Black Hole (black + hole)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Physics and Astronomy

Kinds of Black Hole

  • central black hole
  • intermediate-mass black hole
  • massive black hole
  • spinning black hole
  • supermassive black hole

  • Terms modified by Black Hole

  • black hole growth
  • black hole mass
  • black hole system

  • Selected Abstracts


    ABSTRACT:,This article supplements and enriches,Judd's and Sapotichne, Jones, and Wolfe's,controversial diagnosis of a disjuncture between "mainstream" political science and the study of urban politics in the United States by suggesting that Canadian urban political science scholarship is equally isolated. Yet for the most part, the underlying causes of this predicament differ greatly from the U.S. experience. We offer three interpretations,one institutional, one epistemological, and one ontological,to explain the marginality of Canadian urban political science in relation to both mainstream Canadian political science and American urban politics. First, the growth of Canadian urban political science has been inhibited not because there are too few interested scholars, but rather because interested faculty are so thinly dispersed across the country's academic institutions. Second, unlike the American experience, the historical development of Canadian political science as a discipline has led it to focus on national-level issues at the expense of local and urban politics. Finally, Canadian cities have developed differently from American cities in important respects, again leading Canadian scholars to privilege the national over the local. [source]


    MODERN THEOLOGY, Issue 3 2009
    This essay examines how Michel Henry's and Jean-Luc Marion's continuation of phenomenology's turn to the invisible relates to painting, aesthetics, and theology. First, it discusses Henry and Marion's redefinition of phenomenality. Second, it explores Henry's "Kandinskian" description of abstract painting as expressing "Life." Third, it explicates Marion's "Rothkoian" rehabilitation of the idol and renewed zeal for the icon,both phenomena exemplify "givenness." Fourth, it unpacks my thesis: Henry's phenomenology, theologically applied, exercises an inadequate Kantian apophasis, characterized by a sublime sacrifice of the imagination; although Marion's work sometimes evidences a similar tendency, its prevailing momentum offers theology a fully catholic scope. [source]

    General Relativity effects and line emission

    G. Matt
    Abstract General Relativity effects (gravitational redshift, light bending, ,) strongly modify the characteristics of the lines emitted close to the Black Hole in Active Galactic Nuclei and Galactic Black Hole systems. These effects are reviewed and illustrated, with particular emphasis on line emission from the accretion disc. Methods, based on the iron line, to measure the two astrophysically relevant parameters of a Black Hole, the mass and spin, are briefly discussed. (© 2006 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

    Peculiar relics from Primordial Black Holes in the inflationary paradigm

    ANNALEN DER PHYSIK, Issue 3 2004
    A. Barrau
    Abstract Depending on various assumptions on the energy scale of inflation and assuming a primordial power spectrum of a step-like structure, we explore new possibilities for Primordial Black Holes (PBH) and Planck relics to contribute substantially to Cold Dark Matter in the Universe. A recently proposed possibility to produce Planck relics in four-dimensional string gravity is considered in this framework. Possible experimental detection of PBHs through gravitational waves is also explored. We stress that inflation with a low energy scale, and also possibly when Planck relics are produced, leads unavoidably to relics originating from PBHs that are not effectively classical during their formation, rendering the usual formalism inadequate for them. [source]

    A short introduction to broad and variable iron lines around black holes

    A. C. Fabian
    Abstract Accreting black holes often show iron line emission in their X-ray spectra. When this line emission is very broad or variable then it is likely to originate from close to the black hole. The theory and observations of such broad and variable iron lines are briefly reviewed here. In order for a clear broad line to be found, one or more of the following have to occur: high iron abundance, dense disk surface and minimal complex absorption. Several excellent examples are found from observations of Seyfert galaxies and Galactic Black Holes. In several cases there is strong evidence that the black hole is rapidly spinning. Further examples are expected as more long observations are made with XMM-Newton, Chandra and Suzaku. Intriguing instances of rapid variability of some narrow iron lines, both emission and absorption, have been reported. These may reflect variations in the irradiation or motion of physical structures on the accretion disk. (© 2006 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

    Black hole in M87 is erupting like a galactic supervolcano

    ASTRONOMY & GEOPHYSICS, Issue 5 2010
    Article first published online: 17 SEP 2010
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Black holes and rings of minimal 5-dim. supergravity

    K. Behrndt
    Abstract In this talk, I will summarize recent developments in 5-dimensional supergravity. This includes a discussion about black ring solutions, we will see how one can construct regular (bubbling) solutions with the same charges as black holes and finally will explore the close relationship between 4- and 5-dimensional supersymmetric stationary solutions. [source]

    Simulations of the heating of the Galactic stellar disc

    Jyrki Hänninen
    ABSTRACT The velocity dispersion of nearby stars in the Galactic disc is well known to increase substantially with age; this is the so-called age,velocity relation, and is interpreted as a ,heating' of the disc as a function of time. We have studied the heating of the Galactic stellar disc caused by giant molecular clouds and halo black holes, via simulations of the orbits of tracer stars embedded in a patch of the local Galactic disc. We examine a range of masses and number densities of the giant molecular cloud and halo black hole perturbers. The heating of the stellar disc in the simulations is fitted with a simple power law of the form ,,t,, where , is the velocity dispersion of the tracer stars as a function of time, t. We also fit this form to the best determinations of the increase in the velocity dispersion as a function of time as derived from stars in the solar neighbourhood for which ages can be reliably assigned. Observationally, , is found to lie in the range 0.3,0.6, i.e. it remains poorly constrained and its determination is probably still dominated by systematic errors. Better constrained observationally is the ratio of the velocity dispersions of the stars in the vertical z and horizontal x directions (i.e. towards the Galactic Centre), ,z/,x= 0.5 ± 0.1. For the heating of the stellar disc caused by giant molecular clouds (GMCs) we derive a heating ,,t0.21, which differs somewhat from early (analytic) studies in which ,,t1/4. This confirms the well-known results that there are insufficient GMCs to heat the Galactic disc appropriately. A range of dark halo black hole scenarios are verified to heat the stellar disc as ,,t1/2 (as expected from analytical studies), and give ,z/,x in the range 0.5,0.6, which is consistent with observations. Black holes with a mass of 107 M, are our favoured disc heaters, although they are only marginally consistent with observations. Simulations featuring a combination of giant molecular clouds and halo black holes can explain the observed heating of the stellar disc, but since other perturbing mechanisms, such as spiral arms, are yet to be included, we regard this solution as being ad hoc. [source]

    Black holes in multiple sclerosis: definition, evolution, and clinical correlations

    M. A. Sahraian
    Sahraian MA, Radue E-W, Haller S, Kappos L. Black holes in multiple sclerosis: definition, evolution, and clinical correlations. Acta Neurol Scand: 2010: 122: 1,8. © 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Munksgaard. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a sensitive paraclinical test for diagnosis and assessment of disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) and is often used to evaluate therapeutic efficacy. The formation of new T2-hyperintense MRI lesions is commonly used to measure disease activity, but lacks specificity because edema, inflammation, gliosis, and axonal loss all contribute to T2 lesion formation. As the role of neurodegeneration in the pathophysiology of MS has become more prominent, the formation and evolution of chronic or persistent Tl-hypointense lesions (black holes) have been used as markers of axonal loss and neuronal destruction to measure disease activity. Despite the use of various detection methods, including advanced imaging techniques such as magnetization transfer imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy, correlation of persistent black holes with clinical outcomes in patients with MS remains uncertain. Furthermore, although axonal loss and neuronal tissue destruction are known to contribute to irreversible disability in patients with MS, there are limited data on the effect of therapy on longitudinal change in Tl-hypointense lesion volume. Measurement of black holes in clinical studies may elucidate the underlying pathophysiology of MS and may be an additional method of evaluating therapeutic efficacy. [source]

    How should the government fill the fiscal black hole?

    ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, Issue 1 2010
    Article first published online: 24 JAN 2010
    First page of article [source]

    Thermodynamical properties of some coset CFT backgrounds,

    A. Giveon
    We investigate the thermodynamical features of two Lorentzian signature backgrounds that arise in string theory as exact CFTs and possess more than two disconnected asymptotic regions: the 2-d charged black hole and the Nappi-Witten cosmological model. We find multiple smooth disconnected Euclidean versions of the charged black hole background. They are characterized by different temperatures and electro-chemical potentials. We find that there is no straightforward analog of the Hartle-Hawking state that would express these thermodynamical features. We also obtain multiple Euclidean versions of the Nappi-Witten cosmological model and study their singularity structure. It suggests to associate a non-isotropic temperature with this background. [source]

    New phases of thermal SYM and LST from Kaluza-Klein black holes

    T. Harmark
    Abstract We review the recently found map that takes any static and neutral Kaluza-Klein black hole, i.e. any static and neutral black hole on Minkowski-space times a circle ,d × S1, and maps it to a corresponding solution for a non- and near-extremal brane on a circle. This gives a precise connection between phases of Kaluza-Klein black holes and the thermodynamic behavior of the non-gravitational theories dual to near-extremal branes on a circle. In particular, for the thermodynamics of strongly-coupled supersymmetric Yang-Mills theories on a circle we predict the existence of a new non-uniform phase and find new information about the localized phase. We also find evidence for the existence of a new stable phase of (2,0) Little String Theory in the canonical ensemble for temperatures above its Hagedorn temperature. [source]

    Strings and D-branes in holographic backgrounds

    D. Israël
    Abstract We review recent progress in the study of non-rational (boundary) conformal field theories and their applications to describe exact holographic backgrounds in superstring theory. We focus mainly on the example of the supersymmetric coset SL(2, ,)/U(1), corresponding to the two-dimensional black hole, and its dual N = 2 Liouville. In particular we discuss the modular properties of their characters, their partition function as well as the exact boundary states for their various D-branes. Then these results are used to construct the corresponding quantities in the CFT of the NS5-brane background, with applications to Little String Theories. [source]

    A QSO host galaxy and its Ly, emission at z= 6.43,

    Tomotsugu Goto
    ABSTRACT Host galaxies of highest redshift quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) are of interest; they provide us with a valuable opportunity to investigate physics relevant to the starburst,active galactic nuclei (AGN) connection at the earliest epoch of the Universe, with the most luminous black holes. Here, we report an optical detection of an extended structure around a QSO at z= 6.43 in deep z,- and zr -band images of the Subaru/Suprime-Cam. Our target is CFHQS J2329-0301 (z= 6.43), the highest redshift QSO currently known. We have carefully subtracted a point spread function (PSF) constructed using nearby stars from the images. After the PSF (QSO) subtraction, a structure in the z, band extends more than 4 arcsec on the sky (Re= 11 kpc), and, thus, is well resolved (16, detection). The PSF-subtracted zr -band structure is in a similar shape to that in the z, band, but less significant with a 3, detection. In the z, band, a radial profile of the QSO+host shows a clear excess over that of the averaged PSF in 0.8,3 arcsec radius. Since the z, band includes a Ly, emission at z= 6.43, we suggest the z, flux is a mixture of the host (continuum light) and its Ly, emission, whereas the zr -band flux is from the host. Through a SED modelling, we estimate 40 per cent of the PSF-subtracted z,-band light is from the host (continuum) and 60 per cent is from Ly, emission. The absolute magnitude of the host is M1450=,23.9 (cf. M1450=,26.4 for the QSO). A lower limit of the SFR(Ly,) is 1.6 M, yr,1 with stellar mass ranging from 6.2 × 108 to 1.1 × 1010 M, when 100 Myr of age is assumed. The detection shows that a luminous QSO is already harboured by a large, star-forming galaxy in the early Universe only after ,840 Myr after the big bang. The host may be a forming giant galaxy, co-evolving with a super-massive black hole. [source]

    Surprising evolution of the parsec-scale Faraday Rotation gradients in the jet of the BL Lac object B1803+784

    M. Mahmud
    ABSTRACT Several multifrequency polarization studies have shown the presence of systematic Faraday Rotation gradients across the parsec-scale jets of active galactic nuclei, taken to be due to the systematic variation of the line-of-sight component of a helical magnetic (B) field across the jet. Other studies have confirmed the presence and sense of these gradients in several sources, thus providing evidence that these gradients persist over time and over large distances from the core. However, we find surprising new evidence for a reversal in the direction of the Faraday Rotation gradient across the jet of B1803+784, for which multifrequency polarization observations are available at four epochs. At our three epochs and the epoch of Zavala & Taylor, we observe transverse rotation measure (RM) gradients across the jet, consistent with the presence of a helical magnetic field wrapped around the jet. However, we also observe a ,flip' in the direction of the gradient between 2000 June and 2002 August. Although the origins of this phenomenon are not entirely clear, possibly explanations include (i) the sense of rotation of the central supermassive black hole and accretion disc has remained the same, but the dominant magnetic pole facing the Earth has changed from north to south, (ii) a change in the direction of the azimuthal B field component as a result of torsional oscillations of the jet and (iii) a change in the relative contributions to the observed RMs of the ,inner' and ,outer' helical fields in a magnetic-tower model. Although we cannot entirely rule out the possibility that the observed changes in the RM distribution are associated instead with changes in the thermal-electron distribution in the vicinity of the jet, we argue that this explanation is unlikely. [source]

    The shape of an accretion disc in a misaligned black hole binary

    Rebecca G. Martin
    ABSTRACT We model the overall shape of an accretion disc in a semidetached binary system in which mass is transferred on to a spinning black hole the spin axis of which is misaligned with the orbital rotation axis. We assume the disc is in a steady state. Its outer regions are subject to differential precession caused by tidal torques of the companion star. These tend to align the outer parts of the disc with the orbital plane. Its inner regions are subject to differential precession caused by the Lense,Thirring effect. These tend to align the inner parts of the disc with the spin of the black hole. We give full numerical solutions for the shape of the disc for some particular disc parameters. We then show how an analytic approximation to these solutions can be obtained for the case when the disc surface density varies as a power law with radius. These analytic solutions for the shape of the disc are reasonably accurate even for large misalignments and can be simply applied for general disc parameters. They are particularly useful when the numerical solutions would be slow. [source]

    Delayed X-ray emission from fallback in compact-object mergers

    Elena M. Rossi
    ABSTRACT When double neutron star or neutron star,black hole binaries merge, the final remnant may comprise a central solar-mass black hole surrounded by a ,0.01,0.1 M, torus. The subsequent evolution of this disc may be responsible for short ,-ray bursts (SGRBs). A comparable amount of mass is ejected into eccentric orbits and will eventually fallback to the merger site after ,0.01 s. In this paper, we investigate analytically the fate of the fallback matter, which may provide a luminous signal long after the disc is exhausted. We find that matter in the eccentric tail returns at a super-Eddington rate and eventually (,0.1 s) is unable to cool via neutrino emission and accrete all the way to the black hole. Therefore, contrary to previous claims, our analysis suggests that fallback matter is not an efficient source of late-time accretion power and unlikely to cause the late-flaring activity observed in SGRB afterglows. The fallback matter rather forms a radiation-driven wind or a bound atmosphere. In both the cases, the emitting plasma is very opaque and photons are released with a degraded energy in the X-ray band. We therefore suggest that compact binary mergers could be followed by an ,X-ray renaissance', as late as several days to weeks after the merger. This might be observed by the next generation of X-ray detectors. [source]

    Shock heating in the group atmosphere of the radio galaxy B2 0838+32A

    Nazirah N. Jetha
    ABSTRACT We present Chandra and radio observations, and analysis of Sloan Digital Sky Survey data, of the radio galaxy B2 0838+32A (4C 32.26) and its environment. The radio galaxy is at the centre of a nearby group that has often been identified with the cluster Abell 695, but we argue that the original Abell cluster is likely to be an unrelated and considerably more distant system. The radio source is a restarting radio galaxy and, using our Chandra data, we argue that the currently active lobes are expanding supersonically, driving a shock with Mach number 2.4+1.0,0.5 into the interstellar medium. This would be only the third strong shock round a young radio source to be discovered, after Centaurus A and NGC 3801. However, in contrast to both these systems, the host galaxy of B2 0838+32A shows no evidence for a recent merger, while the active galactic nuclei (AGN) spectrum shows no evidence for the dusty torus that would imply a large reservoir of cold gas close to the central black hole. On the contrary, the AGN spectrum is of a type that has been associated with the presence of a radiatively inefficient accretion flow that could be controlled by an AGN heating and subsequent cooling of the hot, X-ray emitting gas. If correct, this means that B2 0838+32A is the first source in which we can directly see entropy-increasing processes (shocks) driven by accretion from the hot phase of the interstellar medium. [source]

    Why are AGN found in high-mass galaxies?

    Lan Wang
    ABSTRACT There is a strong observed mass dependence of the fraction of nearby galaxies that contain either low-luminosity [low-ionization nuclear emission-line region (LINER) type] or higher luminosity (Seyfert or composite type) active galactic nuclei (AGN). This implies that either only a small fraction of low-mass galaxies contain black holes, or that the black holes in these systems only accrete rarely or at very low rates, and hence are generally not detectable as AGN. In this paper, we use semi-analytic models implemented in the Millennium Simulation to analyse the mass dependence of the merging histories of dark matter haloes and of the galaxies that reside in them. Only a few per cent of galaxies with stellar masses less than M* < 1010 M, are predicted to have experienced a major merger. The fraction of galaxies that have experienced major mergers increases steeply at larger stellar masses. We argue that if a major merger is required to form the initial seed black hole, the mass dependence of AGN activity in local galaxies can be understood quite naturally. We then investigate when the major mergers that first create these black holes are predicted to occur. High-mass galaxies are predicted to have formed their first black holes at very early epochs. The majority of low-mass galaxies never experience a major merger and hence may not contain a black hole, but a significant fraction of the supermassive black holes that do exist in low-mass galaxies are predicted to have formed recently. [source]

    A hybrid N -body code incorporating algorithmic regularization and post-Newtonian forces

    S. Harfst
    ABSTRACT We describe a novel N -body code designed for simulations of the central regions of galaxies containing massive black holes. The code incorporates Mikkola's ,algorithmic' chain regularization scheme including post-Newtonian terms up to PN2.5 order. Stars moving beyond the chain are advanced using a fourth-order integrator with forces computed on a GRAPE board. Performance tests confirm that the hybrid code achieves better energy conservation, in less elapsed time, than the standard scheme and that it reproduces the orbits of stars tightly bound to the black hole with high precision. The hybrid code is applied to two sample problems: the effect of finite- N gravitational fluctuations on the orbits of the S-stars, and inspiral of an intermediate-mass black hole into the Galactic Centre. [source]

    Is AGN feedback necessary to form red elliptical galaxies?

    A. Khalatyan
    ABSTRACT We have used the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code gadget-2 to simulate the formation of an elliptical galaxy in a group-size cosmological dark matter halo with mass Mhalo, 3 × 1012 h,1 M, at z= 0. The use of a stellar population synthesis model has allowed us to compute magnitudes, colours and surface brightness profiles. We have included a model to follow the growth of a central black hole and we have compared the results of simulations with and without feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN). We have studied the interplay between cold gas accretion and merging in the development of galactic morphologies, the link between colour and morphology evolution, the effect of AGN feedback on the photometry of early-type galaxies, the redshift evolution in the properties of quasar hosts, and the impact of AGN winds on the chemical enrichment of the intergalactic medium (IGM). We have found that the early phases of galaxy formation are driven by the accretion of cold filamentary flows, which form a disc galaxy at the centre of the dark matter halo. Disc star formation rates in this mode of galaxy growth are about as high as the peak star formation rates attained at a later epoch in galaxy mergers. When the dark matter halo is sufficiently massive to support the propagation of a stable shock, the gas in the filaments is heated to the virial temperature, cold accretion is shut down, and the star formation rate begins to decline. Mergers transform the spiral galaxy into an elliptical one, but they also reactivate star formation by bringing gas into the galaxy. Without a mechanism that removes gas from the merger remnants, the galaxy ends up with blue colours, which are atypical for its elliptical morphology. We have demonstrated that AGN feedback can solve this problem even with a fairly low heating efficiency. Our simulations support a picture where AGN feedback is important for quenching star formation in the remnant of wet mergers and for moving them to the red sequence. This picture is consistent with recent observational results, which suggest that AGN hosts are galaxies in migration from the blue cloud to the red sequence on the colour,magnitude diagram. However, we have also seen a transition in the properties of AGN hosts from blue and star forming at z, 2 to mainly red and dead at z, 0. Ongoing merging is the primary but not the only triggering mechanism for luminous AGN activity. Quenching by AGN is only effective after the cold filaments have dried out, since otherwise the galaxy is constantly replenished with gas. AGN feedback also contributes to raising the entropy of the hot IGM by removing low-entropy tails vulnerable to developing cooling flows. We have also demonstrated that AGN winds are potentially important for the metal enrichment of the IGM a high redshift. [source]

    The impact of radio feedback from active galactic nuclei in cosmological simulations: formation of disc galaxies

    Takashi Okamoto
    ABSTRACT In this paper, we present a new implementation of feedback due to active galactic nuclei (AGN) in cosmological simulations of galaxy formation. We assume that a fraction of jet energy, which is generated by an AGN, is transferred to the surrounding gas as thermal energy. Combining a theoretical model of mass accretion on to black holes with a multiphase description of star-forming gas, we self-consistently follow evolution of both galaxies and their central black holes. The novelty in our model is that we consider two distinct accretion modes: standard radiatively efficient thin accretion discs and radiatively inefficient accretion flows which we will generically refer to as RIAFs; motivated by theoretical models for jet production in accretion discs, we assume that only the RIAF is responsible for the AGN feedback. The focus of this paper is to investigate the interplay between galaxies and their central black holes during the formation of a disc galaxy. We find that, after an initial episode of bursting star formation, the accretion rate on to the central black hole drops so that the accretion disc switches to a RIAF structure. At this point, the feedback from the AGN becomes efficient and slightly suppresses star formation in the galactic disc and almost completely halts star formation in the bulge. This suppression of the star formation regulates mass accretion on to the black hole and associated AGN feedback. As a result, the nucleus becomes a stochastically fuelled low-luminosity AGN (Seyfert galaxy) with recurrent short-lived episodes of activity after the star bursts. During the ,on' events, the AGN produces reasonably powerful jets (radio-loud state) and is less luminous than the host galaxy, while in the ,off' phase, the nucleus is inactive and ,radio quiet'. Our model predicts several properties of the low-luminosity AGN including the bolometric luminosity, jet powers, the effect on kpc scale of the radio jet and the AGN lifetime, which are in broad agreement with observations of Seyfert galaxies and their radio activity. We also find that the ratios between the central black hole mass and the mass of the host spheroid at z= 0 are ,10,3 regardless of the strength of either supernova feedback or AGN feedback because the radiation drag model directly relates the star formation activity in the Galactic Centre and the mass accretion rate on to the central black hole. [source]

    Tracing intermediate-mass black holes in the Galactic Centre

    U. Löckmann
    ABSTRACT We have developed a new method for post-Newtonian, high-precision integration of stellar systems containing a super-massive black hole (SMBH), splitting the forces on a particle between a dominant central force and perturbations. We used this method to perform fully collisional N -body simulations of inspiralling intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) in the centre of the Milky Way. We considered stellar cusps of different power-law indices and analysed the effects of IMBHs of different masses, all starting from circular orbits at an initial distance of 0.1 pc. Our simulations show how IMBHs deplete the central cusp of stars, leaving behind a flatter cusp with slope consistent with what has recently been observed. If an additional IMBH spirals into such a flat cusp, it can take 50 Myr or longer to merge with the central SMBH, thus allowing for direct observation in the near future. The final merger of the two black holes involves gravitational wave radiation which may be observable with planned gravitational wave detectors. Furthermore, our simulations reveal detailed properties of the hypervelocity stars (HVSs) created, and how generations of HVSs can be used to trace IMBHs in the Galactic Centre. We find that significant rotation of HVSs (which would be evidence for an IMBH) can only be expected among very fast stars (v > 1000 km s,1). Also, the probability of creating a hypervelocity binary star is found to be very small. [source]

    On the variability of quasars: a link between the Eddington ratio and optical variability?

    Brian C. Wilhite
    ABSTRACT Repeat scans by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) of a 278-deg2 stripe along the celestial equator have yielded an average of over 10 observations each for nearly 8000 spectroscopically confirmed quasars. Over 2500 of these quasars are in the redshift range such that the C iv, 1549 emission line is visible in the SDSS spectrum. Utilizing the width of these C iv lines and the luminosity of the nearby continuum, we estimate black hole masses for these objects. In an effort to isolate the effects of black hole mass and luminosity on the photometric variability of our data set, we create several subsamples by binning in these two physical parameters. By comparing the ensemble structure functions of the quasars in these bins, we are able to reproduce the well-known anticorrelation between luminosity and variability, now showing that this anticorrelation is independent of the black hole mass. In addition, we find a correlation between variability and the mass of the central black hole. By combining these two relations, we identify the Eddington ratio as a possible driver of quasar variability, most likely due to differences in accretion efficiency. [source]

    Kinematics of hypervelocity stars in the triaxial halo of the Milky Way

    Qingjuan Yu
    ABSTRACT Hypervelocity stars (HVSs) ejected by the massive black hole at the Galactic Centre have unique kinematic properties compared to other halo stars. Their trajectories will deviate from being exactly radial because of the asymmetry of the Milky Way potential produced by the flattened disc and the triaxial dark matter halo, causing a change of angular momentum that can be much larger than the initial small value at injection. We study the kinematics of HVSs and propose an estimator of dark halo triaxiality that is determined only by instantaneous position and velocity vectors of HVSs at large Galactocentric distances (r, 50 kpc). We show that, in the case of a substantially triaxial halo, the distribution of deflection angles (the angle between the stellar position and velocity vector) for HVSs on bound orbits is spread uniformly over the range 10°,180°. Future astrometric and deep wide-field surveys should measure the positions and velocities of a significant number of HVSs, and provide useful constraints on the shape of the Galactic dark matter halo. [source]

    A search for the third lensed image in JVAS B1030+074

    M. Zhang
    ABSTRACT Central gravitational image detection is very important for the study of the mass distribution of the inner parts (,100 pc) of lens galaxies. However, the detection of such images is extremely rare and difficult. We present a 1.7-GHz High Sensitivity Array (HSA) observation of the double-image radio lens system B1030+074. The data are combined with archive Very Long Baseline Array and global very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations, and careful consideration is given to the effects of noise, cleaning and self-calibration. An upper limit is derived for the strength of the central image of 180 ,Jy (90 per cent confidence level), considerably greater than would have been expected on the basis of a simple analysis. This gives a lower limit of ,103 for the ratio of the brightest image to the central image. For cusped models of lens mass distributions, we have made use of this non-detection to constrain the relation between inner power-law slope , of the lensing galaxy mass profile, and its break radius rb. For rb > 130 pc the power-law slope is required to be close to isothermal (, > 1.8). A flatter inner slope is allowed if a massive black hole is present at the centre of the lensing galaxy, but the effect of the black hole is small unless it is ,10 times more massive than that implied by the relation between black hole mass and stellar velocity dispersion. By comparing four epochs of VLBI observations, we also detected possible superluminal motion in the jet in the brighter image A. The B jet remains unresolved, as expected from a simple lens model of the system. [source]

    A toy model for magnetic connection in black hole accretion disc

    Ding-Xiong Wang
    ABSTRACT A toy model for magnetic connection in black hole (BH) accretion disc is discussed based on a poloidal magnetic field generated by a single electric current flowing around a Kerr BH in the equatorial plane. We discuss the effects of the coexistence of two kinds of magnetic connection (MC) arising, respectively, from (1) the closed field lines connecting the BH horizon with the disc (henceforth MCHD) and (2) the closed field lines connecting the plunging region with the disc (henceforth MCPD). The magnetic field configuration is constrained by conservation of magnetic flux and a criterion of the screw instability of the magnetic field. Two parameters , and ,m are introduced to describe our model instead of resolving the complicated magnetohydrodynamic equations. Compared with MCHD, energy and angular momentum of the plunging particles are extracted via MCPD more effectively, provided that the BH spin is not very high. It turns out that negative energy can be delivered to the BH by the plunging particles without violating the second law of BH thermodynamics, however it cannot be realized via MCPD in a stable way. [source]

    Keck infrared observations of GRO J0422+32 in quiescence

    Mark T. Reynolds
    ABSTRACT We present Keck K -band photometry and low-resolution H - and K -band spectroscopy of the X-ray nova GRO J0422+32 obtained while the system was in the quiescent state. No clear ellipsoidal modulation is present in the light curve, which is instead dominated by a strong flickering component. In the K band, we observe strong Br, emission, with an equivalent width of 38 ± 5 Å. From this, we conclude that the accretion disc is the most likely source of the observed photometric contamination, and that previous infrared-based attempts to constrain the mass of the putative black hole in this system are prone to considerable uncertainty. We finally proceed to show how it is possible to place meaningful constraints on some of the binary parameters of this system, even in the presence of a relatively high level of contamination from the disc. [source]

    The clustering of narrow-line AGN in the local Universe

    Cheng Li
    ABSTRACT We have analysed the clustering of ,90 000 narrow-line active galactic nuclei (AGN) drawn from the Data Release 4 (DR4) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Our analysis addresses the following questions. (i) How do the locations of galaxies within the large-scale distribution of dark matter influence ongoing accretion on to their central black holes? (ii) Is AGN activity triggered by interactions or mergers between galaxies? We compute the cross-correlation between AGN and a reference sample of galaxies drawn from the DR4. We compare this to results for control samples of inactive galaxies matched simultaneously in redshift, stellar mass, concentration, velocity dispersion and mean stellar age, as measured by the 4000-Å break strength. We also compare near-neighbour counts around AGN and around the control galaxies. On scales larger than a few Mpc, AGN have almost the same clustering amplitude as the control sample. This demonstrates that AGN host galaxies and inactive control galaxies populate dark matter haloes of similar mass. On scales between 100 kpc and 1 Mpc, AGN are clustered more weakly than the control galaxies. We use mock catalogues constructed from high-resolution N -body simulations to interpret this antibias, showing that the observed effect is easily understood if AGN are preferentially located at the centres of their dark matter haloes. On scales less than 70 kpc, AGN cluster marginally more strongly than the control sample, but the effect is weak. When compared to the control sample, we find that only one in 100 AGN has an extra neighbour within a radius of 70 kpc. This excess increases as a function of the accretion rate on to the black hole, but it does not rise above the few per cent level. Although interactions between galaxies may be responsible for triggering nuclear activity in a minority of nearby AGN, some other mechanism is required to explain the activity seen in the majority of the objects in our sample. [source]

    Critical properties and stability of stationary solutions in multitransonic pseudo-Schwarzschild accretion

    Soumini Chaudhury
    ABSTRACT For inviscid, rotational accretion flows, both isothermal and polytropic, a simple dynamical system analysis of the critical points has given a very accurate mathematical scheme to understand the nature of these points, for any pseudo-potential by which the flow may be driven on to a Schwarzschild black hole. This allows us for a complete classification of the critical points for a wide range of flow parameters, and shows that the only possible critical points for this kind of flow are saddle points and centre-type points. A restrictive upper bound on the angular momentum of critical solutions has been established. A time-dependent perturbative study reveals that the form of the perturbation equation, for both isothermal and polytropic flows, is invariant under the choice of any particular pseudo-potential. Under generically true outer boundary conditions, the inviscid flow has been shown to be stable under an adiabatic and radially propagating perturbation. The perturbation equation has also served the dual purpose of enabling and understanding the acoustic geometry for inviscid and rotational flows. [source]