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2002ApJ...579..530W - Astrophys. J., 579, 530-544 (2002/November-2)

Active galactic nucleus black hole masses and bolometric luminosities.

WOO J.-H. and URRY C.M.

Abstract (from CDS):

Black hole mass, along with mass accretion rate, is a fundamental property of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Black hole mass sets an approximate upper limit to AGN energetics via the Eddington limit. We collect and compare all AGN black hole mass estimates from the literature; these 177 masses are mostly based on the virial assumption for the broad emission lines, with the broad-line region size determined from either reverberation mapping or optical luminosity. We introduce 200 additional black hole mass estimates based on properties of the host galaxy bulges, using either the observed stellar velocity dispersion or the fundamental plane relation to infer σ; these methods assume that AGN hosts are normal galaxies. We compare 36 cases for which black hole mass has been generated by different methods and find, for individual objects, a scatter as high as a couple of orders of magnitude. The less direct the method, the larger the discrepancy with other estimates, probably due to the large scatter in the underlying correlations assumed. Using published fluxes, we calculate bolometric luminosities for 234 AGNs and investigate the relation between black hole mass and luminosity. In contrast to other studies, we find no significant correlation of black hole mass with luminosity, other than those induced by circular reasoning in the estimation of black hole mass. The Eddington limit defines an approximate upper envelope to the distribution of luminosities, but the lower envelope depends entirely on the sample of AGNs included. For any given black hole mass, there is a range in Eddington ratio of up to 3 orders of magnitude.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Black Hole Physics - Galaxies: Active - Galaxies: Nuclei - Galaxies: Quasars: General

Simbad objects: 182

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