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Intermediate-mass black holes in galactic nuclei

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 November 2004

Jenny E. Greene
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Luis C. Ho
The Observatories of the Carnegie Institute of Washington, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA
Aaron J. Barth
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, 91125, USA
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We present the first homogeneous sample of intermediate-mass black hole candidates in active galactic nuclei. Starting with broad-line active nuclei from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we use the linewidth-luminosity-mass scaling relation to select a sample of 19 galaxies in the mass range $M_{\mathrm{BH}} \approx 8 \times 10^4 - 10^6\,\ensuremath{M_{\odot}}$. In contrast to the local active galaxy population, the host galaxies are ∼1 mag fainter than M* and thus are probably late-type systems. The active nuclei are also faint, with $M_g \approx -15$ to −18 mag, while the bolometric luminosities are close to the Eddington limit. The spectral properties of the sample are compared to the related class of objects known as narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies. We discuss the importance of our sample as observational analogues of primordial black holes, contributors to the integrated signal for future gravitational wave experiments, and as a valuable tool in the calibration of the MBM–σ∗ relation.To search for other articles by the author(s) go to:

© 2004 International Astronomical Union