NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2001A-0108

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Proposal Information for 2001A-0108


PI: Laura Ferrarese, Rutgers University, lff@physics.rutgers.edu
Address: 136 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA

CoI: Bradley Peterson, Ohio State University
CoI: David Merritt, Rutgers University
CoI: Richard Pogge, Ohio State University
CoI: Amri Wandel, The Hebrew University

Title: Understanding Supermassive Black Holes and Their Host Galaxies

Abstract: We ask for three bright nights to obtain high S/N (~ 50), moderate resolution (~ 5000) long slit spectra of nine Seyfert 1 galaxies and nearby quasars, for which the mass of the central black hole has been measured using ``reverberation mapping'' techniques. We will use the CaII absorption triplet near 8500 A to measure the stellar velocity dispersion of the galaxies' bulges within r_e/4, where r_e is the bulge effective radius. In galaxies lacking a powerful AGN, the black hole mass, and the stellar velocity dispersion of the host bulge, have been found to follow a remarkably tight relation, M_BH \propto \sigma^~ 4.5. This relation promises to be our best observational diagnostic for models of BH formation and evolution. Our goals are: 1) confirm that the bright AGNs targeted by reverberation mapping follow the same \ms relation defined by weakly active or quiescent galaxies. 2) Use the combined sample of quiescent and active galaxies to firmly establish the slope, normalization and scatter of the \ms relation. Important parameters such as the mass density in local black holes, and the impact of galaxy merging on BH evolution, hinge critically on the exact characterization of the \ms relation.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2001A-0108

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