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Measuring Black Hole Masses in AGN by Revealing the Hidden Broad Line Region
September 26, 201611:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)

Measuring Black Hole Masses in AGN by Revealing the Hidden Broad Line Region


Anna Pancoast (Center for Astrophysics)



Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy

College Station, Texas 77843

Event Details

Echoes from the broad line region in active galactic nuclei (AGN) allow for the measurement of supermassive black hole masses outside the local Universe. However, the detailed structure of the broad line region is difficult to constrain due to the very small scales involved. With a new generation of high-quality reverberation mapping datasets, we can substitute time resolution for spatial resolution and begin to model echoes from the broad line region directly. I will discuss the development of a direct modeling approach for reverberation mapping data capable of measuring the absolute black hole mass and the geometry and dynamics of the broad line region. Applying this approach to high-quality data from the LAMP, OSU MDM, LCOGT AGN Key Project, and AGN STORM velocity-resolved reverberation mapping campaigns, we find that the broad line region emission comes from gas in a thick disk that is generally inflowing towards the black hole. Finally, I will discuss how this work can improve AGN black hole mass measurements at all redshifts.

Video Recording

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