Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 361, 919-926 (2005/August-2)
Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet spectroscopy of blazars: emission-line properties and black hole masses.
PIAN E., FALOMO R. and TREVES A.
Abstract (from CDS):
The ultraviolet (UV) spectra of 16 blazars (<z>≃ 1) from the archives of the Hubble Space Telescope Faint Object Spectrograph have been analysed in order to study in a systematic way the properties of their broad UV emission lines. We find that the luminosities of the most prominent and intense lines, Lyα and Civλ1549, are similar to those of normal radio-loud quasars at comparable redshifts. However, the equivalent widths of blazar lines are significantly smaller than those of radio-loud quasars. Therefore, while the intrinsic broad-line region luminosity of blazars appears to be indistinguishable from that of radio-loud quasars, their continuum must be comparatively higher, most probably due to relativistic beaming. We have combined the UV luminosities of the debeamed continuum with the emitting gas velocity to derive estimates of the masses of the central supermassive black holes. The size of the broad-line region was computed in two ways: (1) via an empirical relationship between UV continuum luminosity and broad-line region size, and (2) through the external photon density required by blazar models to reproduce the inverse Compton components observed at γ-rays. The second method yields significantly different results from the first method, suggesting that it provides only a very rough estimate or a lower limit on the size of the broad-line region. We find that the average mass of the central black holes in blazars is ∼2.8x108M☉, with a large dispersion, comparable to those computed for other radio-loud active galactic nuclei.
galaxies: active - BL Lacertae objects: general - gamma-rays: observations - ultraviolet: galaxies