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  1. Abstract

    We present 0.″22-resolution Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observations of CO(2−1) emission from the circumnuclear gas disk in the red nugget relic galaxy PGC 11179. The disk shows regular rotation, with projected velocities near the center of 400 km s−1. We assume the CO emission originates from a dynamically cold, thin disk and fit gas-dynamical models directly to the ALMA data. In addition, we explore systematic uncertainties by testing the impacts of various model assumptions on our results. The supermassive black hole (BH) mass (MBH) is measured to beMBH= (1.91 ± 0.04 [1σstatistical]0.51+0.11[systematic]) × 109M, and theH-band stellar mass-to-light ratioM/LH= 1.620 ± 0.004 [1σstatistical]0.107+0.211[systematic]M/L. ThisMBHis consistent with the BH mass−stellar velocity dispersion relation but over-massive compared to the BH mass−bulge luminosity relation by a factor of 3.7. PGC 11179 is part of a sample of local compact early-type galaxies that are plausible relics ofz∼ 2 red nuggets, and its behavior relative to the scaling relations echoes that of three relic galaxy BHs previously measured with stellar dynamics. These over-massive BHs could suggest that BHs gain most of their mass before their host galaxies do. However, our results could also be explained by greater intrinsic scatter at the high-mass end of the scaling relations, or by systematic differences in gas- and stellar-dynamical methods. AdditionalMBHmeasurements in the sample, including independent cross-checks between molecular gas- and stellar-dynamical methods, will advance our understanding of the co-evolution of BHs and their host galaxies.

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  2. Abstract We perform a systematic survey of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) continuum lags using ∼3 days cadence gri -band light curves from the Zwicky Transient Facility. We select a sample of 94 type 1 AGNs at z < 0.8 with significant and consistent inter-band lags based on the interpolated cross-correlation function method and the Bayesian method JAVELIN . Within the framework of the “lamp-post” reprocessing model, our findings are: (1) The continuum emission (CE) sizes inferred from the data are larger than the disk sizes predicted by the standard thin-disk model. (2) For a subset of the sample, the CE size exceeds the theoretical limit of the self-gravity radius (12 lt-days) for geometrically thin disks. (3) The CE size scales with continuum luminosity as R CE ∝ L 0.48±0.04 with a scatter of 0.2 dex, analogous to the well-known radius–luminosity relation of broad H β . These findings suggest a significant contribution of diffuse continuum emission from the broad-line region (BLR) to AGN continuum lags. We find that the R CE – L relation can be explained by a photoionization model that assumes ∼23% of the total flux comes from the diffuse BLR emission. In addition, the ratio of the CE size and model-predicted disk size anticorrelates with the continuum luminosity, which is indicative of a potential nondisk BLR lag contribution evolving with the luminosity. Finally, a robust positive correlation between the CE size and black hole mass is detected. 
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  3. Abstract

    Continuum reverberation mapping probes the size scale of the optical continuum-emitting region in active galactic nuclei (AGN). Through 3 yr of multiwavelength photometric monitoring in the optical with robotic observatories, we perform continuum reverberation mapping on Mrk 876. All wave bands show large-amplitude variability and are well correlated. Slow variations in the light curves broaden the cross-correlation function (CCF) significantly, requiring detrending in order to robustly recover interband lags. We measure consistent interband lags using three techniques (CCF, JAVELIN, and PyROA), with a lag of around 13 days fromutoz. These lags are longer than the expected radius of 12 days for the self-gravitating radius of the disk. The lags increase with wavelength roughly followingλ4/3, as would be expected from thin disk theory, but the lag normalization is approximately a factor of 3 longer than expected, as has also been observed in other AGN. The lag in theiband shows an excess that we attribute to variable Hαbroad-line emission. A flux–flux analysis shows a variable spectrum that followsfνλ−1/3, as expected for a disk, and an excess in theiband that also points to strong variable Hαemission in that band.

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  4. Abstract

    The AGN STORM 2 campaign is a large, multiwavelength reverberation mapping project designed to trace out the structure of Mrk 817 from the inner accretion disk to the broad emission line region and out to the dusty torus. As part of this campaign, Swift performed daily monitoring of Mrk 817 for approximately 15 months, obtaining observations in X-rays and six UV/optical filters. The X-ray monitoring shows that Mrk 817 was in a significantly fainter state than in previous observations, with only a brief flare where it reached prior flux levels. The X-ray spectrum is heavily obscured. The UV/optical light curves show significant variability throughout the campaign and are well correlated with one another, but uncorrelated with the X-rays. Combining the Swift UV/optical light curves with Hubble Space Telescope UV continuum light curves, we measure interband continuum lags,τ(λ), that increase with increasing wavelength roughly followingτ(λ) ∝λ4/3, the dependence expected for a geometrically thin, optically thick, centrally illuminated disk. Modeling of the light curves reveals a period at the beginning of the campaign where the response of the continuum is suppressed compared to later in the light curve—the light curves are not simple shifted and scaled versions of each other. The interval of suppressed response corresponds to a period of high UV line and X-ray absorption, and reduced emission line variability amplitudes. We suggest that this indicates a significant contribution to the continuum from the broad-line region gas that sees an absorbed ionizing continuum.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 27, 2024
  5. Abstract We present a new empirical template for iron emission in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) covering the 4000–5600 Å range. The new template is based on a spectrum of the narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 493 obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. In comparison with the canonical iron template object I Zw 1, Mrk 493 has narrower broad-line widths, lower reddening, and a less extreme Eddington ratio, making it a superior choice for template construction. We carried out a multicomponent spectral decomposition to produce a template incorporating all the permitted and forbidden lines of Fe ii identified in the Mrk 493 spectrum over this wavelength range, as well as lines from Ti ii , Ni ii , and Cr ii . We tested the template by fitting it to AGN spectra spanning a broad range of iron emission properties, and we present a detailed comparison with fits using other widely used monolithic and multicomponent iron emission templates. The new template generally provides the best fit (lowest χ 2 ) compared to other widely used monolithic empirical templates. In addition, the new template yields more accurate spectral measurements including a significantly better match of the derived Balmer line profiles (H β , H γ , H δ ), in contrast with results obtained using the other templates. Our comparison tests show that the choice of iron template can introduce a systematic bias in measurements of the H β line width, which consequently impacts single-epoch black hole mass estimates by ∼0.1 dex on average and possibly up to ∼0.3–0.5 dex individually. 
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  6. Abstract

    We fit the UV/optical lightcurves of the Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 817 to produce maps of the accretion disk temperature fluctuationsδTresolved in time and radius. TheδTmaps are dominated by coherent radial structures that move slowly (vc) inward and outward, which conflicts with the idea that disk variability is driven only by reverberation. Instead, these slow-moving temperature fluctuations are likely due to variability intrinsic to the disk. We test how modifying the input lightcurves by smoothing and subtracting them changes the resultingδTmaps and find that most of the temperature fluctuations exist over relatively long timescales (hundreds of days). We show how detrending active galactic nucleus (AGN) lightcurves can be used to separate the flux variations driven by the slow-moving temperature fluctuations from those driven by reverberation. We also simulate contamination of the continuum emission from the disk by continuum emission from the broad-line region (BLR), which is expected to have spectral features localized in wavelength, such as the Balmer break contaminating theUband. We find that a disk with a smooth temperature profile cannot produce a signal localized in wavelength and that any BLR contamination should appear as residuals in our model lightcurves. Given the observed residuals, we estimate that only ∼20% of the variable flux in theUandulightcurves can be due to BLR contamination. Finally, we discus how these maps not only describe the data but can make predictions about other aspects of AGN variability.

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  7. Abstract

    In order to constrain the size of the optical continuum emission region in the dwarf Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 4395 through reverberation mapping, we carried out high-cadence photometric monitoring in thegrizfilter bands on two consecutive nights in 2022 April using the four-channel MuSCAT3 camera on the Faulkes Telescope North at Haleakalā Observatory. Correlated variability across thegrizbands is clearly detected, and ther-,i-, andz-band light curves show lags of7.721.09+1.01,14.161.25+1.22, and20.782.09+1.99minutes with respect to thegband when measured using the full-duration light curves. When lags are measured for each night separately, the Night 2 data exhibit lower cross-correlation amplitudes and shorter lags than the Night 1 light curves. Using the full-duration lags, we find that the lag–wavelength relationship is consistent with theτλ4/3dependence found for more luminous active galactic nuclei. Combining our results with continuum lags measured for other objects, the lag betweengandzband scales with optical continuum luminosity asτgzL0.56±0.05, similar to the scaling of broad-line region size with luminosity, reinforcing recent evidence that diffuse continuum emission from the broad-line region may contribute substantially to optical continuum variability and reverberation lags.

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  8. Abstract

    We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Cycle 2 observations of CO(2–1) emission from the circumnuclear disks in two early-type galaxies, NGC 1380 and NGC 6861. The disk in each galaxy is highly inclined (i∼ 75°), and the projected velocities of the molecular gas near the galaxy centers are ∼300 km s−1in NGC 1380 and ∼500 km s−1in NGC 6861. We fit thin disk dynamical models to the ALMA data cubes to constrain the masses of the central black holes (BHs). We created host galaxy models using Hubble Space Telescope images for the extended stellar mass distributions and incorporated a range of plausible central dust extinction values. For NGC 1380, our best-fit model yieldsMBH= 1.47 × 108Mwith a ∼40% uncertainty. For NGC 6861, the lack of dynamical tracers within the BH’s sphere of influence due to a central hole in the gas distribution precludes a precise measurement ofMBH. However, our model fits require a value forMBHin the range of (1–3) × 109Min NGC 6861 to reproduce the observations. The BH masses are generally consistent with predictions from local BH–host galaxy scaling relations. Systematic uncertainties associated with dust extinction of the host galaxy light and choice of host galaxy mass model dominate the error budget of both measurements. Despite these limitations, the measurements demonstrate ALMA’s ability to provide constraints on BH masses in cases where the BH’s projected radius of influence is marginally resolved or the gas distribution has a central hole.

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  9. Abstract

    The broad-line region (BLR) size–luminosity relation has paramount importance for estimating the mass of black holes in active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Traditionally, the size of the HβBLR is often estimated from the optical continuum luminosity at 5100 Å, while the size of the HαBLR and its correlation with the luminosity is much less constrained. As a part of the Seoul National University AGN Monitoring Project, which provides 6 yr photometric and spectroscopic monitoring data, we present our measurements of the Hαlags of high-luminosity AGNs. Combined with the measurements for 42 AGNs from the literature, we derive the size–luminosity relations of the HαBLR against the broad Hαand 5100 Å continuum luminosities. We find the slope of the relations to be 0.61 ± 0.04 and 0.59 ± 0.04, respectively, which are consistent with the Hβsize–luminosity relation. Moreover, we find a linear relation between the 5100 Å continuum luminosity and the broad Hαluminosity across 7 orders of magnitude. Using these results, we propose a new virial mass estimator based on the Hαbroad emission line, finding that the previous mass estimates based on scaling relations in the literature are overestimated by up to 0.7 dex at masses lower than 107M.

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  10. Abstract Studies of rest-frame optical emission in quasars at z > 6 have historically been limited by the wavelengths accessible by ground-based telescopes. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) now offers the opportunity to probe this emission deep into the reionization epoch. We report the observations of eight quasars at z > 6.5 using the JWST/NIRCam Wide Field Slitless Spectroscopy as a part of the “A SPectroscopic survey of biased halos In the Reionization Era (ASPIRE)” program. Our JWST spectra cover the quasars’ emission between rest frame ∼4100 and 5100 Å. The profiles of these quasars’ broad H β emission lines span a full width at half maximum from 3000 to 6000 km s −1 . The H β -based virial black hole (BH) masses, ranging from 0.6 to 2.1 billion solar masses, are generally consistent with their Mg ii -based BH masses. The new measurements based on the more reliable H β tracer thus confirm the existence of a billion solar-mass BHs in the reionization epoch. In the observed [O iii ] λ λ 4960,5008 doublets of these luminous quasars, broad components are more common than narrow core components (≤ 1200 km s −1 ), and only one quasar shows stronger narrow components than broad. Two quasars exhibit significantly broad and blueshifted [O iii ] emission, thought to trace galactic-scale outflows, with median velocities of −610 and −1430 km s −1 relative to the [C ii ] 158 μ m line. All eight quasars show strong optical Fe ii emission and follow the eigenvector 1 relations defined by low-redshift quasars. The entire ASPIRE program will eventually cover 25 quasars and provide a statistical sample for the studies of the BHs and quasar spectral properties. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 29, 2024