Friday, July 26, 2013

1307.6560 (Evan M. Tilton et al.)

Ultraviolet Emission-Line Correlations in Hubble/COS Spectra of Active Galactic Nuclei: Single-Epoch Black Hole Masses    [PDF]

Evan M. Tilton, J. Michael Shull
Effective methods of measuring supermassive black hole masses in active galactic nuclei (AGN) are of critical importance to studies of galaxy evolution. While there has been much success obtaining masses through reverberation mapping, the extensive observing time required by this method has limited the practicality of applying it to large samples at a variety of redshifts. This limitation highlights the need to estimate these masses using single-epoch spectroscopy of ultraviolet emission lines. We use ultraviolet spectra of 44 AGN from HST/COS, IUE, and FUSE of the CIV 1549, OVI 1035, OIII] 1664, HeII 1640, CII 1335, and MgII 2800 emission lines and explore their potential as tracers of the broad-line region and supermassive black hole mass. The higher S/N and better spectral resolution of the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on Hubble Space Telescope resolves AGN intrinsic absorption and produces more accurate line widths. From these, we test the viability of mass-scaling relationships based on line widths and luminosities and carry out a principal component analysis based on line luminosities, widths, skewness, and kurtosis. At L_{1450} < 10^{45} erg/s, the UV line luminosities correlate well with Hbeta, as does the 1450 Angstrom continuum luminosity. We find that CIV, OVI, and MgII can be used as reasonably accurate estimators of AGN black hole masses, while HeII and CII are uncorrelated.
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