectrum. Normalized to the Eddington luminosity, the 2-10 keV band X-ray luminosities of the SMBH sources range from 10{sup -8} to 10{sup -6}, and the power-law slopes are centered at {approx}2 with a slight trend toward steeper (softer) slopes at smaller Eddington fractions, implying a change in the physical processes responsible for their emission at low accretion rates. We find 20 ULX candidates, of which 6 are likely (>90% chance) to be true ULXs. The most promising ULX candidate has an isotropic luminosity in the 0.3-10 keV band of 1.0{sup +0.6}{sub -0.3} Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 40} erg s{sup -1}.

  4. OGLE16aaa - a signature of a hungry supermassive black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyrzykowski, Łukasz; Zieliński, M.; Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Z.; Hamanowicz, A.; Jonker, P. G.; Arcavi, I.; Guillochon, J.; Brown, P. J.; Kozłowski, S.; Udalski, A.; Szymański, M. K.; Soszyński, I.; Poleski, R.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Skowron, J.; Mróz, P.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pawlak, M.; Rybicki, K. A.; Greiner, J.; Krühler, T.; Bolmer, J.; Smartt, S. J.; Maguire, K.; Smith, K.

    2017-02-01

    We present the discovery and first three months of follow-up observations of a currently on-going unusual transient detected by the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE-IV) survey, located in the centre of a galaxy at redshift z = 0.1655. The long rise to absolute magnitude of -20.5 mag, slow decline, very broad He and H spectral features make OGLE16aaa similar to other optical/UV tidal disruption events (TDEs). Weak narrow emission lines in the spectrum and archival photometric observations suggest the host galaxy is a weak-line active galactic nucleus, which has been accreting at higher rate in the past. OGLE16aaa, along with SDSS J0748, seems to form a sub-class of TDEs by weakly or recently active supermassive black holes (SMBHs). This class might bridge the TDEs by quiescent SMBHs and flares observed as `changing-look quasars', if we interpret the latter as TDEs. If this picture is true, the previously applied requirement for identifying a flare as a TDE that it had to come from an inactive nucleus, could be leading to observational bias in TDE selection, thus affecting TDE-rate estimations.

  5. X-RAY POLARIZATION FROM ACCRETING BLACK HOLES: CORONAL EMISSION

    SciTech Connect

    Schnittman, Jeremy D.; Krolik, Julian H. E-mail: jhk@pha.jhu.ed

    2010-04-01

    We present new calculations of X-ray polarization from accreting black holes (BHs), using a Monte Carlo ray-tracing code in full general relativity. In our model, an optically thick disk in the BH equatorial plane produces thermal seed photons with polarization oriented parallel to the disk surface. These seed photons are then inverse-Compton scattered through a hot (but thermal) corona, producing a hard X-ray power-law spectrum. We consider three different models for the corona geometry: a wedge 'sandwich' with aspect ratio H/R and vertically integrated optical depth tau{sub 0} constant throughout the disk; an inhomogeneous 'clumpy' corona with a finite number of hot clouds distributed randomly above the disk within a wedge geometry; and a spherical corona of uniform density, centered on the BH and surrounded by a truncated thermal disk with inner radius R{sub edge}. In all cases, we find a characteristic transition from horizontal polarization at low energies to vertical polarization above the thermal peak; the vertical direction is defined as the projection of the BH spin axis on the plane of the sky. We show how the details of the spectropolarization signal can be used to distinguish between these models and infer various properties of the corona and BH. Although the bulk of this paper focuses on stellar-mass BHs, we also consider the effects of coronal scattering on the X-ray polarization signal from supermassive BHs in active galactic nuclei.

  6. Diagnostic Power of Broad Emission Line Profiles in Searches for Binary Supermassive Black Holes: Comparison of Models with Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Khai; Bogdanovic, Tamara; Eracleous, Michael; Runnoe, Jessie C.; Sigurdsson, Steinn

    2017-01-01

    Motivated by observational searches for sub-parsec supermassive black hole binaries (SBHBs) we develop a semi-analytic model to describe the spectral emission line signatures of these systems. We are particularly interested in modeling the profiles of the broad emission lines, which have been used as a tool to search for SBHBs. The goal of this work is to test one of the leading models of binary accretion flows in the literature: SBHB in a circumbinary disk. In this context, 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 that forms a common envelope about a gravitationally bound binary. Our first generation model shows that emission line profiles tend to have different statistical properties depending on the semi-major axis, mass ratio, eccentricity of the binary, and the alignment of the triple-disk system, and can in principle be used to constrain the statistical distribution of these parameters. We present the results of a second generation model, which improves upon the treatment of radiative transfer by taking into account the effect of line-driven winds on the properties of the model emission line profiles. This improvement allows a preliminary comparison of the model profiles with the observed SBHB candidates and AGN population in general.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Black Hole Advective Accretion Disks with Optical Depth Transition

    SciTech Connect

    Artemove, Y.V.; Bisnovatyi-Kogan, G.S.; Igumenshchev, I.V.; Novikov, I.D.

    2006-02-01

    We have constructed numerically global solutions of advective accretion disks around black holes that describe a continuous transition between the effectively optically thick outer and optically thin inner disk regions. We have concentrated on models of accretion flows with large mass accretion rates, and we have employed a bridging formula for radiative losses at high and low effective optical depths.

  11. Supermassive Black Holes in Bulgeless and Dwarf Galaxies: A Multi-Wavelength Investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Secrest, Nathan J.

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are now understood to reside at the centers of nearly all major galaxies in the Universe. From studies of high-redshift quasars, we understand that SMBHs formed very early in the Universe's history, and well-studied correlations between other properties of galaxies, such as their morphologies, star formation rate, and merger history, with their central SMBH shows that SMBHs played a key role in the evolution of galaxies. The fact that the post-Big Bang Universe was extremely uniform and homogeneous presents a major mystery: How did SMBHs millions to billions of times as massive as the Sun form in such a short time? Given the theoretical limit at which a black hole can accrete material, it is not plausible that SMBHs could have formed through the conventional route: the end stage of the lifecycle of a massive star. Rather, there are two major theories for the formation of SMBHs, each with its own prediction for the black hole mass distribution and occupation fraction in the local Universe. Understanding this mass distribution and occupation fraction is therefore imperative to understanding the formation of SMBHs, the quasars that reveal their presence in the early Universe, and ultimately the evolution of galaxies to the present day. While large SMBHs in major, bulge-dominated galaxies are relatively easy to detect and characterize, this population of SMBHs is understood to have been built up largely through black hole merger events that erase any information about the progenitor black holes' masses. We must therefore search for SMBHs in late-type, bulgeless, and dwarf galaxies, which are much more likely to have had a relatively quiet, merger-free history, in order to glimpse the properties of the `seed' black holes that led to the buildup of SMBHs during the earliest epoch of the Universe. In this thesis, I will discuss my contributions to the understanding of this question, as well as what questions remain to be answered and the

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Supermassive black holes from collapsing dark matter Bose–Einstein condensates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das Gupta, Patrick; Thareja, Eklavya

    2017-02-01

    The discovery of active galactic nuclei at redshifts ≳ 6 suggests that supermassive black holes (SMBHs) formed early on. Growth of the remnants of population III stars by accretion of matter, both baryonic as well as collisionless dark matter (DM), leading up to formation of SMBHs is a very slow process. Therefore, such models encounter difficulties in explaining quasars detected at z≳ 6 . Furthermore, massive particles making up collisionless DM have not only so far eluded experimental detection but they also do not satisfactorily explain gravitational structures on small scales. In recent years, there has been a surge in research activities concerning cosmological structure formation that involve coherent, ultra-light bosons in a dark fluid-like or fuzzy cold DM state. In this paper, we study collapse of such ultra-light bosonic halo DM that is in a Bose–Einstein condensate (BEC) phase to give rise to SMBHs on dynamical time scales. Time evolution of such self-gravitating BECs is examined using the Gross–Pitaevskii equation in the framework of time-dependent variational method. Comprised of identical dark bosons of mass m, BECs can collapse to form black holes of mass M eff on time scales  ∼108 yrs provided m~{{M}\\text{eff}}≳ 0.64~mPl2 . In particular, ultra-light dark bosons of mass ∼ {{10}-20}~\\text{eV} can lead to SMBHs with mass ≳ {{10}10}~{{M}ȯ} at z≈ 6 . Recently observed radio-galaxies in the ELAIS-N1 deep field with aligned jets can also possibly be explained if vortices of a rotating cluster size BEC collapse to form spinning SMBHs with angular momentum J≲ 3.6~{{n}W}\\frac{G{{M}2}}{c} , where n W and M are the winding number and mass of a vortex, respectively.

  15. Diskoseismology - Signatures of black hole accretion disks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nowak, Michael; Wagoner, Robert V.

    1992-01-01

    General relativity requires the existence of a spectrum of oscillations which are trapped near the inner edge of accretion disks around black holes. We have developed a general formalism for analyzing the normal modes of such acoustic perturbations of arbitrary thin disk models, approximating the dominant relativistic effects via a modified Newtonian potential (these modes do not exist in Newtonian gravity). The eigenfunctions and eigenfrequencies of a variety of disk models are found to fall in to two main classes, which are analogous to the p-modes and g-modes in the sun. In this work, we compute the eigenfunctions and eigenfrequencies of isothermal disks. The (relatively small) rates of growth or damping of these oscillations due to gravitational radiation and parameterized models of viscosity are also computed.

  16. 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

    2014-07-04

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Probing the spacetime around supermassive black holes with ejected plasma blobs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christian, Pierre; Loeb, Abraham

    2015-05-01

    Millimeter-wavelength very-long-baseline-interferometry observations of the supermassive black holes in Sgr A* and M87 by the Event Horizon Telescope could potentially trace the dynamics of ejected plasma blobs in real time. We demonstrate that the trajectory and tidal stretching of these blobs can be used to test general relativity and set new constraints on the mass and spin of these black holes.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Growing supermassive black holes in the late stages of galaxy mergers are heavily obscured

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricci, C.; Bauer, F. E.; Treister, E.; Schawinski, K.; Privon, G. C.; Blecha, L.; Arevalo, P.; Armus, L.; Harrison, F.; Ho, L. C.; Iwasawa, K.; Sanders, D. B.; Stern, D.

    2017-01-01

    Mergers of galaxies are thought to cause significant gas inflows to the inner parsecs, which can activate rapid accretion onto supermassive black holes (SMBHs), giving rise to Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). During a significant fraction of this process, SMBHs are predicted to be enshrouded by gas and dust. Studying 52 galactic nuclei in infrared-selected local Luminous and Ultra-luminous infrared galaxies in different merger stages in the hard X-ray band, where radiation is less affected by absorption, we find that the amount of material around SMBHs increases during the last phases of the merger. We find that the fraction of Compton-thick (CT, N_ H≥ 10^{24} cm^{-2}) AGN in late merger galaxies is higher (f_ CT=65^{+12}_{-13}%) than in local hard X-ray selected AGN (f CT = 27 ± 4%), and that obscuration reaches its maximum when the nuclei of the two merging galaxies are at a projected distance of D12 ≃ 0.4 - 10.8 kiloparsecs (f_ CT=77_{-17}^{+13}%). We also find that all AGN of our sample in late merger galaxies have N_ H> 10^{23} cm^{-2}, which implies that the obscuring material covers 95^{+4}_{-8}% of the X-ray source. These observations show that the material is most effectively funnelled from the galactic scale to the inner tens of parsecs during the late stages of galaxy mergers, and that the close environment of SMBHs in advanced mergers is richer in gas and dust with respect to that of SMBHs in isolated galaxies, and cannot be explained by the classical AGN unification model in which the torus is responsible for the obscuration.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Dark-matter haloes and the M-σ relation for supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larkin, Adam C.; McLaughlin, Dean E.

    2016-10-01

    We develop models of two-component spherical galaxies to establish scaling relations linking the properties of spheroids at z = 0 (total stellar masses, effective radii Re and velocity dispersions within Re) to the properties of their dark-matter haloes at both z = 0 and higher redshifts. Our main motivation is the widely accepted idea that the accretion-driven growth of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in protogalaxies is limited by quasar-mode feedback and gas blow-out. The SMBH masses, MBH, should then be connected to the dark-matter potential wells at the redshift zqso of the blow-out. We specifically consider the example of a power-law dependence on the maximum circular speed in a protogalactic dark-matter halo: M_{BH}∝ V^4_{d,pk}, as could be expected if quasar-mode feedback were momentum-driven. For haloes with a given Vd,pk at a given zqso ≥ 0, our model scaling relations give a typical stellar velocity dispersion σap(Re) at z = 0. Thus, they transform a theoretical MBH-Vd,pk relation into a prediction for an observable MBH-σap(Re) relation. We find the latter to be distinctly non-linear in log-log space. Its shape depends on the generic redshift evolution of haloes in a Λ cold dark matter cosmology and the systematic variation of stellar-to-dark matter mass fraction at z = 0, in addition to any assumptions about the physics underlying the MBH-Vd,pk relation. Despite some clear limitations of the form we use for MBH versus Vd,pk, and even though we do not include any SMBH growth through dry mergers at low redshift, our results for MBH-σap(Re) compare well to data for local early types if we take zqso ˜ 2-4.

  5. 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.

  6. Supermassive black hole formation at high redshifts via direct collapse in a cosmological context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    We study the early stage of the formation of seed supermassive black holes via direct collapse in dark matter (DM) haloes, in the cosmological context. We perform high-resolution zoom-in simulations of such collapse at high z. Using the adaptive mesh refinement code ENZO, we resolve the formation and growth of a DM halo, until its virial temperature reaches ˜104 K, atomic cooling turns on, and collapse ensues. We demonstrate that direct collapse proceeds in two stages, although they are not well separated. The first stage is triggered by the onset of atomic cooling, and leads to rapidly increasing accretion rate with radius, from dot{M}˜ 0.1 M_{⊙} yr^{-1} at the halo virial radius to few M⊙ yr-1, around the scale radius Rs ˜ 30 pc of the NFW DM density profile. The second stage of the collapse commences when the gas density takes precedence over the DM density. This is associated with the gas decoupling from the DM gravitational potential. The ensuing collapse approximates that of an isothermal sphere with dot{M}{(r)}˜ const. We confirm that the gas loses its angular momentum through non-axisymmetric perturbations and gravitational torques, to overcome the centrifugal barrier. During the course of the collapse, this angular momentum transfer process happens on nearly all spatial scales, and the angular momentum vector of the gas varies with position and time. Collapsing gas also exhibits supersonic turbulent motions which suppress gas fragmentation, and are characterized by density PDF consisting of a lognormal part and a high-density power-law tail.

  7. 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.

  8. Constraining black hole masses in low-accreting active galactic nuclei using X-ray spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang, I.; Gliozzi, M.; Hughes, C.; Titarchuk, L.

    2014-09-01

    In a recent work we demonstrated that a novel X-ray scaling method, originally introduced for Galactic black holes (BHs), can be reliably extended to estimate the mass of supermassive BHs accreting at a moderate to high level. Here we investigate the limits of applicability of this method to low-accreting active galactic nuclei (AGN), using a control sample with good-quality X-ray data and dynamically measured mass. For low-accreting AGN (LX/LEdd ≤ 10-4), because the basic assumption that the photon index positively correlates with the accretion rate no longer holds the X-ray scaling method cannot be used. Nevertheless, the inverse correlation in the Γ-LX/LEdd diagram, found in several low-accreting BHs and confirmed by this sample, can be used to constrain MBH within a factor of ˜10 from the dynamically determined values. We provide a simple recipe to determine MBH using solely X-ray spectral data, which can be used as a sanity check for MBH determination based on indirect optical methods.

  9. Observational evidence for a connection between supermassive black holes and dark matter haloes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baes, Maarten; Buyle, Pieter; Hau, George K. T.; Dejonghe, Herwig

    2003-06-01

    We present new velocity dispersion measurements of a sample of 12 spiral galaxies for which extended rotation curves are available. These data are used to refine a recently discovered correlation between the circular velocity and the central velocity dispersion of spiral galaxies. We find a slightly steeper slope for our larger sample, confirm the negligible intrinsic scatter on this correlation and find a striking agreement with the corresponding relation for elliptical galaxies. We combine this correlation with the well-known MBH-σ relation to obtain a tight correlation between the circular velocities of galaxies and the masses of the supermassive black holes they host. This correlation is the observational evidence for an intimate link between dark matter haloes and supermassive black holes. Apart from being an important ingredient for theoretical models of galaxy formation and evolution, the relation between MBH and circular velocity can serve as a practical tool to estimate black hole masses in spiral galaxies.

  10. The Equations of Motion of Compact Binaries in the Neighborhood of Supermassive Black Hole

    SciTech Connect

    Gorbatsievich, Alexander; Bobrik, Alexey

    2010-03-24

    By the use of Einstein-Infeld-Hoffmann method, the equations of motion of a binary star system in the field of a supermassive black hole are derived. In spite of the fact that the motion of a binary system as a whole can be relativistic or even ultra-relativistic with respect to the supermassive black hole, it is shown, that under the assumption of non-relativistic relative motion of the stars in binary system, the motion of the binary system as a whole satisfies the Mathisson-Papapetrou equations with additional terms depending on quadrupole moments. Exemplary case of ultrarelativistic motion of a binary neutron star in the vicinity of non-rotating black hole is considered. It it shown that the motion of binary's center of mass may considerably differ from geodesic motion.

  11. Neutrino oscillation above a black hole accretion disk

    SciTech Connect

    Malkus, A.; Kneller, J. P.; McLaughlin, G. C.; Surman, R.

    2015-05-15

    We examine neutrino oscillations in the context of an accretion disk surrounding a black hole. Because accretion disks produce large quantities of neutrinos, they may be home to interesting neutrino oscillation as well. We model accretion disks associated with stellar collapse for the sake of understanding neutrino oscillations. We find that the neutrino oscillations include phenomena seen in the protoneutron star setting as well as phenomena not seen elsewhere.

  12. Magnetic Field Roles in Black-Holes Accretion Disk's Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbassi, S.; Samadi, M.

    2016-09-01

    We study several factors which play remarkable roles in vertical structure and dynamics of hot accretion flows around black holes. These factors are large-scale magnetic field, thermal conduction, outflow and self-gravity. We consider an axisymmetric, rotating, steady viscous-resistive hot accretion flows.

  13. Black hole accretion discs and screened scalar hair

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Anne-Christine; Gregory, Ruth; Jha, Rahul

    2016-10-01

    We present a novel way to investigate scalar field profiles around black holes with an accretion disc for a range of models where the Compton wavelength of the scalar is large compared to other length scales. By analysing the problem in ``Weyl" coordinates, we are able to calculate the scalar profiles for accretion discs in the static Schwarzschild, as well as rotating Kerr, black holes. We comment on observational effects.

  14. Particle acceleration and curvature TeV emission by rotating, supermassive black holes

    PubMed

    Levinson

    2000-07-31

    It is shown that particles accelerating near the event horizon of a spinning supermassive black hole that is threaded by externally supported magnetic field lines suffer severe curvature losses that limit the maximum energy they can attain to values well below that imposed by the maximum voltage drop induced by the black hole dynamo. It is further shown that the dominant fraction of the rotational energy extracted from the black hole is radiated in the TeV band. The implications for vacuum breakdown and the observational consequences are discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The growth of typical star-forming galaxies and their supermassive black holes across cosmic time since z ˜ 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calhau, João; Sobral, David; Stroe, Andra; Best, Philip; Smail, Ian; Lehmer, Bret; Harrison, Chris; Thomson, Alasdair

    2017-01-01

    Understanding galaxy formation and evolution requires studying the interplay between the growth of galaxies and the growth of their black holes across cosmic time. Here, we explore a sample of Hα-selected star-forming galaxies from the High Redshift Emission Line Survey and use the wealth of multiwavelength data in the Cosmic Evolution Survey field (X-rays, far-infrared and radio) to study the relative growth rates between typical galaxies and their central supermassive black holes, from z = 2.23 to z = 0. Typical star-forming galaxies at z ˜ 1-2 have black hole accretion rates (dot{M}_BH) of 0.001-0.01 M⊙ yr-1 and star formation rates (SFRs) of ˜10-40 M⊙ yr-1, and thus grow their stellar mass much quicker than their black hole mass (3.3±0.2 orders of magnitude faster). However, ˜3 per cent of the sample (the sources detected directly in the X-rays) show a significantly quicker growth of the black hole mass (up to 1.5 orders of magnitude quicker growth than the typical sources). dot{M}_BH falls from z = 2.23 to z = 0, with the decline resembling that of SFR density or the typical SFR (SFR*). We find that the average black hole to galaxy growth (dot{M}_BH/SFR) is approximately constant for star-forming galaxies in the last 11 Gyr. The relatively constant dot{M}_BH/SFR suggests that these two quantities evolve equivalently through cosmic time and with practically no delay between the two.

  18. Anisotropic velocity distributions in M87 - Is a supermassive black hole necessary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, M. J.; Wheeler, J. C.

    1980-01-01

    A collisionless distribution of stars with an anisotropic velocity distribution is considered as a model for the cores of spherical galaxies. The first moment of the corresponding Boltzmann equation is integrated to give the resulting density and velocity dispersion profiles. These distributions plus a central point source of light give a good fit to the data from recent observations of M87 without requiring a supermassive central object. This model requires one less fitting parameter than published models incorporating a central black hole. The same model with no point source of light also provides a good fit to the normal E1 galaxy NGC 3379. The success of this model in describing the cores of both M87 and NGC 3379 suggests that a supermassive black hole is not necessary in either.

  19. 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

    2012-10-05

    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.

  20. The Supermassive Black Hole Mass Function in Spiral Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennefick, Julia D.; Berrier, J. C.; Kennefick, D.; Davis, B. L.; Seigar, M.; Shields, D.; Barrows, R. S.; Lacy, C. H.; Hughes, J. A.; Galaxy Evolution Survey, Arkansas

    2013-01-01

    The AGES group is exploring a number of techniques to study the relationship between central SMBH black hole mass and spiral arm morphology in disk galaxies. We have developed a new technique which permits us to reliably and accurately measure pitch angle based upon a 2DFFT algorithm. We have then compared pitch angles to directly measured black hole masses in local galaxies and demonstrated a strong correlation between them. Using the relation thus established we have developed a pitch angle distribution function of a statistically complete volume limited sample of nearby galaxies and developed a central black hole mass function for nearby spiral galaxies.

  1. Orbital motion in the radio galaxy 3C 66B: evidence for a supermassive black hole binary.

    PubMed

    Sudou, Hiroshi; Iguchi, Satoru; Murata, Yasuhiro; Taniguchi, Yoshiaki

    2003-05-23

    Supermassive black hole binaries may exist in the centers of active galactic nuclei such as quasars and radio galaxies, and mergers between galaxies may result in the formation of supermassive binaries during the course of galactic evolution. Using the very-long-baseline interferometer, we imaged the radio galaxy 3C 66B at radio frequencies and found that the unresolved radio core of 3C 66B shows well-defined elliptical motions with a period of 1.05 +/- 0.03 years, which provides a direct detection of a supermassive black hole binary.

  2. Supermassive Black Holes in the Hierarchical Universe: A General Framework and Observational Tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Yue

    2009-10-01

    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 gsim0.3) 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 bol < 1045 erg s-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 bol gsim 1046 erg s-1) to low-luminosity AGNs (L bol lsim 1045 erg s-1), in good agreement with observations. The model predicts that the vast

  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. The magnetic nature of disk accretion onto black holes.

    PubMed

    Miller, Jon M; Raymond, John; Fabian, Andy; Steeghs, Danny; Homan, Jeroen; Reynolds, Chris; van der Klis, Michiel; Wijnands, Rudy

    2006-06-22

    Although disk accretion onto compact objects-white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes-is central to much of high-energy astrophysics, the mechanisms that enable this process have remained observationally difficult to determine. Accretion disks must transfer angular momentum in order for matter to travel radially inward onto the compact object. Internal viscosity from magnetic processes and disk winds can both in principle transfer angular momentum, but hitherto we lacked evidence that either occurs. Here we report that an X-ray-absorbing wind discovered in an observation of the stellar-mass black hole binary GRO J1655 - 40 (ref. 6) must be powered by a magnetic process that can also drive accretion through the disk. Detailed spectral analysis and modelling of the wind shows that it can only be powered by pressure generated by magnetic viscosity internal to the disk or magnetocentrifugal forces. This result demonstrates that disk accretion onto black holes is a fundamentally magnetic process.

  5. Diagnosing the Black Hole Accretion Physics of Sgr A*: Spitzer/Chandra Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hora, Joseph L.; Fazio, Giovanni G.; Willner, Steven P.; Gurwell, Mark A.; Smith, Howard Alan; Ashby, Matthew; Baganoff, Frederick K.; Witzel, Gunther; Morris, Mark; Ghez, Andrea M.; Meyer, Leo; Becklin, Eric E.; Ingalls, James G.; Glaccum, William J.; Carey, Sean J.; Haggard, Daryl; Marrone, Daniel P.; Gammie, Charles F.

    2017-01-01

    The Galactic center offers the closest opportunity for studying accretion onto a supermassive black hole. The fluctuating source, Sgr A*, is detected across the electromagnetic spectrum and its flux may originate in either the accretion flow or a jet, or both. Disentangling the power source and emission mechanisms of the flares is a central challenge to our understanding of the Sgr A* accretion flow. Recent general relativistic magneto-hydrodynamic (GRMHD) models indicate that variability can be produced by a tilted inner disk, gravitational lensing of bright spots in the disk by the hole, or particle acceleration in reconnection events. These models produce different flare characteristics, and better characterization of flares may enable us to distinguish between strong and weakly magnetized disks. Following our successful Spitzer observations of the variability of Sgr A* in 2013 and 2014, we have undertaken a program of simultaneous IRAC (4.5 micron) and Chandra (2-10 keV) observations to (1) probe the accretion physics of Sgr A* on event-horizon scales and (2) detect any effect of the object G2 on Sgr A*. In addition, several ground-based observatories participated in the campaigns, at wavelengths including radio, sub-mm, and the near-infrared. We will present initial Spitzer/Chandra results from the two 24-hour epochs in 2016 July. Only such long-duration, continuous, multi-wavelength observations can achieve a comprehensive view of the dominant emission process(es) and quantify the physical properties near the event horizon.

  6. Hot accretion flows onto binary and single black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gold, Roman; Paschalidis, Vasileios; Ruiz, Milton; Shapiro, Stuart; Etienne, Zachariah; Pfeiffer, Harald; McKinney, Jonathan

    2015-04-01

    Accreting black holes (BHs) are at the core of relativistic astrophysics as messengers of the strong-field regime of General Relativity and prime targets of several observational campaigns, including imaging the black hole shadow in SagA* and M87 with the Event Horizon Telescope. Binary Black Holes are one of the most promising gravitational wave sources for adLIGO and Pulsar Timing Arrays and - if accreting - can provide a strong electromagnetic counterpart. I will present results from global GRMHD simulations of both single and binary BHs embedded in a hot, magnetized disk, highlighting differences in their observational appearance including their gravitational and electromagnetic radiation.

  7. Eötvös experiments with supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asvathaman, Asha; Heyl, Jeremy S.; Hui, Lam

    2017-03-01

    By examining the locations of central black holes in two elliptical galaxies, M32 and M87, we derive constraints on the violation of the strong equivalence principle for purely gravitational objects, i.e. black holes, of less than about two-thirds, ηN < 0.68 from the gravitational interaction of M87 with its neighbours in the Virgo cluster. Although M32 appears to be a good candidate for this technique, the high concentration of stars near its centre substantially weakens the constraints. On the other hand, if a central black hole is found in NGC 205 or one of the other satellite ellipticals of M31, substantially better constraints could be obtained. In all cases, the constraints could improve dramatically with better astrometry.

  8. Accretion of phantom scalar field into a black hole

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, J. A.; Guzman, F. S.

    2009-06-15

    Using numerical methods we present the first full nonlinear study of a phantom scalar field accreted into a black hole. We study different initial configurations and find that the accretion of the field into the black hole can reduce its area down to 50 percent within time scales of the order of few masses of the initial horizon. The analysis includes the cases where the total energy of the space-time is positive or negative. The confirmation of this effect in full nonlinear general relativity implies that the accretion of exotic matter could be considered an evaporation process. We speculate that if this sort of exotic matter has some cosmological significance, this black hole area reduction process might have played a crucial role in black hole formation and population.

  9. A Supermassive Black Hole in the Seyfert 1 Galaxy NGC 3783

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Onken, C. A.; Peterson, B. M.

    2004-01-01

    Updated analysis techniques and recalibrated archival monitoring data for the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 3783 indicated the presence of a supermassive black hole in this galaxy. Using UV data from the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite and ground-based optical spectra, we have measured more precise emission line reverberation in response to continuum variations. The stratification of the broad line region (BLR) suggested by our results, combined with estimates of the line velocity widths, is consistent with a gravitationally-dominated BLR and allows us to derive a mass for the central black hole.

  10. TEARING UP THE DISK: HOW BLACK HOLES ACCRETE

    SciTech Connect

    Nixon, Chris; King, Andrew; Price, Daniel; Frank, Juhan

    2012-10-01

    We show that in realistic cases of accretion in active galactic nuclei or stellar-mass X-ray binaries, the Lense-Thirring effect breaks the central regions of tilted accretion disks around spinning black holes into a set of distinct planes with only tenuous flows connecting them. If the original misalignment of the outer disk to the spin axis of the hole is 45 Degree-Sign {approx}< {theta} {approx}< 135 Degree-Sign , as in {approx}70% of randomly oriented accretion events, the continued precession of these disks sets up partially counterrotating gas flows. This drives rapid infall as angular momentum is canceled and gas attempts to circularize at smaller radii. Disk breaking close to the black hole leads to direct dynamical accretion, while breaking further out can drive gas down to scales where it can accrete rapidly. For smaller tilt angles breaking can still occur and may lead to other observable phenomena such as quasi-periodic oscillations. For such effects not to appear, the black hole spin must in practice be negligibly small, or be almost precisely aligned with the disk. Qualitatively similar results hold for any accretion disk subject to a forced differential precession, such as an external disk around a misaligned black hole binary.

  11. Wind from the black-hole accretion disk driving a molecular outflow in an active galaxy.

    PubMed

    Tombesi, F; Meléndez, M; Veilleux, S; Reeves, J N; González-Alfonso, E; Reynolds, C S

    2015-03-26

    Powerful winds driven by active galactic nuclei are often thought to affect the evolution of both supermassive black holes and their host galaxies, quenching star formation and explaining the close relationship between black holes and galaxies. Recent observations of large-scale molecular outflows in ultraluminous infrared galaxies support this quasar-feedback idea, because they directly trace the gas from which stars form. Theoretical models suggest that these outflows originate as energy-conserving flows driven by fast accretion-disk winds. Proposed connections between large-scale molecular outflows and accretion-disk activity in ultraluminous galaxies were incomplete because no accretion-disk wind had been detected. Conversely, studies of powerful accretion-disk winds have until now focused only on X-ray observations of local Seyfert galaxies and a few higher-redshift quasars. Here we report observations of a powerful accretion-disk wind with a mildly relativistic velocity (a quarter that of light) in the X-ray spectrum of IRAS F11119+3257, a nearby (redshift 0.189) optically classified type 1 ultraluminous infrared galaxy hosting a powerful molecular outflow. The active galactic nucleus is responsible for about 80 per cent of the emission, with a quasar-like luminosity of 1.5 × 10(46) ergs per second. The energetics of these two types of wide-angle outflows is consistent with the energy-conserving mechanism that is the basis of the quasar feedback in active galactic nuclei that lack powerful radio jets (such jets are an alternative way to drive molecular outflows).

  12. 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.

  13. Evolution of binary supermassive black holes via chain regularization.

    PubMed

    Szell, Andras; Merritt, David; Mikkola, Seppo

    2005-06-01

    A chain regularization method is combined with special purpose computer hardware to study the evolution of massive black hole binaries at the centers of galaxies. Preliminary results with up to N = 0.26 x 10(6) particles are presented. The decay rate of the binary is shown to decrease with increasing N, as expected on the basis of theoretical arguments. The eccentricity of the binary remains small.

  14. 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.

  15. 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⊙.

  16. The Emission Line AGN Census: Biases of Line Ratio Selection, and Uniform Black Hole Accretion Regardless of Galaxy Mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trump, Jonathan R.; Zeimann, Gregory; Juneau, Stephanie; Sun, Mouyuan; Luck, Cuyler

    2015-01-01

    Optical emission line ratios offer a powerful tool to reveal accretion onto supermassive black holes, with the ability to find both unobscured and obscured active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in extraordinarily large galaxy samples (like the SDSS). I will demonstrate, however, that classic line ratio selection techniques significantly underestimate the AGN fraction by a factor of >10 in low-mass and star-forming galaxies. Previous conclusions that AGNs require massive green-valley hosts are purely a result of this "star formation dilution" bias. Careful treatment of the biases reveals that AGN accretion is uniform across star-forming galaxies of any stellar mass, similar to the results of bias-corrected X-ray AGN studies. This has dramatic implications for AGN feedback in dwarf galaxies and constraints on the black hole seed population.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Rossby Wave Instability in the Accretion Flows around Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholipour, Mahmoud

    2017-01-01

    The roles of the Rossby wave instability (RWI) have been significantly developed in some important processes, such as planet formation and angular momentum transport through thin accretion disks. However, their development on accretion flows with advection is insignificant. In this paper, we investigate the effect of advection in the occurrence of RWI through accretion flows around black holes (BHs). In the absence of advection, the occurrence of RWI is extremely low because of high viscosity in the accretion flows around BHs. The results of this paper show that there is a significant chance for the occurrence of RWI in some wavelengths if we consider advection even in low amounts. Therefore, the RWI can be a suitable candidate for angular momentum transport in the accretion flows around BHs. Also, the results show that the advection parameter and the ratio of heat capacity, which are special characters of advection flows, play important roles in the occurrence of RWI.

  20. SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES AND THEIR HOST SPHEROIDS. I. DISASSEMBLING GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-01-15

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Gas disks and supermassive black holes in nearby radio galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noel-Storr, Jacob

    2004-12-01

    We present a detailed analysis of a set of medium- resolution spectra, obtained by the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope, of the emission-line gas present in the nuclei of a complete sample of 21 nearby, early-type galaxies with radio jets. For each galaxy nucleus we present spectroscopic data in the region of hydrogen-alpha and the kinematics derived therefrom. We find in 67% of the nuclei the gas appears to be rotating and, with one exception, the cases where rotation is not seen are either face on or have complex morphologies. We find that in 62% of the nuclei the fit to the central spectrum is improved by inclusion of a broad emission-line component. These broad components have a mean velocity dispersion of 1349 kilometers per second (with a standard deviation of 345 kilometers per second) and are redshifted from the narrow-line components (assuming an origin in hydrogen-alpha) by 486 kilometers per second (with a standard deviation of 443 kilometers per second). We generated model velocity profiles including no black hole, a one hundred million solar mass black hole and a nine hundred million solar mass black hole. We compared the predicted profiles to the observed velocity profiles from the above spectra, finding kinematic signatures compatible with black holes greater than one hundred million solar masses in 53% of the sample. We suspect that hydrodynamic flow of the gas is a significant factor in the nucleus of NGC 2329. We found hints of jet-disk interaction in 24% of the sample nuclei and signs of twists or warps in 19%. Twenty-four percent of the velocity profiles show signs of multiple kinematic components. We suggest that the gas disks in these galaxies are generally not well-settled systems. We characterize the kinematic state of the nuclear gas through three weighted mean parameters, and find that again the disks appear not to be well-settled. We show evidence of a connection between the stellar and gas velocity

  3. Retrograde binaries of massive black holes in circumbinary accretion discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaro-Seoane, Pau; Maureira-Fredes, Cristián; Dotti, Massimo; Colpi, Monica

    2016-06-01

    Context. We explore the hardening of a massive black hole binary embedded in a circumbinary gas disc under a specific circumstance: when the binary and the gas are coplanar and the gas is counter-rotating. The binary has unequal mass and the interaction of the gas with the lighter secondary black hole is the main cause of the braking torque on the binary that shrinks with time. The secondary black hole, revolving in the direction opposite to the gas, experiences a drag from gas-dynamical friction and from direct accretion of part of it. Aims: In this paper, using two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamical grid simulations we investigate the effect of changing the accretion prescriptions on the dynamics of the secondary black hole, which in turn affect the binary hardening and eccentricity evolution. Methods: We find that realistic accretion prescriptions lead to results that differ from those inferred assuming accretion of all the gas within the Roche Lobe of the secondary black hole. Results: When considering gas accretion within the gravitational influence radius of the secondary black hole (which is smaller than the Roche Lobe radius) to better describe gas inflows, the shrinking of the binary is slower. In addition, in this case, a smaller amount of accreted mass is required to reduce the binary separation by the same amount. Different accretion prescriptions result in different discs' surface densities, which alter the black hole's dynamics back. Full 3D Smoothed-particle hydrodynamics realizations of a number of representative cases, run over a shorter interval of time, validate the general trends observed in the less computationally demanding 2D simulations. Conclusions: Initially circular black hole binaries increase their eccentricity only slightly, which then oscillates around small values (<0.1) while they harden. By contrast, initially eccentric binaries become more and more eccentric. A semi-analytical model describing the black hole's dynamics under

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. More on accreting black hole spacetime in equatorial plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salahshoor, K.; Nozari, K.; Khesali, A. R.

    2017-02-01

    Spacetime around an accreting black hole is an interesting issue to study. The metric of an isolated black hole (rotating or non-rotating) spacetime has been well-known for decades. Although metrics of some spacetimes containing accreting black holes are known in some situations, the issue has some faces that are not well-known yet and need further investigation. In this paper, we construct a new form of metric which the effect of accretion disk on black hole spacetime is taken into account in the equatorial plane. We study motion and trajectories of massive particles and also photons falling from infinity towards black hole in equatorial plane around the black hole. We use an exponential form for the density profile of the accretion disk in equatorial plane as ρ =ρ0e^{-α r}. We show that with this density profile, the disk is radially stable if α ≤ 3 × 10^{-3} (in units of length inverse). In order to study some important quantities related to the accretion disks such as locations of marginally stable circular orbits (r_{ms} or r_{ISCO}), marginally bounded circular orbits (r_{mb}), and also photon orbits in equatorial plane, we use the effective potential approach. We show that in this spacetime metric the innermost stable circular orbit in equatorial plane is given by r_{ISCO}=4.03 μ (where μ =MG/c 2) which is different, but comparable, with the Schwarzschild spacetime result, r^{(Sch)}_{ISCO}=6 μ . We show that the maximum radiation efficiency of the accretion disk, η , in equatorial plane is 8.6 percent which is greater than the corresponding value for Schwarzschild spacetime. Finally, we show that in this setup photons can have stable circular orbits in equatorial plane unlike the Schwarzschild spacetime.

  7. 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.

  8. The Effect of Supermassive Black Hole Binary Environments on Time to Detection for the Stochastic Background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vigeland, Sarah; Siemens, Xavier

    2017-01-01

    Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) are sensitive to the gravitational wave (GW) stochastic background produced by supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs). Environmental effects such as gas and stars accelerate the evolution of SMBHBs and may deplete the stochastic background at low frequencies. How much this effects the sensitivity of PTAs to the stochastic background depends on the astrophysical mechanism and where the binary's evolution transitions from being driven by environmental effects to driven by GW emission. We will discuss how these issues impact our observing strategy and estimated time-to-detection. National Science Foundation PIRE program.

  9. The Effect of Supermassive Black Hole Binary Environments on Time to Detection for the Stochastic Background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vigeland, Sarah; Siemens, Xavier

    2017-01-01

    Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) are sensitive to the gravitational wave (GW) stochastic background produced by supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs). Environmental effects such as gas and stars accelerate the evolution of SMBHBs and may deplete the stochastic background at low frequencies. How much this effects the sensitivity of PTAs to the stochastic background depends on the astrophysical mechanism and where the binary's evolution transitions from being driven by environmental effects to driven by GW emission. We will discuss how these issues impact our observing strategy and estimated time-to-detection.

  10. AS ABOVE, SO BELOW: EXPLOITING MASS SCALING IN BLACK HOLE ACCRETION TO BREAK DEGENERACIES IN SPECTRAL INTERPRETATION

    SciTech Connect

    Markoff, Sera; Silva, Catia V.; Nowak, Michael A.; Gallo, Elena; Plotkin, Richard M.; Hynes, Robert; Wilms, Jörn; Maitra, Dipankar; Drappeau, Samia E-mail: C.V.DeJesusSilva@uva.nl E-mail: egallo@umich.edu E-mail: joern.wilms@sternwarte.uni-erlangen.de E-mail: samia.drappeau@irap.omp.eu

    2015-10-20

    Over the past decade, evidence has mounted that several aspects of black hole (BH) accretion physics proceed in a mass-invariant way. One of the best examples of this scaling is the empirical “fundamental plane of BH accretion” relation linking mass, radio, and X-ray luminosity over eight orders of magnitude in BH mass. The currently favored theoretical interpretation of this relation is that the physics governing power output in weakly accreting BHs depends more on relative accretion rate than on mass. In order to test this theory, we explore whether a mass-invariant approach can simultaneously explain the broadband spectral energy distributions from two BHs at opposite ends of the mass scale but that are at similar Eddington accretion fractions. We find that the same model, with the same value of several fitted physical parameters expressed in mass-scaling units to enforce self-similarity, can provide a good description of two data sets from V404 Cyg and M81*, a stellar and supermassive BH, respectively. Furthermore, only one of several potential emission scenarios for the X-ray band is successful, suggesting it is the dominant process driving the fundamental plane relation at this accretion rate. This approach thus holds promise for breaking current degeneracies in the interpretation of BH high-energy spectra and for constructing better prescriptions of BH accretion for use in various local and cosmological feedback applications.

  11. RELATION BETWEEN GLOBULAR CLUSTERS AND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES IN ELLIPTICALS AS A MANIFESTATION OF THE BLACK HOLE FUNDAMENTAL PLANE

    SciTech Connect

    Snyder, Gregory F.; Hernquist, Lars; Hopkins, Philip F.

    2011-02-10

    We analyze the relation between the mass of the central supermassive black hole (M{sub BH}) and the number of globular clusters (N{sub GC}) in elliptical galaxies and bulges as a ramification of the black hole fundamental plane, the theoretically predicted and observed multi-variable correlation between M{sub BH} and bulge binding energy. Although the tightness of the M{sub BH}-N{sub GC} correlation suggests an unlikely causal link between supermassive black holes and globular clusters (GCs), such a correspondence can exhibit small scatter even if the physical relationship is indirect. We show that the relatively small scatter of the M{sub BH}-N{sub GC} relation owes to the mutual residual correlation of M{sub BH} and N{sub GC} with stellar mass when the velocity dispersion is held fixed. Thus, present observations lend evidence for feedback-regulated models in which the bulge binding energy is most important; they do not necessarily imply any 'special' connection between GCs and M{sub BH}. This raises the question of why N{sub GC} traces the formation of ellipticals and bulges sufficiently well to be correlated with binding energy.

  12. Chaotic cold accretion on to black holes in rotating atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaspari, M.; Brighenti, F.; Temi, P.

    2015-07-01

    The fueling of black holes is one key problem in the evolution of baryons in the universe. Chaotic cold accretion (CCA) profoundly differs from classic accretion models, as Bondi and thin disc theories. Using 3D high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations, we now probe the impact of rotation on the hot and cold accretion flow in a typical massive galaxy. In the hot mode, with or without turbulence, the pressure-dominated flow forms a geometrically thick rotational barrier, suppressing the black hole accretion rate to ~1/3 of the spherical case value. When radiative cooling is dominant, the gas loses pressure support and quickly circularizes in a cold thin disk; the accretion rate is decoupled from the cooling rate, although it is higher than that of the hot mode. In the more common state of a turbulent and heated atmosphere, CCA drives the dynamics if the gas velocity dispersion exceeds the rotational velocity, i.e., turbulent Taylor number Tat< 1. Extended multiphase filaments condense out of the hot phase via thermal instability (TI) and rain toward the black hole, boosting the accretion rate up to 100 times the Bondi rate (Ṁ• ~ Ṁcool). Initially, turbulence broadens the angular momentum distribution of the hot gas, allowing the cold phase to condense with prograde or retrograde motion. Subsequent chaotic collisions between the cold filaments, clouds, and a clumpy variable torus promote the cancellation of angular momentum, leading to high accretion rates. As turbulence weakens (Tat > 1), the broadening of the distribution and the efficiency of collisions diminish, damping the accretion rate ∝ Tat-1, until the cold disk drives the dynamics. This is exacerbated by the increased difficulty to grow TI in a rotating halo. The simulated sub-Eddington accretion rates cover the range inferred from AGN cavity observations. CCA predicts inner flat X-ray temperature and r-1 density profiles, as recently discovered in M 87 and NGC 3115. The synthetic Hα images

  13. Exploring mass-scaling physics and outflow geometry in accreting black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connors, Riley Michael Thomas

    2017-01-01

    One of the main tasks facing studies of black hole accretion in both black hole X-ray binaries (XRB) and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) is to break spectral model-fitting degeneracies. We explore two methods of simultaneous spectral modelling to reduce these degeneracies: (a) simultaneous fitting of XRBs and AGN, and (b) folding in timing properties in a novel way to better understand the outflow evolution of XRBs during outburst.It is a long-standing idea that AGN are scaled up versions of XRBs, such that the physics of accretion cares only about accretion rate, and not the black hole mass. We show that this principle of scale-invariance may provide us with a way to break degeneracies in broadband spectral modelling of both XRBs and AGN, focusing primarily on low-luminosity sources where degeneracies are more prevalent. We simultaneously model the broadband spectra of the two most quiescent (LX ~ 10-9 LEdd) accreting black holes on opposite ends of the mass scale, the XRB A0620-00 and Sgr A*, the Galactic centre supermassive black hole (during bright flaring). We use an outflow-dominated model capable of reproducing the broadband spectrum from radio to X-ray frequencies, co-evolving parameters that are representative of the mass-scaling properties. Such a method reduces the degeneracies in our model parameters, contributing to answering this question regarding the dominant emission mechanisms.We adopt a similar technique to investigate how spatial parameters of an XRB outflow can be better understood by tracking our model parameters as a function of the XRB variability properties during outburst, focusing in particular on GX 339-4. I shall discuss how utilising a novel characterisation of the timing properties of XRBs allows us to do this in a simple, quantitative way.We are currently developing our models further to incorporate the most up-to-date disc reflection routines in order to describe the jet/disc interaction more accurately. I shall briefly discuss this

  14. 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

    2014-07-03

    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.

  15. Mergers of accreting stellar-mass black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tagawa, H.; Umemura, M.; Gouda, N.

    2016-11-01

    We present post-Newtonian N-body simulations on mergers of accreting stellar-mass black holes (BHs), where such general relativistic effects as the pericentre shift and gravitational wave (GW) emission are taken into consideration. The attention is concentrated on the effects of the dynamical friction and the Hoyle-Lyttleton mass accretion by ambient gas. We consider a system composed of 10 BHs with initial mass of 30 M⊙. As a result, we show that mergers of accreting stellar-mass BHs are classified into four types: a gas drag-driven, an interplay-driven, a three-body-driven, or an accretion-driven merger. We find that BH mergers proceed before significant mass accretion, even if the accretion rate is ˜10 Eddington accretion rate, and then all BHs can merge into one heavy BH. Using the simulation results for a wide range of parameters, we derive a critical accretion rate (dot{m}_c), below which the BH growth is promoted faster by mergers. Also, it is found that the effect of the recoil by the GW emission can reduce dot{m}_c especially in gas number density higher than 108 cm-3, and enhance the escape probability of merged BHs. Very recently, a gravitational wave event, GW150914, as a result of the merger of a ˜30 M⊙ BH binary has been detected. Based on the present simulations, the BH merger in GW150914 is likely to be driven by three-body encounters accompanied by a few M⊙ of gas accretion, in high-density environments like dense interstellar clouds or galactic nuclei.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. X-Ray Constraints on the Local Supermassive Black Hole Occupation Fraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

    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 X with M star, accounting for intrinsic scatter, measurement uncertainties, and X-ray limits. For early-type galaxies with M star < 1010 M ⊙, 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 X upon log M 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.

  19. Black hole accretion disks with coronae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Svensson, Roland; Zdziarski, Andrzej A.

    1994-01-01

    Observations suggest the existence of both hot and cold dark matter in the centers of active galactic nuclei. Recent spectral models require a major fraction of power to be dissipated in the hot matter. We study the case when the hot matter forms a corona around a standard cold alpha-disk. In particular, we investigate the case when a major fraction, f, of the power released when the cold matter accretes is transported to and dissipated in the corona. This has major effects on the cold disk, making it colder, more geometrically thin, denser, and having larger optical depths. One important consequence is the disappearance of the effectively optically thin zone as well as of the radiation pressure dominated zone for values of f sufficiently closed to unity. The disappearance of the radiation pressure dominated zone will result in a cold disk with only a gas pressure dominated zone that is stable against thermal and viscous instabilities. We also show that the pressure ( and the radiation) from the corona will only affect the surface layers of the cold disk. Our results disagree with those of other recent work on accretion disks with coronae. We find those works to be based on unphysical assumptions.

  20. 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.

  1. The Supermassive Black Hole Mass - Pitch Angle Relation in Spiral Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennefick, Daniel; Berrier, J. C.; Kennefick, J. D.; Seigar, M.; Davis, B. L.; Barrows, R. S.; Shields, D.; Lacy, C. H.

    2013-01-01

    We present new and improved evidence for a strong correlation, with low scatter, between supermassive black hole mass and spiral arm pitch angle in disk galaxies. Such a correlation could be a useful tool for developing a SMBH mass function for both local and distant galaxies, because other host galaxy features which correlate with black hole mass either require expensive spectroscopy (as in the M-sigma relation) or work less well for spiral than for other galaxies because of the need to disentangle the bulge component from the disk and bar components (Bulge luminosity or Sersic index). A late-type SMBH mass function derived from pitch angle measurements could complement nicely early-type mass functions derived from these other measurements, especially because the late-type mass function has so far received less attention than the early-type mass function.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. Evolution of an accretion disc in binary black hole systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Shigeo S.; Takahashi, Sanemichi Z.; Toma, Kenji

    2017-03-01

    We investigate evolution of an accretion disc in binary black hole (BBH) systems and possible electromagnetic counterparts of the gravitational waves from mergers of BBHs. Perna et al. proposed a novel evolutionary scenario of an accretion disc in BBHs in which a disc eventually becomes 'dead', i.e. the magnetorotational instability (MRI) becomes inactive. In their scenario, the dead disc survives until a few seconds before the merger event. We improve the dead disc model and propose another scenario, taking account of effects of the tidal torque from the companion and the critical ionization degree for MRI activation more carefully. We find that the mass of the dead disc is much lower than that in the Perna's scenario. When the binary separation sufficiently becomes small, the mass inflow induced by the tidal torque reactivates MRI, restarting mass accretion on to the black hole. We also find that this disc 'revival' happens more than thousands of years before the merger. The mass accretion induced by the tidal torque increases as the separation decreases, and a relativistic jet could be launched before the merger. The emissions from these jets are too faint compared to gamma-ray bursts, but detectable if the merger events happen within ≲10 Mpc or if the masses of the black holes are as massive as ∼105 M⊙.

  6. Constraints for transonic black hole accretion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abramowicz, Marek A.; Kato, Shoji

    1989-01-01

    Regularity conditions and global topological constraints leave some forbidden regions in the parameter space of the transonic isothermal, rotating matter onto black holes. Unstable flows occupy regions touching the boundaries of the forbidden regions. The astrophysical consequences of these results are discussed.

  7. Prospects for Measuring Supermassive Black Hole Masses with Future Extremely Large Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Do, Tuan; Wright, S. A.; Barton, E. J.; Barth, A. J.; Simard, L.; Larkin, J. E.; Moore, A.

    2013-01-01

    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. 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 of a range of possible targets spanning intermediate mass black holes of ~10^4 M⊙ to the most massive black holes known today of >10^10 M⊙. We find that future integral-field spectrographs 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 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 different spectral resolutions and plate scales. We find that a spectral resolution of ~8000 will be necessary to measure the masses of IMBHs. We find by using the SDSS DR7 catalog of galaxies that over 4000 massive black holes will be observable at distances between 0.005 < z < 0.3 with the estimated sensitivity and angular resolution of TMT. These observations will provide the most accurate dynamical mass measurements of black holes to enable the study of their demography, address the origin of the M_bh-σ and M_bh - L relationships, and the origins and evolution of black holes through cosmic time.

  8. Powerful radiative jets in supercritical accretion discs around non-spinning black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sądowski, Aleksander; Narayan, Ramesh

    2015-11-01

    We describe a set of simulations of supercritical accretion on to a non-rotating supermassive black hole (BH). The accretion flow takes the form of a geometrically thick disc with twin low-density funnels around the rotation axis. For accretion rates {gtrsim } 10 dot{M}_Edd, there is sufficient gas in the funnel to make this region optically thick. Radiation from the disc first flows into the funnel, after which it accelerates the optically thick funnel gas along the axis. The resulting jet is baryon loaded and has a terminal density-weighted velocity ≈0.3c. Much of the radiative luminosity is converted into kinetic energy by the time the escaping gas becomes optically thin. These jets are not powered by BHrotation or magnetic driving, but purely by radiation. Their characteristic beaming angle is ˜0.2 rad. For an observer viewing down the axis, the isotropic equivalent luminosity of total energy is as much as 1048 erg s- 1 for a 107 M⊙ BH accreting at 103 Eddington. Therefore, energetically, the simulated jets are consistent with observations of the most powerful tidal disruption events, e.g. Swift J1644. The jet velocity is, however, too low to match the Lorentz factor γ > 2 inferred in J1644. There is no such conflict in the case of other tidal disruption events. Since favourably oriented observers see isotropic equivalent luminosities that are highly super-Eddington, the simulated models can explain observations of ultraluminous X-ray sources, at least in terms of luminosity and energetics, without requiring intermediate-mass BHs.

  9. DIRECT FORMATION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES IN METAL-ENRICHED GAS AT THE HEART OF HIGH-REDSHIFT GALAXY MERGERS

    SciTech Connect

    Mayer, Lucio; Fiacconi, Davide; Bonoli, Silvia; Quinn, Thomas; Roškar, Rok; Shen, Sijing; Wadsley, James

    2015-09-01

    We present novel 3D multi-scale smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations of gas-rich galaxy mergers between the most massive galaxies at z ∼ 8–10, designed to scrutinize the direct collapse formation scenario for massive black hole seeds proposed in Mayer et al. The simulations achieve a resolution of 0.1 pc, and include both metallicity-dependent optically thin cooling and a model for thermal balance at high optical depth. We consider different formulations of the SPH hydrodynamical equations, including thermal and metal diffusion. When the two merging galaxy cores collide, gas infall produces a compact, optically thick nuclear disk with densities exceeding 10{sup −10} g cm{sup 3}. The disk rapidly accretes higher angular momentum gas from its surroundings reaching ∼5 pc and a mass of ≳10{sup 9} M{sub ⊙} in only a few 10{sup 4} years. Outside ≳2 pc it fragments into massive clumps. Instead, supersonic turbulence prevents fragmentation in the inner parsec region, which remains warm (∼3000–6000 K) and develops strong non-axisymmetric modes that cause prominent radial gas inflows (>10{sup 4} M{sub ⊙} yr{sup −1}), forming an ultra-dense massive disky core. Angular momentum transport by non-axisymmetric modes should continue below our spatial resolution limit, quickly turning the disky core into a supermassive protostar which can collapse directly into a massive black hole of mass 10{sup 8}–10{sup 9} M{sub ⊙} via the relativistic radial instability. Such a “cold direct collapse” explains naturally the early emergence of high-z QSOs. Its telltale signature would be a burst of gravitational waves in the frequency range of 10{sup −4}–10{sup −1} Hz, possibly detectable by the planned eLISA interferometer.

  10. The obscuration by dust of most of the growth of supermassive black holes.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Sansigre, Alejo; Rawlings, Steve; Lacy, Mark; Fadda, Dario; Marleau, Francine R; Simpson, Chris; Willott, Chris J; Jarvis, Matt J

    2005-08-04

    Supermassive black holes underwent periods of exponential growth during which we see them as quasars in the distant Universe. The summed emission from these quasars generates the cosmic X-ray background, the spectrum of which has been used to argue that most black-hole growth is obscured. There are clear examples of obscured black-hole growth in the form of 'type-2' quasars, but their numbers are fewer than expected from modelling of the X-ray background. Here we report the direct detection of a population of distant type-2 quasars, which is at least comparable in size to the well-known unobscured type-1 population. We selected objects that have mid-infrared and radio emissions characteristic of quasars, but which are faint at near-infrared and optical wavelengths. We conclude that this population is responsible for most of the black-hole growth in the young Universe and that, throughout cosmic history, black-hole growth occurs in the dusty, gas-rich centres of active galaxies.

  11. 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

  12. Multiphase, non-spherical gas accretion on to a black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barai, Paramita; Proga, Daniel; Nagamine, Kentaro

    2012-07-01

    We investigate non-spherical behaviour of gas accreting on to a central supermassive black hole. Assuming optically thin conditions, we include radiative cooling and radiative heating by the central X-ray source. Our simulations are performed using the 3D smoothed particle hydrodynamic (SPH) code GADGET-3 and are compared to theoretical predictions as well as to 1D simulations performed using the grid code ZEUS. As found in earlier 1D studies, our 3D simulations show that the accretion mode depends on the X-ray luminosity (LX) for a fixed density at infinity and accretion efficiency. In the low LX limit, gas accretes in a stable, spherically symmetric fashion. In the high LX limit, the inner gas is significantly heated up and expands, reducing the central mass inflow rate. The expanding gas can turn into a strong enough outflow capable of expelling most of the gas at larger radii. For some intermediate LX, the accretion flow becomes unstable developing prominent non-spherical features. Our detailed analysis and tests show that the key reason for this unstable non-spherical nature of the flow is thermal instability (TI). Small perturbations of the initially spherically symmetric accretion flow that is heated by the intermediate LX quickly grow to form cold and dense clumps surrounded by overheated low-density regions. The cold clumps continue their inwards motion forming filamentary structures, while the hot infalling gas slows down because of buoyancy and can even start outflowing through the channels in between the filaments. We measured various local and global properties of our solutions. In particular, we found that the ratio between the mass inflow rates of the cold and hot gas is a dynamical quantity depending on several factors: time, spatial location and LX; and ranges between 0 and 4. We briefly discuss astrophysical implications of such TI-driven fragmentation of accreting gas on the formation of clouds in narrow- and broad-line regions of active galactic

  13. The Effects of Accretion Flow Dynamics on the Black Hole Shadow of Sagittarius A*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pu, Hung-Yi; Akiyama, Kazunori; Asada, Keiichi

    2016-11-01

    A radiatively inefficient accretion flow (RIAF), which is commonly characterized by its sub-Keplerian nature, is a favored accretion model for the supermassive black hole at the Galactic center, Sagittarius A*. To investigate the observable features of an RIAF, we compare the modeled shadow images, visibilities, and spectra of three flow models with dynamics characterized by (i) a Keplerian shell that is rigidly rotating outside the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) and infalling with a constant angular momentum inside ISCO, (ii) a sub-Keplerian motion, and (iii) a free-falling motion with zero angular momentum at infinity. At near-millimeter wavelengths, the emission is dominated by the flow within several Schwarzschild radii. The energy shift due to these flow dynamics becomes important and distinguishable, suggesting that the flow dynamics are an important model parameter for interpreting the millimeter/sub-millimeter very long baseline interferometric observations with the forthcoming, fully assembled Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). As an example, we demonstrate that structural variations of Sagittarius A* on event horizon-scales detected in previous EHT observations can be explained by the non-stationary dynamics of an RIAF.

  14. The Starburst in the Abell 1835 Cluster Central Galaxy: A Case Study of Galaxy Formation Regulated by an Outburst from a Supermassive Black Hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNamara, B. R.; Rafferty, D. A.; Bîrzan, L.; Steiner, J.; Wise, M. W.; Nulsen, P. E. J.; Carilli, C. L.; Ryan, R.; Sharma, M.

    2006-09-01

    We present an analysis of the starburst in the Abell 1835 cluster's cD galaxy. The dense gas surrounding the galaxy is radiating X-rays at a rate of ~1045 ergs s-1, which is consistent with a cooling rate of ~1000-2000 Msolar yr-1. However, Chandra and XMM-Newton observations found less than 200 Msolar yr-1 of cooling below ~2 keV, a level that is consistent with the cD's current star formation rate of 100-180 Msolar yr-1. One or more heating agents (feedback) must then be replenishing the remaining radiative losses. Supernova explosions and thermal conduction are unable to do so. However, the active galactic nucleus (AGN) is pumping ~=1.4×1045 ergs s-1into the hot gas, which is enough power to offset most of the radiative cooling losses. The AGN jet power exceeds the radio synchrotron power by ~4000 times, making this one of the most radiatively inefficient radio sources known. The jet power implies that the supermassive black hole has accreted at a mean rate of ~0.3 Msolar yr-1 over the last 40 Myr or so, which is a small fraction of the Eddington accretion rate for a ~109 Msolar black hole. The ratio of black hole growth rate by accretion to bulge growth by star formation is consistent with the slope of the (Magorrian) relationship between bulge and central black hole mass in nearby quiescent galaxies. The starburst follows the Schmidt-Kennicutt parameterizations, indicating that the local environment is not substantially altering the IMF and other conditions leading to the onset of star formation. The consistency between net cooling, heating (feedback), and the cooling sink (star formation) in this system resolves the primary objection to traditional cooling flow models.

  15. First Results from the 7 Ms Chandra Deep Field-South Survey: A Good Hard Look at Growing Supermassive Black Holes in the Distant Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, William; Chandra Deep Fields Team

    2017-01-01

    Sensitive cosmic X-ray surveys with the Chandra, XMM-Newton, and now NuSTAR observatories have revolutionized our ability to find and study distant active galactic nuclei (AGNs), the main sites of supermassive black hole growth in the Universe. I will describe some recent discoveries about the demographics, physics, and ecology of distant AGNs coming from the deepest Chandra survey to date, the 7 Ms Chandra Deep Field-South. Some specific topics covered will include (1) robust X-ray spectral and variability characterization of the AGNs producing most of cosmic accretion power; (2) the demographics of AGNs in the first galaxies as revealed by direct detection and stacking; and (3) AGN/galaxy interactions as investigated via the host properties of X-ray AGNs. I will also briefly describe other remarkable discoveries coming from this survey; e.g., measurements of the evolving X-ray binary populations of normal and starburst galaxies.

  16. Black Hole Event Horizons and Advection-Dominated Accretion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McClintock, Jeffrey; Mushotzky, Richard F. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The XMM data on black-hole X-ray novae are only now becoming available and they have so far not been included in any publications. This work is part of a larger project that makes use of both XMM and Chandra data. Our first publication on the Chandra results is the following: "New Evidence for Black Hole Event Horizons from Chandra" by M.R. Garcia, J.E. McClintock, R. Narayan, P. Callanan, D. Barret and S. Murray (2001, ApJ, 553, L47). Therein we present the luminosities of the two black-hole X-ray novae, GRO J0422+22 and 4U1 543-47, which were observed by Chandra. These results are combined with the luminosities of four additional black-hole X-ray novae, which were observed as part of a Chandra GTO program (PI: S. Murray). The very low, but nonzero, quiescent X-ray luminosities of these black hole binaries is very difficult to understand in the context of standard viscous accretion disk theory. The principal result of this work is that X-ray novae that contain black hole primaries are about 100 times fainter that X-ray novae that contain neutron star primaries. This result had been suggested in earlier work, but the present work very firmly establishes this large luminosity difference. The result is remarkable because the black-hole and the neutron-star systems are believed to be similar in many respects. Most importantly, the mass transfer rate from the secondary star is believed to be very comparable for the two kinds of systems for similar orbital periods. The advection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) model provides a natural framework for understanding the extraordinarily low luminosities of the black hole systems and the hundred-fold greater luminosities of the neutron star systems. The chief feature of an ADAF is that the heat energy in the accreting gas is trapped in the gas and travels with it, rather than being radiated promptly. Thus the accreting gas reaches the central object with a huge amount of thermal energy. If the accretor is a black hole, the

  17. Constraining the properties of the proposed supermassive black hole system in 3C66B: limits from pulsar timing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenet, F. A.; Lommen, A.; Larson, S. L.; Wen, L.

    2003-01-01

    Data from long term timing observations of the radio pulsar PSR B1855+09 have been searched for the signature of Gravitational waves (G-waves) emitted by the proposed supermassive binary black hole system in 3C66B.

  18. EFFECTIVE INNER RADIUS OF TILTED BLACK HOLE ACCRETION DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Fragile, P. Chris

    2009-12-01

    One of the primary means of determining the spin a of an astrophysical black hole is by actually measuring the inner radius r {sub in} of a surrounding accretion disk and using that to infer a. By comparing a number of different estimates of r {sub in} from simulations of tilted accretion disks with differing black hole spins, we show that such a procedure can give quite wrong answers. Over the range 0 <= a/M <= 0.9, we find that, for moderately thick disks (H/r approx 0.2) with modest tilt (15 deg.), r {sub in} is nearly independent of spin. This result is likely dependent on tilt, such that for larger tilts, it may even be that r {sub in} would increase with increasing spin. In the opposite limit, we confirm through numerical simulations of untilted disks that, in the limit of zero tilt, r {sub in} recovers approximately the expected dependence on a.

  19. 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.

  20. Black Hole Accretion and Feedback Driven by Thermal Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaspari, M.; Ruszkowski, M.; Oh, S. P.; Churazov, E.; Brighenti, F.; Ettori, S.; Sharma, P.; Temi, P.

    2013-03-01

    Multiwavelength data indicate that the cores of several galaxy clusters are moderately cooling, though not catastrophically, showing signs of filamentary extended multiphase gas. Through 3D AMR hydrodynamic simulations, we study the impact of thermal instability in the evolution of the intracluster medium. Common moderate turbulence of just over 100 km/s leads to the growth of nonlinear thermal instability within the central few tens kpc. In the presence of a global counterbalancing heating, the condensation of extended filamentary cold gas is violent, occurring when the cooling time falls below 10 times the free-fall time. The frequent stochastic collisions, fragmentations and shearing motions between the cold clouds, filaments and the central torus, efficiently reduce angular momentum. Tracking the accreting gas with a dynamical range of 10 million, we find that the accretion rate is boosted up to 100 times with respect to the Bondi rate. In a commonly turbulent and quasi-stable atmosphere, the mode of black accretion is cold and chaotic, substantially different from the classic idealized scenario. Only in the transonic regime, turbulent dissipation starts to inhibit thermal instability. On sub-parsec scales the cold phase is channeled via a funnel, triggering the black hole feedback likely linked to mechanical jets/outflows. As shown by long-term self-regulated simulations, the interplay of chaotic cold accretion and AGN feedback is crucial in order to avoid the cooling catastrophe and to reproduce the key thermodynamical features of observed clusters.

  1. 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.

  2. Ubiquitous equatorial accretion disc winds in black hole soft states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ponti, G.; Fender, R. P.; Begelman, M. C.; Dunn, R. J. H.; Neilsen, J.; Coriat, M.

    2012-05-01

    High-resolution spectra of Galactic black holes (GBHs) reveal the presence of highly ionized absorbers. In one GBH, accreting close to the Eddington limit for more than a decade, a powerful accretion disc wind is observed to be present in softer X-ray states and it has been suggested that it can carry away enough mass and energy to quench the radio jet. Here we report that these winds, which may have mass outflow rates of the order of the inner accretion rate or higher, are a ubiquitous component of the jet-free soft states of all GBHs. We furthermore demonstrate that these winds have an equatorial geometry with opening angles of few tens of degrees, and so are only observed in sources in which the disc is inclined at a large angle to the line of sight. The decrease in Fe XXV/Fe XXVI line ratio with Compton temperature, observed in the soft state, suggests a link between higher wind ionization and harder spectral shapes. Although the physical interaction between the wind, accretion flow and jet is still not fully understood, the mass flux and power of these winds and their presence ubiquitously during the soft X-ray states suggest they are fundamental components of the accretion phenomenon.

  3. Black Hole Event Horizons and Advection-Dominated Accretion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McClintock, Jeffrey; Mushotzky, Richard F. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The work supported in part by this grant is part of a larger program on the detection of black hole event horizons, which is also partially supported by NASA grant GO0-1105A. This work has been carried out primarily in collaboration with Dr. M. Garcia and Prof. R. Narayan at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and with D. Barret and J. Hameury at Centre d'Etude Spoliate des Rayonnements, France. Our purpose is to confirm the existence of black-hole event horizons by comparing accreting black holes to secreting neutron stars in quiescent X-ray novae. Such a comparison is feasible because black holes and neutron stars are both present in similar environments in X-ray novae. Our second purpose is to assess the nature of accretion flows onto black holes at very low mass transfer rates. Observations of some XMM targets are still pending, whereas most of the Chandra observations have been completed. We anticipate further publications on this work in the future.

  4. 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

  5. Prospects for Measuring Supermassive Black Hole Masses with Future Extremely Large Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 ~104 M ⊙ to the most massive black holes known today of >1010 M ⊙. 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 105 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 enable the study of the

  6. 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.

  7. Supermassive Black Hole Mass and Spiral Galaxy Pitch Angle at Intermediate to High Redshift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, John A.; Barrows, R. S.; Berrier, J. C.; Davis, B. L.; Kennefick, D.; Kennefick, J. D.; Lacy, C. H. S.; Seigar, M. S.; Shields, D. W.; Zoldak, K. A.

    2012-01-01

    A possible correlation between spiral galaxy pitch angle (P) and the mass of the central supermassive black hole (SMBH) of the galaxy (M) was reported (Seigar et al. 2008) from a sample of 27 nearby galaxies. Here we investigate the extension of this result to intermediate and high redshifts. We have selected AGN showing spiral structure in their host galaxies from the GOODS fields and from a sample of AGN with reverberation mapping SMBH mass estimates. After careful measure of the pitch angle of these galaxies, we compare the mass found from the M-P relation to that reported from reverberation mapping or estimated from their MgII profiles. By extending the sample to higher redshift, we demonstrate how the M-P relationship can be used to estimate the mass of SMBHs in the center of galaxies with imaging data alone, a useful tool in the study of galaxy evolution.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Precessing supermassive black hole binaries and dark energy measurements with LISA

    SciTech Connect

    Stavridis, Adamantios; Arun, K. G.; Will, Clifford M.

    2009-09-15

    Spin induced precessional modulations of gravitational wave signals from supermassive black hole binaries can improve the estimation of luminosity distance to the source by space based gravitational wave missions like the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). We study how this impacts the ability of LISA to do cosmology, specifically, to measure the dark energy equation of state (EOS) parameter w. Using the {lambda}CDM model of cosmology, we show that observations of precessing binaries with mass ratio 10 ratio 1 by LISA, combined with a redshift measurement, can improve the determination of w up to an order of magnitude with respect to the nonprecessing case depending on the total mass and the redshift.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Theoretical Researches on Hot Accretion Flows around Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, F. G.

    2010-10-01

    Black hole accretion systems, which are widely believed to be harbored in the central regions of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), low-luminosity AGNs (LLAGNs) as well as some X-ray binaries (XRBs), are the key physical processes to understand their observational phenomena, like spectral energy distribution, radiative variability, etc. In this thesis, we focus on the hot accretion flow models, including advection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) and luminous hot accretion flow (LHAF). These models are the foundations to explain the observations of LLAGNs and XRBs in hard state. In Chapter 1, a detailed description of the background is presented. First the astrophysical black holes and the systems in which they reside are discussed. Then, an extensive discussion on the accretion process is presented. The basic concepts, 4 well-known accretion models and the mechanism of the transition between ADAF and standard thin disk are focused on. After this, we further describe the properties of ADAF - the basic model of this thesis, e.g., the dynamics, the radiative processes and several recent progresses: outflow, direct turbulent heating to the electrons, as well as LHAF at relatively high accretion rate. In Chapter 2, the influences of outflow on the dynamics of inflow are explored. As indicated through observations (e.g., towards the Galactic center), theoretical researches and (magneto-) hydrodynamical simulations, outflow is a common phenomenon in accretion systems. However, most researches in this field, especially when aiming at explaining/fitting observational data, incline to only include the mass loss due to the existence of outflow, while all the other effects like the angular momentum transport are totally neglected. This obviously conflicts with the results from simulations. Since outflow is not fully understood currently, we here parameterize its properties. Our results are shown as follows: (1) under current status of observations and theories, it is acceptable to

  15. 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.

  16. Further Evidence for a Supermassive Black Hole Mass-Pitch Angle Relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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 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 ⊙) = (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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Tilted Thick-Disk Accretion onto a Kerr Black Hole

    SciTech Connect

    Fragile, P C; Anninos, P

    2003-12-12

    We present the first results from fully general relativistic numerical studies of thick-disk accretion onto a rapidly-rotating (Kerr) black hole with a spin axis that is tilted (not aligned) with the angular momentum vector of the disk. We initialize the problem with the solution for an aligned, constant angular momentum, accreting thick disk around a black hole with spin a/M = J/M{sup 2} = +0.9 (prograde disk). The black hole is then instantaneously tilted, through a change in the metric, by an angle {beta}{sub 0}. In this Letter we report results with {beta}{sub 0} = 0, 15, and 30{sup o}. The disk is allowed to respond to the Lense-Thirring precession of the tilted black hole. We find that the disk settles into a quasi-static, twisted, warped configuration with Lense-Thirring precession dominating out to a radius analogous to the Bardeen-Petterson transition in tilted Keplerian disks.

  20. Hyper-Eddington accretion flows on to massive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inayoshi, Kohei; Haiman, Zoltán; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.

    2016-07-01

    We study very high rate, spherically symmetric accretion flows on to massive black holes (BHs; 102 ≲ MBH ≲ 106 M⊙) embedded in dense metal-poor clouds, performing one-dimensional radiation hydrodynamical simulations. We find solutions from outside the Bondi radius at hyper-Eddington rates, unimpeded by radiation feedback when (n∞/105 cm-3) > (MBH/104 M⊙)-1(T∞/104 K)3/2, where n∞ and T∞ are the density and temperature of ambient gas. Accretion rates in this regime are steady, and larger than 5000LEdd/c2, where LEdd is the Eddington luminosity. At lower Bondi rates, the accretion is episodic due to radiative feedback and the average rate is below the Eddington rate. In the hyper-Eddington case, the solution consists of a radiation-dominated central core, where photon trapping due to electron scattering is important, and an accreting envelope which follows a Bondi profile with T ≃ 8000 K. When the emergent luminosity is limited to ≲ LEdd because of photon trapping, radiation from the central region does not affect the gas dynamics at larger scales. We apply our result to the rapid formation of massive BHs in protogalaxies with a virial temperature of Tvir ≳ 104K. Once a seed BH forms at the centre of the galaxy, it can grow to a maximum ˜105(Tvir/104 K) M⊙ via gas accretion independent of the initial BH mass. Finally, we discuss possible observational signatures of rapidly accreting BHs with/without allowance for dust. We suggest that these systems could explain Lyα emitters without X-rays and nearby luminous infrared sources with hot dust emission, respectively.

  1. 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

    2008-01-01

    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 Lyα 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

  2. Cosmic microwave background limits on accreting primordial black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali-Haïmoud, Yacine; Kamionkowski, Marc

    2017-02-01

    Interest in the idea that primordial black holes (PBHs) might comprise some or all of the dark matter has recently been rekindled following LIGO's first direct detection of a binary-black-hole merger. Here we revisit the effect of accreting PBHs on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) frequency spectrum and the angular temperature and polarization power spectra. We compute the accretion rate and luminosity of PBHs, accounting for their suppression by Compton drag and Compton cooling by CMB photons. We estimate the gas temperature near the Schwarzschild radius and, hence, the free-free luminosity, accounting for the cooling resulting from collisional ionization when the background gas is mostly neutral. We account approximately for the velocities of PBHs with respect to the background gas. We provide a simple analytic estimate of the efficiency of energy deposition in the plasma. We find that the spectral distortions generated by accreting PBHs are too small to be detected by FIRAS, as well as by future experiments now being considered. We analyze Planck CMB temperature and polarization data and find, under our most conservative hypotheses, and at the order-of-magnitude level, that they rule out PBHs with masses ≳1 02 M⊙ as the dominant component of dark matter.

  3. 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.

  4. Understanding Black Hole Mass Assembly via Accretion and Mergers at Late Times in Cosmological Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulier, Andrea; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.; Natarajan, Priyamvada; Lackner, Claire N.; Cen, Renyue

    2015-02-01

    Accretion is thought to primarily contribute to the mass accumulation history of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) throughout cosmic time. While this may be true at high redshifts, at lower redshifts and for the most massive black holes (BHs) mergers themselves might add significantly to the mass budget. We explore this in two disparate environments—a massive cluster and a void region. We evolve SMBHs from 4 > z > 0 using merger trees derived from hydrodynamical cosmological simulations of these two regions, scaled to the observed value of the stellar mass fraction to account for overcooling. Mass gains from gas accretion proportional to bulge growth and BH-BH mergers are tracked, as are BHs that remain "orbiting" due to insufficient dynamical friction in a merger remnant, as well as those that are ejected due to gravitational recoil. We find that gas accretion remains the dominant source of mass accumulation in almost all SMBHs; mergers contribute 2.5% ± 0.1% for all SMBHs in the cluster and 1.0% ± 0.1% in the void since z = 4. However, mergers are significant for massive SMBHs. The fraction of mass accumulated from mergers for central BHs generally increases for larger values of the host bulge mass: in the void, the fraction is 2% at M *, bul = 1010 M ⊙, increasing to 4% at M *, bul >~ 1011 M ⊙, and in the cluster it is 4% at M *, bul = 1010 M ⊙ and 23% at 1012 M ⊙. We also find that the total mass in orbiting SMBHs is negligible in the void, but significant in the cluster, in which a potentially detectable 40% of SMBHs and ≈8% of the total SMBH mass (where the total includes central, orbiting, and ejected SMBHs) is found orbiting at z = 0. The existence of orbiting and ejected SMBHs requires modification of the Soltan argument. We estimate this correction to the integrated accreted mass density of SMBHs to be in the range 6%-21%, with a mean value of 11% ± 3%. Quantifying the growth due to mergers at these late times, we calculate the total energy

  5. UNDERSTANDING BLACK HOLE MASS ASSEMBLY VIA ACCRETION AND MERGERS AT LATE TIMES IN COSMOLOGICAL SIMULATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Kulier, Andrea; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.; Lackner, Claire N.; Cen, Renyue; Natarajan, Priyamvada

    2015-02-01

    Accretion is thought to primarily contribute to the mass accumulation history of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) throughout cosmic time. While this may be true at high redshifts, at lower redshifts and for the most massive black holes (BHs) mergers themselves might add significantly to the mass budget. We explore this in two disparate environments—a massive cluster and a void region. We evolve SMBHs from 4 > z > 0 using merger trees derived from hydrodynamical cosmological simulations of these two regions, scaled to the observed value of the stellar mass fraction to account for overcooling. Mass gains from gas accretion proportional to bulge growth and BH-BH mergers are tracked, as are BHs that remain ''orbiting'' due to insufficient dynamical friction in a merger remnant, as well as those that are ejected due to gravitational recoil. We find that gas accretion remains the dominant source of mass accumulation in almost all SMBHs; mergers contribute 2.5% ± 0.1% for all SMBHs in the cluster and 1.0% ± 0.1% in the void since z = 4. However, mergers are significant for massive SMBHs. The fraction of mass accumulated from mergers for central BHs generally increases for larger values of the host bulge mass: in the void, the fraction is 2% at M {sub *,} {sub bul} = 10{sup 10} M {sub ☉}, increasing to 4% at M {sub *,} {sub bul} ≳ 10{sup 11} M {sub ☉}, and in the cluster it is 4% at M {sub *,} {sub bul} = 10{sup 10} M {sub ☉} and 23% at 10{sup 12} M {sub ☉}. We also find that the total mass in orbiting SMBHs is negligible in the void, but significant in the cluster, in which a potentially detectable 40% of SMBHs and ≈8% of the total SMBH mass (where the total includes central, orbiting, and ejected SMBHs) is found orbiting at z = 0. The existence of orbiting and ejected SMBHs requires modification of the Soltan argument. We estimate this correction to the integrated accreted mass density of SMBHs to be in the range 6%-21%, with a mean value of 11% ± 3

  6. Predictions for the Reverberating Spectral Line from a Newly Formed Black Hole Accretion Disk: Case of Tidal Disruption Flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wenda; Yu, Wenfei; Karas, Vladimír; Dovčiak, Michal

    2015-07-01

    Tidal disruption events (TDEs) can be perfect probes of dormant supermassive black holes in normal galaxies. During the rising phase, the accretion luminosity can increase by orders of magnitude in several weeks, and the emergent ionizing radiation illuminates the fresh accretion flow. In this paper, we simulated the evolution of the expected spectral line profile of iron due to such a flare by using a ray-tracing code with effects of general relativity taken into account. We found that the time-dependent profile changes significantly with black hole spin, inclination angle with respect to the black hole equatorial plane, and the expansion velocity of the ionization front. At low values of spin, a “loop” feature appears in the line profile versus time plot when the inclination is no less than 30° and the expansion velocity {v}{exp} is no less than half the speed of light, owing to a shadow in the emission of the truncated disk. In the light curve two peaks occur depending on the inclination angle. At large {v}{exp}, a shallow “nose” feature may develop ahead of the loop; its duration depends on the expansion velocity and the inclination angle. We explore the entire interval of black hole spin parameter ranging from extreme prograde to extreme retrograde rotation, -1\\lt a\\lt 1. In the prograde case, a low-energy tail appears to be more pronounced in the evolving centroid energy of the line. Our results demonstrate the importance of searching for X-ray spectral lines in the early phase of TDE flares in order to constrain black hole mass and spin, as well as properties of the innermost accretion flow.

  7. Bulk viscosity of accretion disks around non rotating black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moeen Moghaddas, M.

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, we study the Keplerian, relativistic accretion disks around the non rotating black holes with the bulk viscosity. Many of authors studied the relativistic accretion disks around the black holes, but they ignored the bulk viscosity. We introduce a simple method to calculate the bulk in these disks. We use the simple form for the radial component of the four velocity in the Schwarzschild metric, then the other components of the four velocity and the components of the shear and the bulk tensor are calculated. Also all components of the bulk viscosity, the shear viscosity and stress tensor are calculated. It is seen that some components of the bulk tensor are comparable with the shear tensor. We calculate some of the thermodynamic quantities of the relativistic disks. Comparison of thermodynamic quantities shows that in some states influences of the bulk viscosity are important, especially in the inner radiuses. All calculations are done analytically and we do not use the boundary conditions. Finally, we find that in the relativistic disks around the black holes, the bulk viscosity is non-negligible in all the states.

  8. Constraining the cosmic evolution of supermassive black holes with statistical quasar samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Yue

    One of the fundamental questions in cosmology is how galaxies with different physical properties form and evolve across cosmic time. Supermassive black holes (SMBHs), believed to reside in the center of almost every massive galaxy, not only tell part of the story of galaxy formation, but may also influence the formation and evolution of the galaxy during their coevolution, as inferred from several correlations between the black hole mass and bulge properties observed in the local universe. Facilitated by modern dedicated surveys in different wavelength bands, the study of SMBHs has now entered an era of statistical investigations. In this thesis I study the statistical properties of optically-selected quasars, the luminous counterparts of SMBHs, across a wide redshift range (0.5 [Special characters omitted.] z [Special characters omitted.] 5), using large spectroscopic samples from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The first two chapters deal with the spatial clustering properties of quasars, with focuses on the high redshift (z [Special characters omitted.] 3) population (chapter 1), and on the dependence of clustering on physical properties of quasars such as luminosity, color, etc. (chapter 2). These clustering analyses, which become available only very recently, provide valuable information about the occupations of quasars within dark matter halos, and have important implications for the growth and evolution of SMBHs within the standard hierarchical structure formation paradigm. The third chapter presents black hole mass estimates and Eddington ratios of quasars measured from their optical spectra, based on the virial black hole mass estimators. Some comparisons between different virial estimators and potential biases are also discussed in chapter 3. In the final chapter, I present a simple, observationally motivated framework for the cosmic growth and evolution of SMBHs. Adopting the merger hypothesis of quasar triggering mechanism and halo merger rate from

  9. 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.

  10. Confined-exotic-matter wormholes with no gluing effects—Imaging supermassive wormholes and black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azreg-Aïnou, Mustapha

    2015-07-01

    We classify wormholes endowed with redshift effects and finite mass into three types. Type I wormholes have their radial pressure dying out faster, as one moves away from the throat, than any other component of the stress-energy and thus violate the least the local energy conditions. In type II (resp. III) wormholes the radial and transverse pressures are asymptotically proportional and die out faster (resp. slower) than the energy density. We introduce a novel and generalizable method for deriving, with no cutoff in the stress-energy or gluing, a class of each of the three wormhole types. We focus on type I wormholes and construct different asymptotically flat solutions with finite, upper- and lower-bounded, mass M. It is observed that the radial pressure is negative, and the null energy condition is violated, only inside a narrow layer, adjacent to the throat, of relative spacial extent epsilon. Reducing the relative size of the layer, without harming the condition of traversability, yields an inverse square law of epsilon versus M for supermassive wormholes. We show that the diameter of the shadow of this type I supermassive wormhole overlaps with that of the black hole candidate at the center of the Milky Way and that the recent derivation, using the up-to-date millimeter-wavelength very long baseline interferometry made in Astrophys. J. {795} (2014) 134 [\\arXivid{1409.4690}], remains inconclusive. We show that redshift-free wormholes, with positive energy density, have one of their barotropic equations of state in the phantom regime (at least in the region adjacent to the throat), have their stress energy tensor traceless, and are anisotropic. They are all type III wormholes having their variable equations of state approaching 1 and -1 at spatial infinity. We also introduce a new approach for deriving new redshift-free wormholes.

  11. Confined-exotic-matter wormholes with no gluing effects—Imaging supermassive wormholes and black holes

    SciTech Connect

    Azreg-Aïnou, Mustapha

    2015-07-01

    We classify wormholes endowed with redshift effects and finite mass into three types. Type I wormholes have their radial pressure dying out faster, as one moves away from the throat, than any other component of the stress-energy and thus violate the least the local energy conditions. In type II (resp. III) wormholes the radial and transverse pressures are asymptotically proportional and die out faster (resp. slower) than the energy density. We introduce a novel and generalizable method for deriving, with no cutoff in the stress-energy or gluing, a class of each of the three wormhole types. We focus on type I wormholes and construct different asymptotically flat solutions with finite, upper- and lower-bounded, mass M. It is observed that the radial pressure is negative, and the null energy condition is violated, only inside a narrow layer, adjacent to the throat, of relative spacial extent ε. Reducing the relative size of the layer, without harming the condition of traversability, yields an inverse square law of ε versus M for supermassive wormholes. We show that the diameter of the shadow of this type I supermassive wormhole overlaps with that of the black hole candidate at the center of the Milky Way and that the recent derivation, using the up-to-date millimeter-wavelength very long baseline interferometry made in Astrophys. J. (795) (2014) 134 [\\arXivid(1409.4690)], remains inconclusive. We show that redshift-free wormholes, with positive energy density, have one of their barotropic equations of state in the phantom regime (at least in the region adjacent to the throat), have their stress energy tensor traceless, and are anisotropic. They are all type III wormholes having their variable equations of state approaching 1 and −1 at spatial infinity. We also introduce a new approach for deriving new redshift-free wormholes.

  12. Physics-Based Spectra of Accretion Disks around Black Holes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krolik, Julian H.

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this grant was to begin the process of deriving the light output of accretion disks around black holes directly from the actual processes that inject heat into the accreting matter, rather than from guessed dependences of heating rate on physical parameters. At JHU, the effort has focussed so far on models of accretion onto "intermediate mass black holes", a possible class of black holes, examples of which may have recently been discovered in nearby galaxies. There, Krolik and his student (Yawei Hui) have computed stellar atmospheres for uniformly-heated disks around this class of black holes. Their models serve two purposes: they are the very first serious attempts to compute the spectrum from accreting black holes in this mass range; and a library of such models can be used later in this program as contrasts for those computed on the basis of real disk dynamics. The output from these local disk calculations has also been successfully coupled to a program that applies the appropriate relativistic transformations and computes photon trajectories in order to predict the spectrum received by observers located at different polar angles. The principal new result of these calculations is the discovery of potentially observable ionization edges of H-like C and O at frequencies near the peak in flux from these objects. Most of the grant money at UCSB was spent on supporting graduate student Shane Davis. In addition. some money was spent on supporting two other students: Ari Socrates (now a Hubble Fellow at Princeton), and Laura Melling. Davis spent the year constructing stellar atmosphere models of accretion disks appropriate for the high/soft (thermal) state of black hole X-ray binaries. As with AGN models published previously by our collaboration with NASA support. our models include a complete general relativistic treatment of both the disk structure and the propagation of photons from the disk to a distant observer. They also include all important

  13. The response of relativistic outflowing gas to the inner accretion disk of a black hole.

    PubMed

    Parker, Michael L; Pinto, Ciro; Fabian, Andrew C; Lohfink, Anne; Buisson, Douglas J K; Alston, William N; Kara, Erin; Cackett, Edward M; Chiang, Chia-Ying; Dauser, Thomas; De Marco, Barbara; Gallo, Luigi C; Garcia, Javier; Harrison, Fiona A; King, Ashley L; Middleton, Matthew J; Miller, Jon M; Miniutti, Giovanni; Reynolds, Christopher S; Uttley, Phil; Vasudevan, Ranjan; Walton, Dominic J; Wilkins, Daniel R; Zoghbi, Abderahmen

    2017-03-01

    The brightness of an active galactic nucleus is set by the gas falling onto it from the galaxy, and the gas infall rate is regulated by the brightness of the active galactic nucleus; this feedback loop is the process by which supermassive black holes in the centres of galaxies may moderate the growth of their hosts. Gas outflows (in the form of disk winds) release huge quantities of energy into the interstellar medium, potentially clearing the surrounding gas. The most extreme (in terms of speed and energy) of these-the ultrafast outflows-are the subset of X-ray-detected outflows with velocities higher than 10,000 kilometres per second, believed to originate in relativistic (that is, near the speed of light) disk winds a few hundred gravitational radii from the black hole. The absorption features produced by these outflows are variable, but no clear link has been found between the behaviour of the X-ray continuum and the velocity or optical depth of the outflows, owing to the long timescales of quasar variability. Here we report the observation of multiple absorption lines from an extreme ultrafast gas flow in the X-ray spectrum of the active galactic nucleus IRAS 13224-3809, at 0.236 ± 0.006 times the speed of light (71,000 kilometres per second), where the absorption is strongly anti-correlated with the emission of X-rays from the inner regions of the accretion disk. If the gas flow is identified as a genuine outflow then it is in the fastest five per cent of such winds, and its variability is hundreds of times faster than in other variable winds, allowing us to observe in hours what would take months in a quasar. We find X-ray spectral signatures of the wind simultaneously in both low- and high-energy detectors, suggesting a single ionized outflow, linking the low- and high-energy absorption lines. That this disk wind is responding to the emission from the inner accretion disk demonstrates a connection between accretion processes occurring on very different

  14. The response of relativistic outflowing gas to the inner accretion disk of a black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, Michael L.; Pinto, Ciro; Fabian, Andrew C.; Lohfink, Anne; Buisson, Douglas J. K.; Alston, William N.; Kara, Erin; Cackett, Edward M.; Chiang, Chia-Ying; Dauser, Thomas; De Marco, Barbara; Gallo, Luigi C.; Garcia, Javier; Harrison, Fiona A.; King, Ashley L.; Middleton, Matthew J.; Miller, Jon M.; Miniutti, Giovanni; Reynolds, Christopher S.; Uttley, Phil; Vasudevan, Ranjan; Walton, Dominic J.; Wilkins, Daniel R.; Zoghbi, Abderahmen

    2017-03-01

    The brightness of an active galactic nucleus is set by the gas falling onto it from the galaxy, and the gas infall rate is regulated by the brightness of the active galactic nucleus; this feedback loop is the process by which supermassive black holes in the centres of galaxies may moderate the growth of their hosts. Gas outflows (in the form of disk winds) release huge quantities of energy into the interstellar medium, potentially clearing the surrounding gas. The most extreme (in terms of speed and energy) of these—the ultrafast outflows—are the subset of X-ray-detected outflows with velocities higher than 10,000 kilometres per second, believed to originate in relativistic (that is, near the speed of light) disk winds a few hundred gravitational radii from the black hole. The absorption features produced by these outflows are variable, but no clear link has been found between the behaviour of the X-ray continuum and the velocity or optical depth of the outflows, owing to the long timescales of quasar variability. Here we report the observation of multiple absorption lines from an extreme ultrafast gas flow in the X-ray spectrum of the active galactic nucleus IRAS 13224‑3809, at 0.236 ± 0.006 times the speed of light (71,000 kilometres per second), where the absorption is strongly anti-correlated with the emission of X-rays from the inner regions of the accretion disk. If the gas flow is identified as a genuine outflow then it is in the fastest five per cent of such winds, and its variability is hundreds of times faster than in other variable winds, allowing us to observe in hours what would take months in a quasar. We find X-ray spectral signatures of the wind simultaneously in both low- and high-energy detectors, suggesting a single ionized outflow, linking the low- and high-energy absorption lines. That this disk wind is responding to the emission from the inner accretion disk demonstrates a connection between accretion processes occurring on very

  15. Testing scenarios of primordial black holes being the seeds of supermassive black holes by ultracompact minihalos and CMB μ distortions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohri, Kazunori; Nakama, Tomohiro; Suyama, Teruaki

    2014-10-01

    Supermassive black holes and intermediate mass black holes are believed to exist in the Universe. There is no established astrophysical explanation for their origin, and considerations have been made in the literature that those massive black holes (MBHs) may be primordial black holes (PBHs), black holes which are formed in the early universe (well before the matter-radiation equality) due to the direct collapse of primordial overdensities. This paper aims at discussing the possibility of excluding the PBH scenario as the origin of the MBHs. We first revisit the constraints on PBHs obtained from the cosmic microwave background (CMB) distortion that the seed density perturbation causes. By adopting a recent computation of the CMB distortion sourced by the seed density perturbation and the stronger constraint on the CMB distortion set by the COBE/FIRAS experiment used in the literature, we find that PBHs in the mass range 6×104 M⊙-5×1013 M⊙ are excluded. Since PBHs lighter than 6×104 M⊙ are not excluded from the nonobservation of the CMB distortion, we propose a new method which can potentially exclude smaller PBHs as well. Based on the observation that large density perturbations required to create PBHs also result in the copious production of ultracompact minihalos (UCMHs), compact dark matter halos formed at around the recombination, we show that weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) as dark matter annihilate efficiently inside UCMHs to yield cosmic rays far exceeding the observed flux. Our bound gives severe restriction on the compatibility between the particle physics models for WIMPs and the PBH scenario as the explanation of MBHs.

  16. 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.

  17. A highly magnetized twin-jet base pinpoints a supermassive black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baczko, A.-K.; Schulz, R.; Kadler, M.; Ros, E.; Perucho, M.; Krichbaum, T. P.; Böck, M.; Bremer, M.; Grossberger, C.; Lindqvist, M.; Lobanov, A. P.; Mannheim, K.; Martí-Vidal, I.; Müller, C.; Wilms, J.; Zensus, J. A.

    2016-09-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBH) are essential for the production of jets in radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN). Theoretical models based on (Blandford & Znajek 1977, MNRAS, 179, 433) extract the rotational energy from a Kerr black hole, which could be the case for NGC 1052, to launch these jets. This requires magnetic fields on the order of 103G to 104G. We imaged the vicinity of the SMBH of the AGN NGC 1052 with the Global Millimetre VLBI Array and found a bright and compact central feature that is smaller than 1.9 light days (100 Schwarzschild radii) in radius. Interpreting this as a blend of the unresolved jet bases, we derive the magnetic field at 1 Schwarzschild radius to lie between 200 G and ~ 8.3 × 104 G consistent with Blandford & Znajek models. The VLBI images shown in Figs. 3 and 4 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/593/A47

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. [Predicting Spectra of Accretion Disks Around Galactic Black Holes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krolik, Julian H.

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this grant was to construct detailed atmosphere solutions in order to predict the spectra of accretion disks around Galactic black holes. Our plan of action was to take an existing disk atmosphere code (TLUSTY, created by Ivan Hubeny) and introduce those additional physical processes necessary to make it applicable to disks of this variety. These modifications include: treating Comptonization; introducing continuous opacity due to heavy elements; incorporating line opacity due to heavy elements; adopting a disk structure that reflects readjustments due to radiation pressure effects; and injecting heat via a physically-plausible vertical distribution.

  3. Self-regulated growth of supermassive black holes by a dual jet-heating active galactic nucleus feedback mechanism: methods, tests and implications for cosmological simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubois, Yohan; Devriendt, Julien; Slyz, Adrianne; Teyssier, Romain

    2012-03-01

    We develop a subgrid model for the growth of supermassive black holes (BHs) and their associated active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback in hydrodynamical cosmological simulations. This model transposes previous attempts to describe BH accretion and AGN feedback with the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) technique to the adaptive mesh refinement framework. It also furthers their development by implementing a new jet-like outflow treatment of the AGN feedback which we combine with the heating mode traditionally used in the SPH approach. Thus, our approach allows one to test the robustness of the conclusions derived from simulating the impact of self-regulated AGN feedback on galaxy formation vis-à-vis the numerical method. Assuming that BHs are created in the early stages of galaxy formation, they grow by mergers and accretion of gas at a Eddington-limited Bondi accretion rate. However this growth is regulated by AGN feedback which we model using two different modes: a quasar-heating mode when accretion rates on to the BHs are comparable to the Eddington rate, and a radio-jet mode at lower accretion rates which not only deposits energy, but also deposits mass and momentum on the grid. In other words, our feedback model deposits energy as a succession of thermal bursts and jet outflows depending on the properties of the gas surrounding the BHs. We assess the plausibility of such a model by comparing our results to observational measurements of the co-evolution of BHs and their host galaxy properties, and check their robustness with respect to numerical resolution. We show that AGN feedback must be a crucial physical ingredient for the formation of massive galaxies as it appears to be able to efficiently prevent the accumulation of and/or expel cold gas out of haloes/galaxies and significantly suppress star formation. Our model predicts that the relationship between BHs and their host galaxy mass evolves as a function of redshift, because of the vigorous accretion

  4. Black-Hole Accretion Disks --- Towards a New Paradigm ---

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kato, S.; Fukue, J.; Mineshige, S.

    2008-03-01

    Part I: Concepts of Accretion Disks: Chap. 1: Introduction, 1.1 Accretion Energy - Historical Origin, { Accretion-Disk Paradigm - Active Universe, 1.3 Accretion-Powered Objects - Observational Reviews, 1.4 X-Ray Binaries and Ultra-Luminous X-Ray Sources, 1.5 Active Galactic Nuclei, 1.6 Present Paradigm, Chap. 2: Physical Processes Related to Accretion, 2.1 Eddington Luminosity, 2.2 Bondi Accretion, 2.3 Viscous Process, 2.4 Magnetic Instabilities, 2.5 Relativistic Effects Part II: Classical Picture: Chap. 3: Classical Models, 3.1 Viscous Accretion Disks, 3.2 Standard Disks, 3.3 Optically Thin Disks, 3.4 Accretion Disk Coronae, 3.5 Relativistic Standard Disks, 3.6 Relativistic Tori Chap. 4: Secular and Thermal Instabilities, 4.1 Secular Instability, 4.2 Thermal Instability, 4.3 Stability Examination on dot{M}-Σ and T-Σ Planes, 4.4 Mathematical Derivation of the Stability Criterion, Chap. 5: Dwarf-Nova Type Instability, 5.1 Thermal-Ionization Instability, 5.2 Time Evolution of Disks in X-Ray Novae Chap. 6: Observability of Relativistic Effects, 6.1 Ray Tracing, 6.2 Imaging - Black Hole Silhouette, 6.3 Spectroscopy - Continuum and Line, 6.4 Photometry - Light Curve Diagnosis, 6.5 Other Effects - Lensing and Jets, Part III: Modern Picture: Chap. 7: Equations to Construct Generalized Models, 7.1 Basic Equations and Importance of Advection, 7.2 One-Temperature Disks, 7.3 Two-Temperature Disks, 7.4 Time-Dependent Equations Chap. 8: Transonic Nature of Accretion Flows, 8.1 Topology of Black-Hole Accretion, 8.2 Regularity Condition at a Critical Radius, 8.3 Topology around the Critical Radius in Isothermal Disks, 8.4 Numerical Examples of Transonic Flows, 8.5 Transonic Flows with Standing Shocks Chap. 9: Radiatively Inefficient Accretion Flows, 9.1 Advection-Dominated Accretion Flow, 9.2 Radial Structure of Advection-Dominated Flow, 9.3 Radiation Spectra of Advection-Dominated Flow, 9.4 Stability of Advection-Dominated Flow, 9.5 Multi-Dimensional Effects, Chap. 10: Slim

  5. A Strongly Magnetized Pulsar within the Grasp of the Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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 \\dot{P} = 6.61(4)\\times 10^{-12} s s-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-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.

  6. The Quest for the Largest Depleted Galaxy Core: Supermassive Black Hole Binaries and Stalled Infalling Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonfini, Paolo; Graham, Alister W.

    2016-10-01

    Partially depleted cores are practically ubiquitous in luminous early-type galaxies (M B ≲ -20.5 mag) and are typically smaller than 1 kpc. In one popular scenario, supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries—established during dry (i.e., gas-poor) galaxy mergers—kick out the stars from a galaxy’s central region via three-body interactions. Here, this “binary black hole scouring scenario” is probed at its extremes by investigating the two galaxies reported to have the largest partially depleted cores found to date: 2MASX J09194427+5622012 and 2MASX J17222717+3207571 (the brightest galaxy in Abell 2261). We have fit these galaxy’s two-dimensional light distribution using the core-Sérsic model and found that the former galaxy has a core-Sérsic break radius {R}b,{cS}=0.55 {{kpc}}, which is three times smaller than the published value. We use this galaxy to caution that other reportedly large break radii may too have been overestimated if they were derived using the “sharp-transition” (inner core)-to-(outer Sérsic) model. In the case of 2MASX J17222717+3207571, we obtain R b,cS = 3.6 kpc. While we confirm that this is the biggest known partially depleted core of any galaxy, we stress that it is larger than expected from the evolution of SMBH binaries—unless one invokes substantial gravitational-wave-induced (black hole-)recoil events. Given the presence of multiple nuclei located (in projection) within the core radius of this galaxy, we explored and found support for the alternative “stalled infalling perturber” core-formation scenario, in which this galaxy’s core could have been excavated by the action of an infalling massive perturber.

  7. The supermassive black hole and double nucleus of the core elliptical NGC 5419

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazzalay, Ximena; Thomas, Jens; Saglia, Roberto P.; Wegner, Gary A.; Bender, Ralf; Erwin, Peter; Fabricius, Maximilian H.; Rusli, Stephanie P.

    2016-11-01

    We obtained adaptive-optics assisted SINFONI observations of the central regions of the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5419 with a spatial resolution of 0.2 arcsec (≈55 pc). NGC 5419 has a large depleted stellar core with a radius of 1.58 arcsec (430 pc). HST and SINFONI images show a point source located at the galaxy's photocentre, which is likely associated with the low-luminosity AGN previously detected in NGC 5419. Both the HST and SINFONI images also show a second nucleus, off-centred by 0.25 arcsec (≈70 pc). Outside of the central double nucleus, we measure an almost constant velocity dispersion of σ ˜ 350 km s-1. In the region where the double nucleus is located, the dispersion rises steeply to a peak value of ˜420 km s-1. In addition to the SINFONI data, we also obtained stellar kinematics at larger radii from the South African Large Telescope. While NGC 5419 shows low rotation (v < 50 km s-1), the central regions (inside ˜4 rb) clearly rotate in the opposite direction to the galaxy's outer parts. We use orbit-based dynamical models to measure the black hole mass of NGC 5419 from the kinematical data outside of the double nuclear structure. The models imply M_BH=7.2^{+2.7}_{-1.9} × 10^9 M⊙. The enhanced velocity dispersion in the region of the double nucleus suggests that NGC 5419 possibly hosts two supermassive black holes at its centre, separated by only ≈70 pc. Yet our measured MBH is consistent with the black hole mass expected from the size of the galaxy's depleted stellar core. This suggests, that systematic uncertainties in MBH related to the secondary nucleus are small.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. A CORRELATION BETWEEN STAR FORMATION RATE AND AVERAGE BLACK HOLE ACCRETION IN STAR-FORMING GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Chien-Ting J.; Hickox, Ryan C.; Alberts, Stacey; Pope, Alexandra; Brodwin, Mark; Jones, Christine; Forman, William R.; Goulding, Andrew D.; Murray, Stephen S.; Alexander, David M.; Mullaney, James R.; Assef, Roberto J.; Gorjian, Varoujan; Brown, Michael J. I.; Dey, Arjun; Jannuzi, Buell T.; Le Floc'h, Emeric

    2013-08-10

    We present a measurement of the average supermassive black hole accretion rate (BHAR) as a function of the star formation rate (SFR) for galaxies in the redshift range 0.25 < z < 0.8. We study a sample of 1767 far-IR-selected star-forming galaxies in the 9 deg{sup 2} Booetes multi-wavelength survey field. The SFR is estimated using 250 {mu}m observations from the Herschel Space Observatory, for which the contribution from the active galactic nucleus (AGN) is minimal. In this sample, 121 AGNs are directly identified using X-ray or mid-IR selection criteria. We combined these detected AGNs and an X-ray stacking analysis for undetected sources to study the average BHAR for all of the star-forming galaxies in our sample. We find an almost linear relation between the average BHAR (in M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1}) and the SFR (in M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1}) for galaxies across a wide SFR range 0.85 < log SFR < 2.56: log BHAR = (- 3.72 {+-} 0.52) + (1.05 {+-} 0.33)log SFR. This global correlation between SFR and average BHAR is consistent with a simple picture in which SFR and AGN activity are tightly linked over galaxy evolution timescales.

  11. 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

  12. Phantom Accretion onto the Schwarzschild AdS Black Hole with Topological Defect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amani, Ali R.; Farahani, H.

    2012-09-01

    In this paper, we have studied phantom energy accretion of prefect fluid onto the Schwarzschild AdS black hole with topological defect. We have obtained critical point during the accretion of fluid on the black hole where the speed of flow is equal speed of sound (Sharif and Abbas in Phantom accretion onto the Schwarzschild de-Sitter black hole, 2011, arXiv:1109.1043 [gr-qc]). The critical velocities have been computed so that the speed of fluid into the black hole is less than speed of sound. Finally, we have found that the critical point is near the black hole horizon.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  14. Fast coalescence of post-Newtonian Supermassive Black Hole Binaries in real galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobolenko, M.; Berczik, P.; Spurzem, R.; Kupi, G.

    2017-01-01

    We present the results of theoretical modeling of supermassive black hole binary (SMBHB) mergers using direct 2-body simulations with a Hermite integration scheme. The BH's gravitational interaction is described based on the post-Newtonian (PN terms) approximation up to the 3.5PN terms. We carry out a large set of runs using a parametric description of SMBHB orbits. The final time of the SMBHs gravitational coalescence is parametrized as a function of initial eccentricity e_{0} and mass ratio q of the binary. We carry out detailed tests of our coding. We tested our PN terms against the analytic prescription described in te{Peters1963, Peters1964}. The gravitational radiation polarization amplitudes h_{+} and h_× from the SMBHBs merging process are also analyzed. Based on our numerical work we estimate the expected merging time for a list of selected potential SDSS SMBHBs. Our results show that the merging time is a strong function of the assumed initial eccentricities and fall within the range of thousands years.

  15. Searching for Binary Supermassive Black Holes via Variable Broad Emission Line Shifts: Low Binary Fraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lile; Greene, Jenny E.; Ju, Wenhua; Rafikov, Roman R.; Ruan, John J.; Schneider, Donald P.

    2017-01-01

    Supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHs) are expected to result from galaxy mergers, and thus are natural byproducts (and probes) of hierarchical structure formation in the universe. They are also the primary expected source of low-frequency gravitational wave emission. We search for binary BHs using time-variable velocity shifts in broad Mg ii emission lines of quasars with multi-epoch observations. First, we inspect velocity shifts of the binary SMBH candidates identified in Ju et al., using Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectra with an additional epoch of data that lengthens the typical baseline to ∼10 yr. We find variations in the line of sight velocity shifts over 10 yr that are comparable to the shifts observed over 1–2 yr, ruling out the binary model for the bulk of our candidates. We then analyze 1438 objects with eight-year median time baselines, from which we would expect to see velocity shifts >1000 {km} {{{s}}}-1 from sub-parsec binaries. We find only one object with an outlying velocity of 448 {km} {{{s}}}-1, indicating—based on our modeling—that ≲1% (the value varies with different assumptions) of SMBHs that are active as quasars reside in binaries with ∼0.1 pc separations. Binaries either sweep rapidly through these small separations or stall at larger radii.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    2015-02-05

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. NEW EVIDENCE FOR HIGH ACTIVITY OF THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE IN OUR GALAXY

    SciTech Connect

    Nobukawa, M.; Ryu, S. G.; Tsuru, T. G.; Koyama, K.

    2011-10-01

    Prominent K-shell emission lines of neutral iron (hereafter Fe I-K lines) and hard-continuum X-rays from molecular clouds (MCs) in the Sagittarius B (Sgr B) region were found in two separate Suzaku observations in 2005 and 2009. The X-ray flux of the Fe I-K lines decreased in correlation with the hard-continuum flux by a factor of 0.4-0.5 in four years, which is almost equal to the light traveling across the MCs. The rapid and correlated time variability, the equivalent width of the Fe I-K lines, and the K edge absorption depth of Fe I are consistently explained by 'X-ray echoes' due to the fluorescent and Thomson scattering of an X-ray flare from an external source. The required flux of the X-ray flare depends on the distance to the MCs and its time duration. Even for a case with a minimum distance, the flux is larger than those of the brightest Galactic X-ray sources. Based on these facts, we conclude that the supermassive black hole Sgr A* exhibited a large flare a few hundred years ago with a luminosity of more than 4 x 10{sup 39} erg s{sup -1}. The 'X-ray echo' from Sgr B, located a few hundred light-years from Sgr A*, has now reached the Earth.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2013-02-28

    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 × 10(6) 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. Origin of the Correlations Between Supermassive Black Holes and Their Host Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherman, Sydney; Li, Y.; Zhu, Q.

    2013-01-01

    It has been well established from observations that suppermassive black holes in nearby elliptical galaxies correlate tightly with the stellar velocity dispersion (the M - σ relation) and mass (the MBH - Mhost relation) of their host spheroids. However, the origin of these correlations remains ambiguous. Here, we compile a sample of observed galaxies with different properties (e.g., mass, type, kinematics, growth history, etc.) and examine the dependence of the above correlations on these parameters. We find that galaxies that satisfy the M - σ correlation appear to have reached virial equilibrium, as indicated by the ratio between kinetic energy and gravitational potential, 2K/U ~ 1. Furthermore, the ratio of black hole accretion rate to star formation rate remains nearly constant, AR /SFR ~ 10-3, over a wide range of galaxy mass from redshift z=0 - 2. These results confirm our previous theoretical model that the observed correlations have different origins: the M - σ relation may be the result of virial equilibrium, while MBH - Mhost relation may be the result of self-regulated star formation and black hole growth in galaxies.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. COEVOLUTION BETWEEN SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES AND BULGES IS NOT VIA INTERNAL FEEDBACK REGULATION BUT BY RATIONED GAS SUPPLY DUE TO ANGULAR MOMENTUM DISTRIBUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Cen, Renyue

    2015-05-20

    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.

  7. Modelling the cosmological co-evolution of supermassive black holes and galaxies - I. BH scaling relations and the AGN luminosity function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marulli, Federico; Bonoli, Silvia; Branchini, Enzo; Moscardini, Lauro; Springel, Volker

    2008-04-01

    We model the cosmological co-evolution of galaxies and their central supermassive black holes (BHs) within a semi-analytical framework developed on the outputs of the Millennium Simulation. This model, described in detail by Croton et al. and De Lucia and Blaizot, introduces a `radio mode' feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN) at the centre of X-ray emitting atmospheres in galaxy groups and clusters. Thanks to this mechanism, the model can simultaneously explain: (i) the low observed mass dropout rate in cooling flows; (ii) the exponential cut-off in the bright end of the galaxy luminosity function and (iii) the bulge-dominated morphologies and old stellar ages of the most massive galaxies in clusters. This paper is the first of a series in which we investigate how well this model can also reproduce the physical properties of BHs and AGN. Here we analyse the scaling relations, the fundamental plane and the mass function of BHs, and compare them with the most recent observational data. Moreover, we extend the semi-analytic model to follow the evolution of the BH mass accretion and its conversion into radiation, and compare the derived AGN bolometric luminosity function with the observed one. While we find for the most part a very good agreement between predicted and observed BH properties, the semi-analytic model underestimates the number density of luminous AGN at high redshifts, independently of the adopted Eddington factor and accretion efficiency. However, an agreement with the observations is possible within the framework of our model, provided it is assumed that the cold gas fraction accreted by BHs at high redshifts is larger than at low redshifts.

  8. Quiescent accretion disks in black hole X-ray novae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Orosz, Jerome A.; Bailyn, Charles D.; Remillard, Ronald A.; Mcclintock, Jeffrey E.; Foltz, Craig B.

    1994-01-01

    We present detailed time-resolved spectroscopy of the Balmer emission lines from two black hole binary systems in quiescence, A0620-00 and Nova Muscae 1991. We find extraordinary similarities between the two systems. There are 30-40 km/s velocity variations of the emission lines over the orbital period, the phases of which are not aligned with the expected phase of the motion of the compact primary. Detailed modeling of both systems is complicated by variable hot spot components, regions of optical thickness, and intermittent excess emission in the blue line wings of the H-alpha lines. Both sources also display low velocities at the outer edge of the accretion disk, implying a large primary Roche lobe and extreme mass ratios. These complications suggest that although simple optically thin, Keplerian alpha-disk models provide a useful parameterization of emission lines from these systems, the straightforward physical models they imply should be treated with great caution.

  9. ON THE LAMPPOST MODEL OF ACCRETING BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Niedźwiecki, Andrzej; Szanecki, Michał

    2016-04-10

    We study the lamppost model, in which the X-ray source in accreting black hole (BH) systems is located on the rotation axis close to the horizon. We point out a number of inconsistencies in the widely used lamppost model relxilllp, e.g., neglecting the redshift of the photons emitted by the lamppost that are directly observed. They appear to invalidate those model fitting results for which the source distances from the horizon are within several gravitational radii. Furthermore, if those results were correct, most of the photons produced in the lamppost would be trapped by the BH, and the luminosity generated in the source as measured at infinity would be much larger than that observed. This appears to be in conflict with the observed smooth state transitions between the hard and soft states of X-ray binaries. The required increase of the accretion rate and the associated efficiency reduction also present a problem for active galactic nuclei. Then, those models imply the luminosity measured in the local frame is much higher than that produced in the source and measured at infinity, due to the additional effects of time dilation and redshift, and the electron temperature is significantly higher than that observed. We show that these conditions imply that the fitted sources would be out of the e{sup ±} pair equilibrium. On the other hand, the above issues pose relatively minor problems for sources at large distances from the BH, where relxilllp can still be used.

  10. The SEDs of Gapped Accretion Disks surrounding Binary Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gultekin, Kayhan; Miller, J. M.

    2014-01-01

    We calculate the observability of a black hole (BH) accretion disk with a gap or a hole created by a secondary BH embedded in the disk. We find that for an interesting range of parameters of BH masses 10^6-10^9 M⊙), orbital separation 1 AU to ~0.1 pc), and gap width (10-190 disk scale heights), the missing thermal emission from a gap manifests itself in an observable decrement in the spectral energy distribution (SED). The change in slope in the broken power law is strongly dependent on the width of the gap in the accretion disk, which in turn is uniquely determined by the mass ratio of the BHs (under our assumptions), such that it scales roughly as q^(5/12). Thus, one can use spectral observations of the continuum of bright AGNs to infer not only the presence of a closely separated BH binary, but also the mass ratio. When the BH merger opens an entire hole (or cavity) in the inner disk, the broadband SED of the AGNs or quasar may serve as a diagnostic. We note future directions for this research.

  11. 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.

  12. Offset Active Galactic Nuclei as Tracers of Galaxy Mergers and Supermassive Black Hole Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Comerford, Julia M.; Greene, Jenny E.

    2014-07-01

    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-1 < |Δv| < 410 km s-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 bol) [erg s-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.

  13. Disk Assembly and the M BH-σ e Relation of Supermassive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debattista, Victor P.; Kazantzidis, Stelios; van den Bosch, Frank C.

    2013-03-01

    Recent Hubble Space Telescope observations have revealed that a majority of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at z ~ 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 •-σ e relation. In disk galaxies the bulge is the spheroid of interest. We explore the evolution of the M •-σ e relation when bulges form together with SMBHs on the M •-σ e relation and then slowly re-form a disk around them. The formation of the disk compresses the bulge, raising its σ 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 •-σ e relation if it is not accompanied by an increased M •. We quantify the expected offset based on photometric data and show that, on average, SMBHs must grow by ~50%-65% just to remain on the M •-σ e relation. We find no significant offset in the M •-σ 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 •-σ e relation.

  14. ENHANCED OFF-CENTER STELLAR TIDAL DISRUPTIONS BY SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES IN MERGING GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, F. K.; Chen, Xian E-mail: chenxian@pku.edu.cn

    2013-04-10

    Off-center stellar tidal disruption flares have been suggested to be a powerful probe of recoiling supermassive black holes (SMBHs) out of galactic centers due to anisotropic gravitational wave radiations. However, off-center tidal flares can also be produced by SMBHs in merging galaxies. In this paper, we computed the tidal flare rates by dual SMBHs in two merging galaxies before the SMBHs become self-gravitationally bounded. We employ an analytical model to calculate the tidal loss-cone feeding rates for both SMBHs, taking into account two-body relaxation of stars, tidal perturbations by the companion galaxy, and chaotic stellar orbits in triaxial gravitational potential. We show that for typical SMBHs with masses 10{sup 7} M{sub Sun }, the loss-cone feeding rates are enhanced by mergers up to {Gamma} {approx} 10{sup -2} yr{sup -1}, about two orders of magnitude higher than those by single SMBHs in isolated galaxies and about four orders of magnitude higher than those by recoiling SMBHs. The enhancements are mainly due to tidal perturbations by the companion galaxy. We suggest that off-center tidal flares are overwhelmed by those from merging galaxies, making the identification of recoiling SMBHs challenging. Based on the calculated rates, we estimate the relative contributions of tidal flare events by single, binary, and dual SMBH systems during cosmic time. Our calculations show that the off-center tidal disruption flares by un-bound SMBHs in merging galaxies contribute a fraction comparable to that by single SMBHs in isolated galaxies. We conclude that off-center tidal disruptions are powerful tracers of the merging history of galaxies and SMBHs.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. GROWTH OF EARLY SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES AND THE HIGH-REDSHIFT EDDINGTON RATIO DISTRIBUTION

    SciTech Connect

    DeGraf, C.; Di Matteo, T.; Khandai, N.; Croft, R.

    2012-08-10

    Using a new large-scale ({approx} 0.75 Gpc){sup 3} hydrodynamic cosmological simulation, we investigate the growth rate of supermassive black holes (BHs) in the early universe (z {approx}> 4.75). Remarkably we find a clear peak in the typical Eddington ratio ({lambda}) at BH masses of (4-8) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 7} M{sub Sun} (typically in halos of {approx}7 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 11} to 1 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 12} M{sub Sun }, close to their shock heating scale), independent of redshift and indicative that most BH growth occurs in the cold-flow-dominated regime. BH growth is enhanced at high-z and by and large regulated by the cosmological evolution of gas density, with {lambda} scaling simply as (1 + z){sup 3}. The peak in {lambda} is caused by the competition between increased gas density available in more massive hosts, and a decrease due to active galactic nucleus feedback that becomes effective above the shock heating halo mass scale and at high BH masses. We show that the distribution of {lambda} among both mass-selected and luminosity-selected samples is approximately lognormal. We combine these findings into a single lognormal fitting formula for the distribution of Eddington ratios as a function of (M{sub BH}, z). This formula can be used in analytic and semianalytic models for evolving BH populations, predicting BH masses of observed quasars, and, in conjunction with the observed distribution of Eddington ratios, can be used to constrain the BH mass function.

  18. 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.

  19. Supermassive black holes and their host galaxies. I. Bulge luminosities from dedicated near-infrared data

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-01

    In an effort to secure, refine, and supplement the relation between central supermassive black hole masses, M {sub •}, and the bulge luminosities of their host galaxies, L {sub bul}, we obtained deep, high spatial resolution K-band images of 35 nearby galaxies with securely measured M {sub •}, using the wide-field WIRCam imager at the Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope. A dedicated data reduction and sky subtraction strategy was adopted to estimate the brightness and structure of the sky, a critical step when tracing the light distribution of extended objects in the near-infrared. From the final image product, bulge and total magnitudes were extracted via two-dimensional profile fitting. As a first order approximation, all galaxies were modeled using a simple Sérsic-bulge+exponential-disk decomposition. However, we found that such models did not adequately describe the structure that we observed in a large fraction of our sample galaxies which often include cores, bars, nuclei, inner disks, spiral arms, rings, and envelopes. In such cases, we adopted profile modifications and/or more complex models with additional components. The derived bulge magnitudes are very sensitive to the details and number of components used in the models, although total magnitudes remain almost unaffected. Usually, but not always, the luminosities and sizes of the bulges are overestimated when a simple bulge+disk decomposition is adopted in lieu of a more complex model. Furthermore, we found that some spheroids are not well fit when the ellipticity of the Sérsic model is held fixed. This paper presents the details of the image processing and analysis, while we discuss how model-induced biases and systematics in bulge magnitudes impact the M {sub •}-L {sub bul} relation in a companion paper.

  20. 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.

  1. SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES IN A STAR-FORMING GASEOUS CIRCUMNUCLEAR DISK

    SciTech Connect

    Del Valle, L.; Escala, A.; Molina, J.; Maureira-Fredes, C.; Amaro-Seoane, P.; Cuadra, J.

    2015-09-20

    Using N-body/smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations we study the evolution of the separation of a pair of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) embedded in a star-forming circumnuclear disk (CND). This type of disk is expected to be formed in the central kiloparsec of the remnant of gas-rich galaxy mergers. Our simulations indicate that orbital decay of the SMBHs occurs more quickly when the mean density of the CND is higher, due to increased dynamical friction. However, in simulations where the CND is fragmented in high-density gaseous clumps (clumpy CND), the orbits of the SMBHs are erratically perturbed by the gravitational interaction with these clumps, delaying, in some cases, the orbital decay of the SMBHs. The densities of these gaseous clumps in our simulations and in recent studies of clumpy CNDs are two orders of magnitude higher than the observed density of molecular clouds in isolated galaxies or ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs), thus, we expect that SMBH orbits are perturbed less in real CNDs than in the simulated CNDs of this study and other recent studies. We also find that the migration timescale has a weak dependence on the star formation rate of the CND. Furthermore, the migration timescale of an SMBH pair in a star-forming clumpy CND is at most a factor of three longer than the migration timescale of a pair of SMBHs in a CND modeled with more simple gas physics. Therefore, we estimate that the migration timescale of the SMBHs in a clumpy CND is on the order of 10{sup 7} years.

  2. 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.

  3. Supermassive Black Holes in a Star-forming Gaseous Circumnuclear Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    del Valle, L.; Escala, A.; Maureira-Fredes, C.; Molina, J.; Cuadra, J.; Amaro-Seoane, P.

    2015-09-01

    Using N-body/smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations we study the evolution of the separation of a pair of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) embedded in a star-forming circumnuclear disk (CND). This type of disk is expected to be formed in the central kiloparsec of the remnant of gas-rich galaxy mergers. Our simulations indicate that orbital decay of the SMBHs occurs more quickly when the mean density of the CND is higher, due to increased dynamical friction. However, in simulations where the CND is fragmented in high-density gaseous clumps (clumpy CND), the orbits of the SMBHs are erratically perturbed by the gravitational interaction with these clumps, delaying, in some cases, the orbital decay of the SMBHs. The densities of these gaseous clumps in our simulations and in recent studies of clumpy CNDs are two orders of magnitude higher than the observed density of molecular clouds in isolated galaxies or ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs), thus, we expect that SMBH orbits are perturbed less in real CNDs than in the simulated CNDs of this study and other recent studies. We also find that the migration timescale has a weak dependence on the star formation rate of the CND. Furthermore, the migration timescale of an SMBH pair in a star-forming clumpy CND is at most a factor of three longer than the migration timescale of a pair of SMBHs in a CND modeled with more simple gas physics. Therefore, we estimate that the migration timescale of the SMBHs in a clumpy CND is on the order of 107 years.

  4. Is there a kicked supermassive black hole in E1821+643?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Andrew

    2013-10-01

    The formation of binary supermassive black holes {BBH} in galaxy centers appears to be an inevitable consequence of hierarchical structure formation. General Relativity predicts that, when a BBH coalesces, the merged SMBH recoils with a velocity that may reach several 1000 km/s. The luminous quasar E1821+643 is one of only 3 SMBH recoil candidates that have been identified via Doppler shifting of emission lines from the retained gas. This case is unique in that the Doppler shift is seen in both direct and scattered light, allowing us to infer a relative velocity of 2100 km/s between the quasar nucleus and host galaxy. By itself, this does not exclude alternative models such as a BBH or anisotropic wind, but follow-up spectroastrometric measurements reveal a relative displacement between the nucleus and the gas emitting the [OIII]4959,5007 lines that is consistent with the recoil hypothesis. The apparent displacement, however, could also be due to an asymmetric circum-nuclear distribution of the [OIII] emission. In order to distinguishbetween these two possibilities we propose ACS/WFC ramp filter imaging in [OIII] to map the distribution of narrow-line emission on sub-arcsecond scales. The observations will also allow us to study the relationship between the narrow-line gas and the arcsecond-scale radio source, which has morphological features that may relate to precession in a BBH system, or a "spin-flip" following coalescence. With this modest investment of HST time we will take a key step in establishing the nature of the E1821+643 system, which may ultimately yield direct observational evidence for BBH coalescence and high velocity gravitational recoils.

  5. THE RATE OF GAS ACCRETION ONTO BLACK HOLES DRIVES JET VELOCITY

    SciTech Connect

    King, Ashley L.; Miller, Jon M.; Gültekin, Kayhan; Reynolds, Mark; Bietenholz, Michael; Bartel, Norbert; Mioduszewski, Amy; Rupen, Michael

    2015-01-20

    Accreting black holes are observed to launch relativistic, collimated jets of matter and radiation. In some sources, discrete ejections have been detected with highly relativistic velocities. These particular sources typically have very high mass accretion rates, while sources lower knot velocities are predominantly associated with black holes with relatively low mass accretion rates. We quantify this behavior by examining knot velocity with respect to X-ray luminosity, a proxy for mass accretion rate onto the black hole. We find a positive correlation between the mass-scaled X-ray luminosity and jet knot velocity. In addition, we find evidence that the jet velocity is also a function of polar angle, supporting the ''spine-sheath'' model of jet production. Our results reveal a fundamental aspect of how accretion shapes mechanical feedback from black holes into their host environments.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. CLUMPY ACCRETION ONTO BLACK HOLES. I. CLUMPY-ADVECTION-DOMINATED ACCRETION FLOW STRUCTURE AND RADIATION

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Jianmin; Cheng Cheng; Li Yanrong

    2012-04-01

    We investigate the dynamics of clumps embedded in and confined by the advection-dominated accretion flows (ADAFs), in which collisions among the clumps are neglected. We start from the collisionless Boltzmann equation and assume that interaction between the clumps and the ADAF is responsible for transporting the angular momentum of clumps outward. The inner edge of the clumpy-ADAF is set to be the tidal radius of the clumps. We consider strong- and weak-coupling cases, in which the averaged properties of clumps follow the ADAF dynamics and are mainly determined by the black hole potential, respectively. We propose the analytical solution of the dynamics of clumps for the two cases. The velocity dispersion of clumps is one magnitude higher than the ADAF for the strong-coupling case. For the weak-coupling case, we find that the mean radial velocity of clumps is linearly proportional to the coefficient of the drag force. We show that the tidally disrupted clumps would lead to an accumulation of the debris to form a debris disk in the Shakura-Sunyaev regime. The entire hot ADAF will be efficiently cooled down by photons from the debris disk, giving rise to a collapse of the ADAF, and quench the clumpy accretion. Subsequently, evaporation of the collapsed ADAF drives resuscitate of a new clumpy-ADAF, resulting in an oscillation of the global clumpy-ADAF. Applications of the present model are briefly discussed to X-ray binaries, low ionization nuclear emission regions, and BL Lac objects.

  9. Probing Supermassive Black Hole Spins in MCG--6-30-15 and NGC 1365 with XMM-Newton and NuSTAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenneman, Laura; Walton, Dom; Marinucci, Andrea; Matt, Giorgio; Risaliti, Guido; Harrison, Fiona; Stern, Daniel

    2014-08-01

    We report on detailed spectral modeling of the Seyfert 1 AGNs NGC 1365 and MCG--6-30-15 using simultaneous, broadband X-ray spectra from XMM-Newton and NuSTAR. Both of these galaxies show evidence for relativistic reflection from the inner accretion disk in addition to complex, variable absorption. The high signal-to-noise across the 0.3-79 keV energy band enabled by these observations allows us to definitively disentangle the spectral signatures of the continuum, warm and cold absorption, and reflection from the torus and the inner disk in both sources. These deep pointings also enable the use of time-resolved spectral fitting in order to assess the role of each component in driving the spectral and temporal variability of the AGNs. This type of analysis allows us to isolate the relativistic reflection signatures in each object, facilitating the most accurate, precise constrains ever obtained on the spins of their supermassive black holes. We present our spin measurements, as well as a discussion of sources of systematic error. Finally, we place our results in the context of relativistic light-bending models in an effort to characterize the structure of the innermost regions of these AGNs.

  10. Measuring Supermassive Black Hole Spins in NGC 1365 and MCG--6-30-15 Using XMM-Newton and NuSTAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenneman, Laura; Marinucci, Andrea; Walton, Dom; Risaliti, Guido; Matt, Giorgio; Harrison, Fiona; Stern, Daniel

    2014-06-01

    We report on detailed spectral modeling of the Seyfert 1 AGN NGC 1365 and MCG--6-30-15 using simultaneous, broadband X-ray spectra from XMM-Newton and NuSTAR. Both of these galaxies show evidence for relativistic reflection from the inner accretion disk in addition to complex, variable absorption. The high signal-to-noise across the 0.2-79 keV energy band enabled by these observations allows us to definitively disentangle the spectral signatures of the continuum, warm and cold absorption, and reflection from the torus and the inner disk in both sources. These deep pointings also enable the use of time-resolved spectral fitting in order to assess the role of each component in driving the spectral and temporal variability of the AGN. This type of analysis allows us to isolate the relativistic reflection signatures in each object, facilitating the most accurate, precise constrains ever obtained on the spins of their supermassive black holes.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. MERGERS OF UNEQUAL-MASS GALAXIES: SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARY EVOLUTION AND STRUCTURE OF MERGER REMNANTS

    SciTech Connect

    Khan, Fazeel Mahmood; Preto, Miguel; Berentzen, Ingo; Just, Andreas; Berczik, Peter; Spurzem, Rainer

    2012-04-20

    Galaxy centers are residing places for supermassive black holes (SMBHs). Galaxy mergers bring SMBHs close together to form gravitationally bound binary systems, which, if able to coalesce in less than a Hubble time, would be one of the most promising sources of gravitational waves (GWs) for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. In spherical galaxy models, SMBH binaries stall at a separation of approximately 1 pc, leading to the 'final parsec problem' (FPP). On the other hand, it has been shown that merger-induced triaxiality of the remnant in equal-mass mergers is capable of supporting a constant supply of stars on the so-called centrophilic orbits that interact with the binary and thus avoid the FPP. In this paper, using a set of direct N-body simulations of mergers of initially spherically symmetric galaxies with different mass ratios, we show that the merger-induced triaxiality is also able to drive unequal-mass SMBH binaries to coalescence. The binary hardening rates are high and depend only weakly on the mass ratios of SMBHs for a wide range of mass ratios q. There is, however, an abrupt transition in the hardening rates for mergers with mass ratios somewhere between q {approx} 0.05 and 0.1, resulting from the monotonic decrease of merger-induced triaxiality with mass ratio q, as the secondary galaxy becomes too small and light to significantly perturb the primary, i.e., the more massive one. The hardening rates are significantly higher for galaxies having steep cusps in comparison with those having shallow cups at centers. The evolution of the binary SMBH leads to relatively shallower inner slopes at the centers of the merger remnants. The stellar mass displaced by the SMBH binary on its way to coalescence is {approx}1-5 times the combined mass of binary SMBHs. The coalescence timescales for SMBH binary with mass {approx}10{sup 6} M{sub Sun} are less than 1 Gyr and for those at the upper end of SMBH masses 10{sup 9} M{sub Sun} are 1-2 Gyr for less eccentric

  15. Dark matter and dark energy accretion on to intermediate-mass black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepe, C.; Pellizza, L. J.; Romero, G. E.

    2012-03-01

    In this work we investigate the accretion of cosmological fluids on to an intermediate-mass black hole at the centre of a globular cluster, focusing on the influence of the parent stellar system on the accretion flow. We show that the accretion of cosmic background radiation and the so-called dark energy on to an intermediate-mass black hole is negligible. On the other hand, if cold dark matter has a non-vanishing pressure, the accretion of dark matter is large enough to increase the black hole mass well beyond the present observed upper limits. We conclude that either intermediate-mass black holes do not exist, or dark matter does not exist, or it is not strictly collisionless. In the latter case, we set a lower limit for the parameter of the cold dark matter equation of state.

  16. Black hole accretion versus star formation rate: theory confronts observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volonteri, Marta; Capelo, Pedro R.; Netzer, Hagai; Bellovary, Jillian; Dotti, Massimo; Governato, Fabio

    2015-09-01

    We use a suite of hydrodynamical simulations of galaxy mergers to compare star formation rate (SFR) and black hole accretion rate (BHAR) for galaxies before the interaction (`stochastic' phase), during the `merger' proper, lasting ˜0.2-0.3 Gyr, and in the `remnant' phase. We calculate the bivariate distribution of SFR and BHAR and define the regions in the SFR-BHAR plane that the three phases occupy. No strong correlation between BHAR and galaxy-wide SFR is found. A possible exception are galaxies with the highest SFR and the highest BHAR. We also bin the data in the same way used in several observational studies, by either measuring the mean SFR for AGN in different luminosity bins, or the mean BHAR for galaxies in bins of SFR. We find that the apparent contradiction or SFR versus BHAR for observed samples of AGN and star-forming galaxies is actually caused by binning effects. The two types of samples use different projections of the full bivariate distribution, and the full information would lead to unambiguous interpretation. We also find that a galaxy can be classified as AGN-dominated up to 1.5 Gyr after the merger-driven starburst took place. Our study is consistent with the suggestion that most low-luminosity AGN hosts do not show morphological disturbances.

  17. Relativistic Jets on all Scales in Accreting Black Holes: Contributions from Simbol-X

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbel, Stéphane

    2009-05-01

    In the last several years, multiwavelength observations of accreting black holes have allowed a general characterisation of black holes properties as they evolve along the course of their outburst cycles. Relativistic jets, in their multiple forms, have profoundly impacted our perception and understanding of emission processes in these systems. In these Proceedings, I will highlight some possible contributions from Simbol-X related to jets in accreting sources.

  18. Relativistic Jets on all Scales in Accreting Black Holes: Contributions from Simbol-X

    SciTech Connect

    Corbel, Stephane

    2009-05-11

    In the last several years, multiwavelength observations of accreting black holes have allowed a general characterisation of black holes properties as they evolve along the course of their outburst cycles. Relativistic jets, in their multiple forms, have profoundly impacted our perception and understanding of emission processes in these systems. In these Proceedings, I will highlight some possible contributions from Simbol-X related to jets in accreting sources.

  19. 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.

  20. Are BL Lac-type objects nearby black holes. [gas accretion model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shapiro, S. L.; Elliot, J. L.

    1974-01-01

    It is pointed out that isolated black holes accreting interstellar gas can account for the characteristic properties of the Lacertids. Emission spectra for various interstellar gas densities and black hole masses are compared with the data plotted by Strittmatter et al. (1972) for the BL Lac-type objects. Rough estimates indicate that there may indeed be a finite number of stellar-mass black holes close to the earth as required by the theory. If it is determined that the BL Lac-type objects lie outside of the galactic disk a black hole accretion model may still apply if certain conditions are satisfied.

  1. 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.

  2. Dusty Star Forming Galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes at High Redshifts: In- Situ Coevolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mancuso, Claudia

    2016-10-01

    exploited our SFR functions with relations between SFR and radio (synchrotron and free-free) emission. Our results show that the deepest SKA1- MID surveys will detect high-z galaxies with SFRs two orders of magnitude lower compared to Herschel surveys. The highest redshift tails of the distributions at the detection limits of planned SKA1-MID surveys comprise a substantial fraction of strongly lensed galaxies. The SKA1-MID will thus provide a comprehensive view of the star formation history throughout the re-ionization epoch, unaffected by dust extinction. We have also provided specific predictions for the EMU/ASKAP and MIGHTEE/MeerKAT surveys. We finally provide a novel, unifying physical interpretation on the origin, the average shape, the scatter, and the cosmic evolution for the main sequences (MS) of star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei at high redshift z ≥ 1. We achieve this goal in a model-independent way by exploiting the redshift-dependent SFR functions, and the deterministic evolutionary tracks for the history of star formation and black hole accretion, gauged on a wealth of multiwavelength observations including the observed Eddington ratio distribution. We further validate these ingredients by showing their consistency with the observed galaxy stellar mass functions and active galactic nucleus (AGN) bolometric luminosity functions at different redshifts via, again, the continuity equation approach. Our analysis of the main sequence for high-redshift galaxies and AGNs highlights that the present data strongly support a scenario of in situ coevolution for star formation and black hole accretion, envisaging these as local, time coordinated processes.

  3. AMUSE-Virgo. II. Down-sizing in Black Hole Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallo, Elena; Treu, Tommaso; Marshall, Philip J.; Woo, Jong-Hak; Leipski, Christian; Antonucci, Robert

    2010-05-01

    We complete the census of nuclear X-ray activity in 100 early-type Virgo galaxies observed by the Chandra X-ray Telescope as part of the AMUSE-Virgo survey, down to a (3σ) limiting luminosity of 3.7 × 1038 erg s-1 over 0.5-7 keV. The stellar mass distribution of the targeted sample, which is mostly composed of formally "inactive" galaxies, peaks below 1010 M sun, a regime where the very existence of nuclear supermassive black holes (SMBHs) is debated. Out of 100 objects, 32 show a nuclear X-ray source, including 6 hybrid nuclei which also host a massive nuclear cluster as visible from archival Hubble Space Telescope images. After carefully accounting for contamination from nuclear low-mass X-ray binaries based on the shape and normalization of their X-ray luminosity function (XLF), we conclude that between 24% and 34% of the galaxies in our sample host an X-ray active SMBH (at the 95% confidence level). This sets a firm lower limit to the black hole (BH) occupation fraction in nearby bulges within a cluster environment. The differential logarithmic XLF of active SMBHs scales with the X-ray luminosity as L X -0.4±0.1 up to 1042 erg s-1. At face value, the active fraction—down to our luminosity limit—is found to increase with host stellar mass. However, taking into account selection effects, we find that the average Eddington-scaled X-ray luminosity scales with BH mass as M BH ^{-0.62^{+0.13}_{-0.12}}, with an intrinsic scatter of 0.46+0.08 -0.06 dex. This finding can be interpreted as observational evidence for "down-sizing" of BH accretion in local early types, that is, low-mass BHs shine relatively closer to their Eddington limit than higher mass objects. As a consequence, the fraction of active galaxies, defined as those above a fixed X-ray Eddington ratio, decreases with increasing BH mass.

  4. STRONG FIELD EFFECTS ON EMISSION LINE PROFILES: KERR BLACK HOLES AND WARPED ACCRETION DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Yan; Li Xiangdong

    2012-01-10

    If an accretion disk around a black hole is illuminated by hard X-rays from non-thermal coronae, fluorescent iron lines will be emitted from the inner region of the accretion disk. The emission line profiles will show a variety of strong field effects, which may be used as a probe of the spin parameter of the black hole and the structure of the accretion disk. In this paper, we generalize the previous relativistic line profile models by including both the black hole spinning effects and the non-axisymmetries of warped accretion disks. Our results show different features from the conventional calculations for either a flat disk around a Kerr black hole or a warped disk around a Schwarzschild black hole by presenting, at the same time, multiple peaks, rather long red tails, and time variations of line profiles with the precession of the disk. We show disk images as seen by a distant observer, which are distorted by the strong gravity. Although we are primarily concerned with the iron K-shell lines in this paper, the calculation is general and is valid for any emission lines produced from a warped accretion disk around a black hole.

  5. Exploring Black Hole Accretion in Active Galactic Nuclei with Simbol-X

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goosmann, R. W.; Dovčiak, M.; Mouchet, M.; Czerny, B.; Karas, V.; Gonçalves, A.

    2009-05-01

    A major goal of the Simbol-X mission is to improve our knowledge about black hole accretion. By opening up the X-ray window above 10 keV with unprecedented sensitivity and resolution we obtain new constraints on the X-ray spectral and variability properties of active galactic nuclei. To interpret the future data, detailed X-ray modeling of the dynamics and radiation processes in the black hole vicinity is required. Relativistic effects must be taken into account, which then allow to constrain the fundamental black hole parameters and the emission pattern of the accretion disk from the spectra that will be obtained with Simbol-X.

  6. Does the mass of a black hole decrease due to the accretion of phantom energy?

    SciTech Connect

    Gao Changjun; Chen Xuelei; Faraoni, Valerio; Shen Yougen

    2008-07-15

    According to Babichev et al., the accretion of a phantom test fluid onto a Schwarzschild black hole will induce the mass of the black hole to decrease, however the backreaction was ignored in their calculation. Using new exact solutions describing black holes in a background Friedmann-Robertson-Walker universe, we find that the physical black hole mass may instead increase due to the accretion of phantom energy. If this is the case, and the future universe is dominated by phantom dark energy, the black hole apparent horizon and the cosmic apparent horizon will eventually coincide and, after that, the black hole singularity will become naked in finite comoving time before the big rip occurs, violating the cosmic censorship conjecture.

  7. Acceleration of Dominant Supermassive Black Hole Singularities Serving as the Catalyst of Dark Energy in the Formation of Universes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, John

    2013-04-01

    Cosmological process analysis is used to develop the singularity acceleration hypothesis which is based on nine universe formation axioms. Singularity acceleration universe formation is a cyclic process analogous to a branching universe having the following seven phases reoccurring in each daughter universe: 1. A phase transition big bang that forms a new universe 2. Expansion of the new universe and its structure 3. Dispersion of its mass and increasing entropy 4. Isolation of its galaxy clusters and supercluster complexes beyond event horizons 5. Many separate consolidations of all forms of matter, forces, and energy within these supercluster complexes into dominant supermassive black hole gravitational singularities 6. The resulting acceleration of singularities warping space to the speed of light 7. The independent separation of each of these singularities from the universe causing a big bang phase transition and producing all forms of matter, forces, and energy in a new universe.

  8. Supermassive black hole binary environments: Effects on the scaling laws and time to detection for the stochastic background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vigeland, S. J.; Siemens, X.

    2016-12-01

    One of the primary gravitational wave (GW) sources for pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) is the stochastic background formed by supermassive black holes binaries (SMBHBs). In this paper, we investigate how the environments of SMBHBs effect the sensitivity of PTAs by deriving scaling laws for the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the optimal cross-correlation statistic. The presence of gas and stars around SMBHBs accelerates the merger at large distances, depleting the GW stochastic background at low frequencies. We show that environmental interactions may delay detection by a few years or more, depending on the PTA configuration and the frequency at which the dynamical evolution transitions from being dominated by environmental effects to GW dominated.

  9. Structural Transition in the NGC 6251 Jet: an Interplay with the Supermassive Black Hole and Its Host Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tseng, Chih-Yin; Asada, Keiichi; Nakamura, Masanori; Pu, Hung-Yi; Algaba, Juan-Carlos; Lo, Wen-Ping

    2016-12-01

    The structure of the NGC 6251 jet on the milliarcsecond scale is investigated using images taken with the European VLBI Network and the Very Long Baseline Array. We detect a structural transition of the jet from a parabolic to a conical shape at a distance of (1-2) × 105 times the Schwarzschild radius from the central engine, which is close to the sphere of gravitational influence of the supermassive black hole (SMBH). We also examine the jet pressure profiles with the synchrotron minimum energy assumption to discuss the physical origin of the structural transition. The NGC 6251 jet, together with the M87 jet, suggests a fundamental process of structural transition in the jets of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Collimated AGN jets are characterized by their external galactic medium, showing that AGN jets interplay with the SMBH and its host galaxy.

  10. Statistical Challenges in fitting stellar orbits around the super-massive black hole at the Galactic center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, Gregory D.; Kosmo, Kelly; Hees, Aurelien; Ahn, Joseph; Ghez, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Over two decades of astrometric and radial velocity data of short period stars at the Galactic center has the potential to provide unprecedented tests of General Relativity and insight into the astrophysics of the super-massive black hole. Fundamental to this is understanding the underlying statistical issues of fitting stellar orbits. Unintended prior effects can obscure actual physical effects from General Relativity and underlying extended mass distribution. At the heart of this is dealing with large parameter spaces inherent to multi-star fitting and ensuring acceptable coverage properties of the resulting confidence intervals in the Bayesian framework. This proceeding will detail some of the UCLA group's analysis and work in addressing these statistical issues.

  11. Cosmic X-ray surveys of distant active galaxies. The demographics, physics, and ecology of growing supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, W. N.; Alexander, D. M.

    2015-01-01

    We review results from cosmic X-ray surveys of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) over the past years that have dramatically improved our understanding of growing supermassive black holes in the distant universe. First, we discuss the utility of such surveys for AGN investigations and the capabilities of the missions making these surveys, emphasizing Chandra, XMM-Newton, and NuSTAR. Second, we briefly describe the main cosmic X-ray surveys, the essential roles of complementary multiwavelength data, and how AGNs are selected from these surveys. We then review key results from these surveys on the AGN population and its evolution ("demographics"), the physical processes operating in AGNs ("physics"), and the interactions between AGNs and their environments ("ecology"). We conclude by describing some significant unresolved questions and prospects for advancing the field.

  12. ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEUS PAIRS FROM THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY. II. EVIDENCE FOR TIDALLY ENHANCED STAR FORMATION AND BLACK HOLE ACCRETION

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Xin; Shen Yue; Strauss, Michael A.

    2012-01-20

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are occasionally seen in pairs, suggesting that tidal encounters are responsible for the accretion of material by both central supermassive black holes (BHs). In Paper I of this series, we selected a sample of AGN pairs with projected separations r{sub p} < 100 h{sup -1}{sub 70} kpc and velocity offsets <600 km s{sup -1} from the Seventh Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and quantified their frequency. In this paper, we address the BH accretion and recent star formation properties in their host galaxies. AGN pairs experience stronger BH accretion, as measured by their [O III] {lambda}5007 luminosities (corrected for contribution from star formation) and Eddington ratios, than do control samples of single AGNs matched in redshift and host-galaxy stellar mass. Their host galaxies have stronger post-starburst activity and younger mean stellar ages, as indicated by stronger H{delta} absorption and smaller 4000 A break in their spectra. The BH accretion and recent star formation in the host galaxies both increase with decreasing projected separation in AGN pairs, for r{sub p} {approx}< 10-30 h{sup -1}{sub 70} kpc. The intensity of BH accretion, the post-starburst strength, and the mean stellar ages are correlated between the two AGNs in a pair. The luminosities and Eddington ratios of AGN pairs are correlated with recent star formation in their host galaxies, with a scaling relation consistent with that observed in single AGNs. Our results suggest that galaxy tidal interactions enhance both BH accretion and host-galaxy star formation in close AGN pairs, even though the majority of low-redshift AGNs are not coincident with on-going interactions.

  13. 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.

  14. Electron thermodynamics in GRMHD simulations of low-luminosity black hole accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ressler, S. M.; Tchekhovskoy, A.; Quataert, E.; Chandra, M.; Gammie, C. F.

    2015-12-01

    Simple assumptions made regarding electron thermodynamics often limit the extent to which general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) simulations can be applied to observations of low-luminosity accreting black holes. We present, implement, and test a model that self-consistently evolves an entropy equation for the electrons and takes into account the effects of spatially varying electron heating and relativistic anisotropic thermal conduction along magnetic field lines. We neglect the backreaction of electron pressure on the dynamics of the accretion flow. Our model is appropriate for systems accreting at ≪10-5 of the Eddington accretion rate, so radiative cooling by electrons can be neglected. It can be extended to higher accretion rates in the future by including electron cooling and proton-electron Coulomb collisions. We present a suite of tests showing that our method recovers the correct solution for electron heating under a range of circumstances, including strong shocks and driven turbulence. Our initial applications to axisymmetric simulations of accreting black holes show that (1) physically motivated electron heating rates that depend on the local magnetic field strength yield electron temperature distributions significantly different from the constant electron-to-proton temperature ratios assumed in previous work, with higher electron temperatures concentrated in the coronal region between the disc and the jet; (2) electron thermal conduction significantly modifies the electron temperature in the inner regions of black hole accretion flows if the effective electron mean free path is larger than the local scaleheight of the disc (at least for the initial conditions and magnetic field configurations we study). The methods developed in this work are important for producing more realistic predictions for the emission from accreting black holes such as Sagittarius A* and M87; these applications will be explored in future work.

  15. 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.

  16. Imaging the Supermassive Black Hole Shadow and Jet Base of M87 with the Event Horizon Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  17. Super-Eddington mechanical power of an accreting black hole in M83.

    PubMed

    Soria, R; Long, K S; Blair, W P; Godfrey, L; Kuntz, K D; Lenc, E; Stockdale, C; Winkler, P F

    2014-03-21

    Mass accretion onto black holes releases energy in the form of radiation and outflows. Although the radiative flux cannot substantially exceed the Eddington limit, at which the outgoing radiation pressure impedes the inflow of matter, it remains unclear whether the kinetic energy flux is bounded by this same limit. Here, we present the detection of a radio-optical structure, powered by outflows from a non-nuclear black hole. Its accretion disk properties indicate that this black hole is less than 100 solar masses. The optical-infrared line emission implies an average kinetic power of 3 × 10(40) erg second(-1), higher than the Eddington luminosity of the black hole. These results demonstrate kinetic power exceeding the Eddington limit over a sustained period, which implies greater ability to influence the evolution of the black hole's environment.

  18. Super-Eddington Mechanical Power of an Accreting Black Hole in M83

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Soria, R.; Long, K. S.; Blair, W. P.; Godfrey, L.; Kuntz, K. D.; Lenc, E.; Stockdale, C.; Winkler, P. F.

    2014-01-01

    Mass accretion onto black holes releases energy in the form of radiation and outflows. Although the radiative flux cannot substantially exceed the Eddington limit, at which the outgoing radiation pressure impedes the inflow of matter, it remains unclear whether the kinetic energy flux is bounded by this same limit. Here, we present the detection of a radio-optical structure, powered by outflows from a non-nuclear black hole. Its accretion disk properties indicate that this black hole is less than 100 solar masses. The optical-infrared line emission implies an average kinetic power of 3 × 10(exp 40) erg second(exp -1), higher than the Eddington luminosity of the black hole. These results demonstrate kinetic power exceeding the Eddington limit over a sustained period, which implies greater ability to influence the evolution of the black hole's environment.

  19. Constraint on the quadrupole moment of super-massive black hole candidates from the estimate of the mean radiative efficiency of AGN

    SciTech Connect

    Bambi, Cosimo

    2011-05-15

    The supermassive objects at the center of many galaxies are commonly thought to be black holes. In 4-dimensional general relativity, a black hole is completely specified by its mass M and by its spin angular momentum J. All the higher multipole moments of the gravitational field depend in a very specific way on these two parameters. For instance, the mass quadrupole moment is Q=-J{sup 2}/M. If we can estimate M, J, and Q for the supermassive objects in galactic nuclei, we overconstrain the theory and we can test the black hole hypothesis. While there are many works studying how this can be done with future observations, in this paper a constraint on the quadrupole moment of these objects is obtained by using the current estimate of the mean radiative efficiency of AGN. In terms of the anomalous quadrupole moment q, the bound is -2.01

  20. LAUNCHING AND QUENCHING OF BLACK HOLE RELATIVISTIC JETS AT LOW ACCRETION RATE

    SciTech Connect

    Pu, Hung-Yi; Chang, Hsiang-Kuang; Hirotani, Kouichi

    2012-10-20

    Relativistic jets are launched from black hole (BH) X-ray binaries and active galactic nuclei when the disk accretion rate is below a certain limit (i.e., when the ratio of the accretion rate to the Eddingtion accretion rate, m-dot , is below about 0.01) but quenched when above. We propose a new paradigm to explain this observed coupling between the jet and the accretion disk by investigating the extraction of the rotational energy of a BH when it is surrounded by different types of accretion disk. At low accretion rates (e.g., when m-dot {approx}<0.1), the accretion near the event horizon is quasi-spherical. The accreting plasmas fall onto the event horizon in a wide range of latitudes, breaking down the force-free approximation near the horizon. To incorporate the plasma inertia effect, we consider the magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) extraction of the rotational energy from BHs by the accreting MHD fluid, as described by the MHD Penrose process. It is found that the energy extraction operates, and hence a relativistic jet is launched, preferentially when the accretion disk consists of an outer Shakura-Sunyaev disk (SSD) and an inner advection-dominated accretion flow. When the entire accretion disk type changes into an SSD, the jet is quenched because the plasmas bring more rest-mass energy than what is extracted from the hole electromagnetically to stop the extraction. Several other issues related to observed BH disk-jet couplings, such as why the radio luminosity increases with increasing X-ray luminosity until the radio emission drops, are also explained.

  1. Accretion of low angular momentum material onto black holes: 2D magnetohydrodynamical case.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proga, D.; Begelman, M. C.

    2003-03-01

    We report on the second phase of our study of slightly rotating accretion flows onto black holes. We consider magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) accretion flows with a spherically symmetric density distribution at the outer boundary, but with spherical symmetry broken by the introduction of a small, latitude-dependent angular momentum and a weak radial magnetic field. We study accretion flows by means of numerical 2D, axisymmetric, MHD simulations with and without resistive heating. Our main result is that the properties of the accretion flow depend mostly on an equatorial accretion torus. Initially, accretion occurs only through the polar funnel, as in the hydrodynamic inviscid case, where material has zero or very low angular momentum. The material that has too much angular momentum to be accreted directly forms a thick torus near the equator. However, in the later phase of the evolution, the transport of angular momentum due to the magnetorotational instability (MRI) facilitates accretion through the torus, too. The torus thickens towards the poles and develops a corona or an outflow or both. Consequently, the mass accretion through the funnel is stopped. The accretion of rotating gas through the torus is significantly reduced compared to the accretion of non-rotating gas (i.e., the Bondi rate). Our results do not change if we switch on or off resistive heating. Overall our simulations are very similar those presented by Stone, Pringle, Hawley and Balbus despite different initial and outer boundary conditions. Thus, we confirm that the MRI is very robust and controls the nature of radiatively inefficient accretion flows. DP acknowledges support from NASA under LTSA grant NAG5-11736 and support provided by NASA through grant AR-09532 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. MB acknowledges support from NSF grant AST-9876887.

  2. Accretion Problem in a Kerr Black Hole Geometry Viewed as Flows in Converging-Diverging Ducts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakrabarti, K.; Majumdar, M. M.; Chakrabarti, Sandip K.

    Accretion flow on a horizon is supersonic, no matter what the flow angular momentum or the spin of the black hole is. This means that a black hole accretion can always be viewed as a flow in a flat space-time through one or more convergent-divergent ducts. In this paper, we study how the area of cross-sections must vary in order that the flow has the same properties in both systems. We show that the accretion flow experiencing a shock is equivalent to having two ducts connected back-to-back, both with a neck where the flow becomes supersonic. We study the pressure and Mach number variations for corotating, contrarotating flows and flows around a black hole with evolving spin.

  3. From Accretion to Explosion and Beyond: Transforming White Dwarfs to Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Stefano, Rosanne; Harris, R.

    2010-03-01

    White dwarfs accreting at high rates can grow in mass, exhibiting episodes of supersoft-source activity. Some can achieve the Chandrasekhar mass and will either become Type Ia supernovae or else will collapse, becoming neutron stars. We consider white dwarfs with giant donors, computing the rates of both supernovae and collapses. For the collapses, we follow each system to the end of accretion. Some of these systems will appear as ultraluminous x-ray sources and some will go on to become low-mass black holes. This scenario should be fairly common in young stellar populations and links a wide range of astrophysical phenomena. Indeed, it is a veritable cornucopia for the high-energy astrophysicist, offering accreting white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes, Type Ia supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, supersoft sources, ultraluminous sources, and neutron star and black hole binaries in globular clusters.

  4. Radiative, two-temperature simulations of low-luminosity black hole accretion flows in general relativity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sądowski, Aleksander; Wielgus, Maciek; Narayan, Ramesh; Abarca, David; McKinney, Jonathan C.; Chael, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    We present a numerical method that evolves a two-temperature, magnetized, radiative, accretion flow around a black hole, within the framework of general relativistic radiation magnetohydrodynamics. As implemented in the code KORAL, the gas consists of two sub-components - ions and electrons - which share the same dynamics but experience independent, relativistically consistent, thermodynamical evolution. The electrons and ions are heated independently according to a prescription from the literature for magnetohydrodynamical turbulent dissipation. Energy exchange between the particle species via Coulomb collisions is included. In addition, electrons gain and lose energy and momentum by absorbing and emitting synchrotron and bremsstrahlung radiation and through Compton scattering. All evolution equations are handled within a fully covariant framework in the relativistic fixed-metric space-time of the black hole. Numerical results are presented for five models of low-luminosity black hole accretion. In the case of a model with a mass accretion rate dot{M}˜ 4× 10^{-8} dot{M}_Edd, we find that radiation has a negligible effect on either the dynamics or the thermodynamics of the accreting gas. In contrast, a model with a larger dot{M}˜ 4× 10^{-4} dot{M}_Edd behaves very differently. The accreting gas is much cooler and the flow is geometrically less thick, though it is not quite a thin accretion disc.

  5. Black holes in short period X-ray binaries and the transition to radiatively inefficient accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knevitt, G.; Wynn, G. A.; Vaughan, S.; Watson, M. G.

    2014-02-01

    By comparing the orbital period distributions of black hole and neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) in the Ritter-Kolb catalogue we show that there is statistical evidence for a dearth of black hole systems at short orbital periods (Porb < 4 h). This could either be due to a true divergence in orbital period distributions of these two types of system, or to black hole LMXBs being preferentially hidden from view at short orbital periods. We explore the latter possibility, by investigating whether black hole LMXBs could be concealed by a switch to radiatively inefficient accretion at low luminosities. The peak luminosity and the duration of X-ray binary outbursts are related to the disc radius and, hence, the orbital period. At short periods, where the peak outburst luminosity drops close to the threshold for radiatively inefficient accretion, black hole LMXBs have lower outburst luminosities, shorter outburst durations and lower X-ray duty cycles than comparable neutron star systems. These factors can combine to severely reduce the detection probability of short period black hole LMXBs relative to those containing neutron stars. We estimate the outburst properties and orbital period distribution of black hole LMXBs using two models of the transition to radiatively inefficient accretion: an instantaneous drop in accretion efficiency (η) to zero, at a fraction (f) of the Eddington luminosity (LEdd) and a power-law efficiency decrease, η ∝ dot{M}^n, for L < f LEdd. We show that a population of black hole LMXBs at short orbital periods can only be hidden by a sharp drop in efficiency, either instantaneous or for n ≳ 3. This could be achieved by a genuine drop in luminosity or through abrupt spectral changes that shift the accretion power out of a given X-ray band.

  6. A simple accretion model of a rotating gas sphere onto a Schwarzschild black hole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huerta, E. A.; Mendoza, S.

    2007-04-01

    We construct a simple accretion model of a rotating gas sphere onto a Schwarzschild black hole. We show how to build analytic solutions in terms of Jacobi elliptic functions. This construction represents a general relativistic generalisation of the Newtonian accretion model first proposed by Ulrich (1976). In exactly the same form as it occurs for the Newtonian case, the flow naturally predicts the existence of an equatorial rotating accretion disc about the hole. However, the radius of the disc increases monotonically without limit as the flow reaches its minimum allowed angular momentum for this particular model.

  7. NUMERICAL SIMULATIONS OF OPTICALLY THICK ACCRETION ONTO A BLACK HOLE. I. SPHERICAL CASE

    SciTech Connect

    Fragile, P. Chris; Gillespie, Anna; Monahan, Timothy; Rodriguez, Marco; Anninos, Peter

    2012-08-01

    Modeling the radiation generated by accreting matter is an important step toward realistic simulations of black hole accretion disks, especially at high accretion rates. To this end, we have recently added radiation transport to the existing general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic code, Cosmos++. However, before attempting to model radiative accretion disks, we have tested the new code using a series of shock tube and Bondi (spherical inflow) problems. The four radiative shock tube tests, first presented by Farris et al., have known analytic solutions, allowing us to calculate errors and convergence rates for our code. The Bondi problem only has an analytic solution when radiative processes are ignored, but it is pertinent because it is closer to the physics we ultimately want to study. In our simulations, we include Thomson scattering and thermal bremsstrahlung in the opacity, focusing exclusively on the super-Eddington regime. Unlike accretion onto bodies with solid surfaces, super-Eddington accretion onto black holes does not produce super-Eddington luminosity. In our examples, despite accreting at up to 300 times the Eddington rate, our measured luminosity is always several orders of magnitude below Eddington.

  8. TRUNCATION OF THE INNER ACCRETION DISK AROUND A BLACK HOLE AT LOW LUMINOSITY

    SciTech Connect

    Tomsick, John A.; Yamaoka, Kazutaka; Corbel, Stephane; Kaaret, Philip; Kalemci, Emrah; Migliari, Simone

    2009-12-10

    Most black hole binaries show large changes in X-ray luminosity caused primarily by variations in mass accretion rate. An important question for understanding black hole accretion and jet production is whether the inner edge of the accretion disk recedes at low accretion rate. Measurements of the location of the inner edge (R {sub in}) can be made using iron emission lines that arise due to fluorescence of iron in the disk, and these indicate that R {sub in} is very close to the black hole at high and moderate luminosities (approx>1% of the Eddington luminosity, L {sub Edd}). Here, we report on X-ray observations of the black hole GX 339 - 4 in the hard state by Suzaku and the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer that extend iron line studies to 0.14% L {sub Edd} and show that R {sub in} increases by a factor of >27 over the value found when GX 339 - 4 was bright. The exact value of R {sub in} depends on the inclination of the inner disk (i), and we derive 90% confidence limits of R {sub in} > 35R{sub g} at i = 0{sup 0} and R {sub in} > 175R{sub g} at i = 30{sup 0}. This provides direct evidence that the inner portion of the disk is not present at low luminosity, allowing for the possibility that the inner disk is replaced by advection- or magnetically dominated accretion flows.

  9. STUDIES OF THERMALLY UNSTABLE ACCRETION DISKS AROUND BLACK HOLES WITH ADAPTIVE PSEUDOSPECTRAL DOMAIN DECOMPOSITION METHOD. II. LIMIT-CYCLE BEHAVIOR IN ACCRETION DISKS AROUND KERR BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Xue Li; Lu Jufu; Sadowski, Aleksander; Abramowicz, Marek A. E-mail: lujf@xmu.edu.cn

    2011-07-01

    For the first time ever, we derive equations governing the time evolution of fully relativistic slim accretion disks in the Kerr metric and numerically construct their detailed non-stationary models. We discuss applications of these general results to a possible limit-cycle behavior of thermally unstable disks. Our equations and numerical method are applicable in a wide class of possible viscosity prescriptions, but in this paper we use a diffusive form of the 'standard alpha prescription' that assumes that the viscous torque is proportional to the total pressure. In this particular case, we find that the parameters that dominate the limit-cycle properties are the mass-supply rate and the value of the alpha-viscosity parameter. Although the duration of the cycle (or the outburst) does not exhibit any clear dependence on the black hole spin, the maximal outburst luminosity (in the Eddington units) is positively correlated with the spin value. We suggest a simple method for a rough estimate of the black hole spin based on the maximal luminosity and the ratio of outburst to cycle durations. We also discuss a temperature-luminosity relation for the Kerr black hole accretion disk limit cycle. Based on these results, we discuss the limit-cycle behavior observed in microquasar GRS 1915+105. We also extend this study to several non-standard viscosity prescriptions, including a 'delayed heating' prescription recently addressed by the MHD simulations of accretion disks.

  10. The Megamaser Cosmology Project. III. Accurate Masses of Seven Supermassive Black Holes in Active Galaxies with Circumnuclear Megamaser Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, C. Y.; Braatz, J. A.; Condon, J. J.; Impellizzeri, C. M. V.; Lo, K. Y.; Zaw, I.; Schenker, M.; Henkel, C.; Reid, M. J.; Greene, J. E.

    2011-01-01

    Observations of H2O masers from circumnuclear disks in active galaxies for the Megamaser Cosmology Project (MCP) allow accurate measurement of the mass of supermassive black holes (BH) in these galaxies. We present the Very Long Baseline Interferometry images and kinematics of water maser emission in six active galaxies: NGC 1194, NGC 2273, NGC 2960 (Mrk 1419), NGC 4388, NGC 6264 and NGC 6323. We use the Keplerian rotation curves of these six megamaser galaxies, plus a seventh previously published, to determine accurate enclosed masses within the central ~0.3 pc of these galaxies, smaller than the radius of the sphere of influence of the central mass in all cases. We also set lower limits to the central mass densities of between 0.12 × 1010 and 61 × 1010 M sun pc-3. For six of the seven disks, the high central densities rule out clusters of stars or stellar remnants as the central objects, and this result further supports our assumption that the enclosed mass can be attributed predominantly to a supermassive BH. The seven BHs have masses ranging between 0.75 × 107 and 6.5 × 107 M sun, with the mass errors dominated by the uncertainty of the Hubble constant. We compare the megamaser BH mass determination with BH mass measured from the virial estimation method. The virial estimation BH mass in four galaxies is consistent with the megamaser BH mass, but the virial mass uncertainty is much greater. Circumnuclear megamaser disks allow the best mass determination of the central BH mass in external galaxies and significantly improve the observational basis at the low-mass end of the M-σsstarf relation. The M-σsstarf relation may not be a single, low-scatter power law as originally proposed. MCP observations continue and we expect to obtain more maser BH masses in the future.

  11. 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.

  12. Mass-loss from advective accretion disc around rotating black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aktar, Ramiz; Das, Santabrata; Nandi, Anuj

    2015-11-01

    We examine the properties of the outflowing matter from an advective accretion disc around a spinning black hole. During accretion, rotating matter experiences centrifugal pressure-supported shock transition that effectively produces a virtual barrier around the black hole in the form of post-shock corona (hereafter PSC). Due to shock compression, PSC becomes hot and dense that eventually deflects a part of the inflowing matter as bipolar outflows because of the presence of extra thermal gradient force. In our approach, we study the outflow properties in terms of the inflow parameters, namely specific energy (E) and specific angular momentum (λ) considering the realistic outflow geometry around the rotating black holes. We find that spin of the black hole (ak) plays an important role in deciding the outflow rate R_{dot{m}} (ratio of mass flux of outflow to inflow); in particular, R_{dot{m}} is directly correlated with ak for the same set of inflow parameters. It is found that a large range of the inflow parameters allows global accretion-ejection solutions, and the effective area of the parameter space (E, λ) with and without outflow decreases with black hole spin (ak). We compute the maximum outflow rate (R^{max}_{dot{m}}) as a function of black hole spin (ak) and observe that R^{max}_{dot{m}} weakly depends on ak that lies in the range ˜10-18 per cent of the inflow rate for the adiabatic index (γ) with 1.5 ≥ γ ≥ 4/3. We present the observational implication of our approach while studying the steady/persistent jet activities based on the accretion states of black holes. We discuss that our formalism seems to have the potential to explain the observed jet kinetic power for several Galactic black hole sources and active galactic nuclei.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheung, Edmond; Bundy, Kevin; SDSS-IV/MaNGA

    2016-01-01

    In the last 10 billion years (i.e., since redshift z ~2) the number of quiescent galaxies with little to no ongoing star formation has grown by a factor ~25. This is challenging to understand since galaxy formation models predict that these galaxies will continue to accrete fresh gas over their lifetimes, relatively little of which is required to reignite measurable star formation. It is thought that feedback from fresh gas accreting onto a central active galactic nucleus (AGN) might help such galaxies maintain their quiescence, but observational evidence for such ``maintenance mode feedback'' remains sparse. Using novel imaging spectroscopy from the SDSS-IV MaNGA Survey (Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV: Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory), we present evidence for a new maintenance mode phenomenon we term ``red geysers,'' a potentially episodic but relatively low-power AGN driven wind present in typical quiescent field galaxies of moderate mass and spheroidal morphology. We examine an archetypal red geyser that appears to be accreting gas from a low-mass companion but has no corresponding star formation. Instead, we find evidence for a galaxy-scale ionized wind with outflow velocities reaching more than 300 km/s and high velocity dispersions. We also detect a narrow biconical pattern of strong emission line equivalent widths consistent with fast shocks. Given additional confirmation of a radio AGN present in the galaxy, we propose that red geysers such as this may be a common mode in which gas accretion activates an ionized wind feedback mechanism that prevents star formation and helps moderate luminosity quiescent galaxies maintain their quiescence.

  14. Fluctuations in the high-redshift Lyman-Werner background: close halo pairs as the origin of supermassive black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dijkstra, Mark; Haiman, Zoltán; Mesinger, Andrei; Wyithe, J. Stuart B.

    2008-12-01

    The earliest generation of stars and black holes must have established an early `Lyman-Werner' background (LWB) at high redshift, prior to the epoch of reionization. Because of the long mean free path of photons with energies hν < 13.6eV, the LWB was nearly uniform. However, some variation in the LWB is expected due to the discrete nature of the sources, and their highly clustered spatial distribution. In this paper, we compute the probability distribution function (PDF) of the LW flux that irradiates dark matter (DM) haloes collapsing at high redshift (z ~ 10). Our model accounts for (i) the clustering of DM haloes, (ii) Poisson fluctuations in the number of corresponding star-forming galaxies and (iii) scatter in the LW luminosity produced by haloes of a given mass (calibrated using local observations). We find that >99 per cent of the DM haloes are illuminated by an LW flux within a factor of 2 of the global mean value. However, a small fraction, ~10-8 to 10-6, of DM haloes with virial temperatures Tvir >~ 104 K have a close luminous neighbour within <~10 kpc, and are exposed to an LW flux exceeding the global mean by a factor of >20, or to J21,LW > 103 (in units of 10-21 erg s-1 Hz-1 sr-1 cm-2). This large LW flux can photodissociate H2 molecules in the gas collapsing due to atomic cooling in these haloes, and prevent its further cooling and fragmentation. Such close halo pairs therefore provide possible sites in which primordial gas clouds collapse directly into massive black holes (MBH ~ 104-6Msolar), and subsequently grow into supermassive (MBH >~ 109Msolar) black holes by z ~ 6.

  15. 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.

  16. HUNTING FOR SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES IN NEARBY GALAXIES WITH THE HOBBY–EBERLY TELESCOPE

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-05-15

    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.

  17. GR-AMRVAC code applications: accretion onto compact objects, boson stars versus black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meliani, Z.; Grandclément, P.; Casse, F.; Vincent, F. H.; Straub, O.; Dauvergne, F.

    2016-08-01

    In the close vicinity of a compact object strong gravity imprints its signature onto matter. Systems that contain at least one compact object are observed to exhibit extreme physical properties and typically emit highly energetic radiation. The nature of the compact objects that produce the strongest gravitational fields is to date not settled. General relativistic numerical simulations of fluid dynamics around black holes, neutron stars, and other compact objects such as boson stars (BSs) may give invaluable insights into this fundamental question. In order to study the behavior of fluid in the strong gravity regime of an arbitrary compact object we develop a new general relativistic hydrodynamics code. To this end we extend the existing versatile adaptive mesh refinement code MPI-AMRVAC into a general relativistic hydrodynamics framework and adapt it for the use of numerically given spacetime metrics. In the present article we study accretion flows in the vicinity of various types of BSs whose numerical metrics are calculated by the KADATH spectral solver library. We design specific tests to check the reliability of any code intending to study BSs and compare the solutions with those obtained in the context of Schwarzschild black holes. We perform the first ever general relativistic hydrodynamical simulations of gas accretion by a BS. The behavior of matter at small distances from the center of a BS differs notably from the black hole case. In particular we demonstrate that in the context of Bondi spherical accretion the mass accretion rate onto non-rotating BSs remains constant whereas it increases for Schwarzschild black holes. We also address the scenario of non-spherical accretion onto BSs and show that this may trigger mass ejection from the interior of the BS. This striking feature opens the door to forthcoming investigations regarding accretion-ejection flows around such types of compact objects.