NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0002

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Proposal Information for 2013A-0002


PI: Vardha Nicola Bennert, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, vbennert@calpoly.edu
Address: 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, USA

CoI: Tommaso Treu, UC Santa Barbara
CoI: Michael McDonald, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Astrophysics)
CoI: Stephane Courteau, Queen's University
CoI: Matthew W. Auger, University of Cambridge

Title: Exploring the Origin of the BH Mass Scaling Relations

Abstract: The discovery of close correlations between supermassive BHs and their host-galaxy properties has sparked a flood of observational studies pertaining both to the local Universe and cosmic history. Nevertheless, a clear understanding of their origin and fundamental drivers still eludes us. While studying the evolution of these relations provides valuable clues, a definitive resolution of this conundrum relies on understanding slope and scatter of local relations for AGNs. Current BH mass scaling relation studies suffer from the paucity of deep high-resolution imaging needed for the detailed decomposition of host-galaxy components. As a remedy, we propose dust-free NIRI imaging of a well-defined sample of 84 local Seyfert-1 galaxies, spanning a wide range of morphologies and masses. Combined with our accurate spatially-resolved kinematics from Keck spectra, we will construct a most complete baseline of host-galaxy properties over the entire range of BH mass scaling relations. The frequency and strength of pseudo-bulges and (minor) mergers will constrain the dominant growth mechanism of spheroids. This will complete an unprecedented study of the BH mass scaling relations and their origin.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0002

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