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          Institute: MPI für Astronomie     Collection: Publikationen_mpia     Display Documents

ID: 742796.0, MPI für Astronomie / Publikationen_mpia
Correcting C IV-based virial black hole masses
Authors:Coatman, L.; Hewett, P. C.; Banerji, M.; Richards, G. T.; Hennawi, J. F.; Prochaska, J. X.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2017
Title of Journal:Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue / Number:2
Start Page:2120
End Page:2142
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:The C IVλλ1498,1501 broad emission line is visible in optical spectra to redshifts exceeding z ˜ 5. C IV has long been known to exhibit significant displacements to the blue and these `blueshifts' almost certainly signal the presence of strong outflows. As a consequence, single-epoch virial black hole (BH) mass estimates derived from C IV velocity widths are known to be systematically biased compared to masses from the hydrogen Balmer lines. Using a large sample of 230 high-luminosity (LBol = 1045.5-1048 erg s-1), redshift 1.5 < z < 4.0 quasars with both C IV and Balmer line spectra, we have quantified the bias in C IV BH masses as a function of the C IV blueshift. C IV BH masses are shown to be a factor of 5 larger than the corresponding Balmer-line masses at C IV blueshifts of 3000 km s-1and are overestimated by almost an order of magnitude at the most extreme blueshifts, ≳5000 km s-1. Using the monotonically increasing relationship between the C IV blueshift and the mass ratio BH(C IV)/BH(Hα), we derive an empirical correction to all C IV BH masses. The scatter between the corrected C IV masses and the Balmer masses is 0.24 dex at low C IV blueshifts (˜0 km s-1) and just 0.10 dex at high blueshifts (˜3000 km s-1), compared to 0.40 dex before the correction. The correction depends only on the C IV line properties - i.e. full width at half-maximum and blueshift - and can therefore be applied to all quasars where C IV emission line properties have been measured, enabling the derivation of unbiased virial BH-mass estimates for the majority of high-luminosity, high-redshift, spectroscopically confirmed quasars in the literature.
Free Keywords:galaxies: evolution
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für Astronomie
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