On the black hole-bulge mass relation in active and inactive galaxies

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Abstract / Description of output

New black-hole mass estimates are presented for a sample of 72 AGN covering three decades in optical luminosity. Using a sub-sample of Seyfert galaxies, which have black-hole mass estimates from both reverberation mapping and stellar velocity dispersions, we investigate the geometry of the AGN broad-line region (BLR). It is demonstrated that a model in which the orbits of the line-emitting material have a flattened geometry is favoured over randomly orientated orbits. Using this model we investigate the M_{bh}-L_{bulge} relation for a combined 90-object sample, consisting of the AGN plus a sample of 18 nearby inactive elliptical galaxies with dynamical black-hole mass measurements. It is found that, for all reasonable mass-to-light ratios, the M_{bh}-L_{bulge} relation is equivalent to a linear scaling between bulge and black-hole mass. The best-fitting normalization of the M_{bh}-M_{bulge} relation is found to be M_{bh}=0.0012M_{bulge}, in agreement with recent black-hole mass studies based on stellar velocity dispersions. Furthermore, the scatter around the M_{bh}-L_{bulge} relation for the full sample is found to be significantly smaller than has been previously reported (Delta \log M_{bh}=0.39 dex). Finally, using the nearby inactive elliptical galaxy sample alone, it is shown that the scatter in the M_{bh}-L_{bulge} relation is only 0.33 dex, comparable to that of the M_{bh}-sigma relation. These results indicate that reliable black-hole mass estimates can be obtained for high redshift galaxies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-804
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2002


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