Supermassive black holes as the regulators of star formation in central galaxies.
TERRAZAS B.A., BELL E.F., WOO J. and HENRIQUES B.M.B.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the relationship between the black hole mass, stellar mass, and star formation rate (SFR) of a diverse group of 91 galaxies with dynamically measured black hole masses. For our sample of galaxies with a variety of morphologies and other galactic properties, we find that the specific SFR is a smoothly decreasing function of the ratio between black hole mass and stellar mass, or what we call the specific black hole mass. In order to explain this relation, we propose a physical framework where the gradual suppression of a galaxy's star formation activity results from the adjustment to an increase in specific black hole mass, and accordingly, an increase in the amount of heating. From this framework, it follows that at least some galaxies with intermediate specific black hole masses are in a steady state of partial quiescence with intermediate specific SFRs, implying that both transitioning and steady-state galaxies live within this region that is known as the "green valley." With respect to galaxy formation models, our results present an important diagnostic with which to test various prescriptions of black hole feedback and its effects on star formation activity.