NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0129

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Program Information for 2016B-0129


PI: Thomas Maccarone, Texas Technical University, thomas.maccarone@ttu.edu
Address: Box 40151, Lubbock TX, 79409-1051 USA

CoI: Jesus Corral Santos, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
CoI: Jorge Casares, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias

Title: Calibrating the FWHM-K2 relation of quiescent BHs in the NIR

Abstract: Only 18 BHs (i.e. ~30% of the total discovered by transient activity) have been dynamically confirmed after 50 years of X-ray surveys. The remaining are lost because they become too faint (optically) in quiescence for current instruments. We have recently presented a new avenue to deepen BH and neutron star searches with the discovery of a correlation between the width (FWHM) of the disc Halpha emission in quiescence and the projected velocity of the donor star K2. This describes a fundamental velocity scaling, which allows measuring mass functions from single epoch low-resolution spectroscopy. Here we propose to calibrate this relation in the near-infrared using the prominent Br-gamma line. This will open a new window to undertake dynamical studies in highly reddened quiescent BHs, a very significant population that have so far eluded follow-up monitoring. We estimate that the proposed calibration will double the current number of dynamical BHs in the near future.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016B):  GEM-NQ/GNIRS -- 1.8hrs band 3 (GN-2016B-Q-70)


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0129

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