Institute of Astronomy

XXI century reverberation mapping: inferring black hole mass, geometry and dynamics of the broad line region in active galaxies

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Anna Pancoast (UCSB)23 May 2014Institute of Astronomy Galaxies Discussion Group

Abstract

Constraining the inner regions of active galactic nuclei (AGN) is difficult due to the very small scales involved.  By using reverberation mapping, we can substitute time resolution for spatial resolution and begin to probe AGN on the scales of the broad line region.  However traditional reverberation mapping analysis uses only a fraction of the available information.  We have been developing advanced analysis methods that give us new insights into the properties of AGN, including the absolute black hole mass and the geometry and dynamics of the broad line region. Applying this technique to five AGNs from the Lick AGN Monitoring Project 2008 sample, we find that the BLR geometry is consistent with a thick disk and the dynamics are a combination of elliptical orbits and inflow.

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