Determining central black hole masses in distant active galaxies and quasars. II. Improved optical and UV scaling relationships.
VESTERGAARD M. and PETERSON B.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present four improved empirical relationships useful for estimating the central black hole mass in nearby AGNs and distant luminous quasars alike using either optical or UV single-epoch spectroscopy. These mass scaling relationships between line widths and luminosity are based on recently improved empirical relationships between the broad-line region size and luminosities in various energy bands and are calibrated to the improved mass measurements of nearby AGNs based on emission-line reverberation mapping. The mass scaling relationship based on the Hβ line luminosity allows mass estimates for low-redshift sources with strong contamination of the optical continuum luminosity by stellar or nonthermal emission, while that based on the C IV λ1549 line dispersion allows mass estimates in cases where only the line dispersion (as opposed to the FWHM) can be reliably determined. We estimate that the absolute uncertainties in masses given by these mass scaling relationships are typically around a factor of 4. We include in an appendix mass estimates for all of the Bright Quasar Survey (PG) quasars for which direct reverberation-based mass measurements are not available.