NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0016

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Program Information for 2016B-0016


PI: Vardha Nicola Bennert, California Polytechnic State University, vbennert@calpoly.edu
Address: 1 AVENUE, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA 93407 USA

CoI: Tommaso Treu, UCLA
CoI: Michael McDonald, MIT
CoI: Matthew Auger, University of Cambridge

Title: Exploring the Origin of the BH Mass Scaling Relations: A Pilot Study

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 time evolution of these relations provides valuable clues, a definitive resolution of this conundrum relies on understanding the slope and scatter of local relations for AGNs. Current BH mass scaling relation studies suffer from the paucity of deep high-resolution imaging required for the detailed decomposition of host-galaxy components. As a remedy, we propose dust-free NIRI imaging of a pilot sample of 15 objects, carefully selected from a parent sample of 87 local Seyfert-1 galaxies to cover a wide range of host-galaxy morphologies. Our immediate goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach through measurements of the frequency and strength of pseudo-bulges and (minor) mergers which shed light on the dominant growth mechanisms of spheroids. If successful, we will re-apply to complete the full sample. When combined with our accurate spatially-resolved kinematics from Keck spectra, the proposed data will enable a complete baseline of host-galaxy properties over the entire range of BH mass scaling relations.

Program Type: Standard/Extragalactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016B):  GEM-NQ/NIRI -- 6.5hrs band 2 (GN-2016B-Q-33)


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 >   2016B-0016

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