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Proposal Information for 2003B-0228


PI: Laura Ferrarese, Rutgers University, lff@physics.rutgers.edu
Address: Physics Department, 136 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08844, USA

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

Title: Understanding Supermassive Black Holes and Their Host Galaxies

Abstract: The \ms relation describes the connection between the masses of nuclear supermassive black holes (SBH) and the large-scale stellar velocity dispersion \sigma of the bulges in which they reside. The relation was found empirically using a sample of quiescent galaxies, with M_BH measured from high resolution HST kinematical data. In the spring of 2001, we started a project to characterize the SBH/host- galaxy connection in powerful AGNs, with the intent of establishing whether they follow the same \ms relation defined by quiescent galaxies, and to characterize the slope, normalization and scatter of the AGN \ms relation. We focused on AGNs for which \mh is known from reverberation mapping studies, and used the NOAO Mayall telescope to measure \sigma for their hot stellar component. The use of a 4-m class telescope forced us to select nine nearby AGNs with relatively bright bulges, and small SBHs - all but one below 10^8 M_\odot. Targeting more massive (and more distant) black holes requires the use of an 8m class telescope; in the spring 2003 we have been granted 30 hours at Gemini North to target seven reverberation mapped quasars with \mh >=10^8 M_\odot. Here we seek 3 additional nights to complete our study by targeting the seven remaining reverberation mapped quasars in the fall sky. With this proposal, all reverberation mapped AGN will have been observed.


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



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