EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 389, Number 3, July III 2002
Page(s) 742 - 751
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020577

A&A 389, 742-751 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020577

Supermassive black hole masses of AGNs with elliptical hosts

Xue-Bing Wu, F. K. Liu and T. Z. Zhang

National Astronomical Observatories of CAS & Department of Astronomy, Peking University, Beijing 100871, PR China
    e-mail: wuxb@bac.pku.edu.cn; fkliu@bac.pku.edu.cn; bzty@bac.pku.edu.cn

(Received 4 February 2002 / Accepted 8 March 2002 )

The recently discovered tight correlation between supermassive black hole mass and central velocity dispersion for both inactive and active galaxies suggests a possibility to estimate the black hole mass from the measured central velocity dispersion. However, for most AGNs it is difficult to measure the central velocity dispersions of their host galaxies directly with spectroscopic studies. In this paper we adopt the fundamental plane for ellipticals to estimate the central velocity dispersion and black hole mass for a number of AGNs with morphology parameters of their elliptical host galaxies obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope imaging observations. The estimated black hole masses of 63 BL Lac objects, 10 radio galaxies, 10 radio-loud quasars and 9 radio-quiet quasars are mostly in the range of $10^{7.5}~M_\odot$ to $10^{9}~ M_\odot$. No significant difference in black hole mass is found for high-frequency peaked BL Lacs and low-frequency peaked BL Lacs, as well as for radio galaxies and radio-loud quasars. The Eddington ratios of radio galaxies are substantially smaller than those of quasars. This suggests that the different observational features of these radio-loud AGNs may be mainly dominated by different accretion rate rather than by the black hole mass, which is in agreement with some evolutionary scenarios recently proposed for radio-loud AGNs. Different to some previous claims, we found that the derived mean black hole mass for radio-loud quasars is only slightly larger than that of radio-quiet quasars. Though the black hole mass distributions between radio-loud and radio-quiet quasars are statistically different, their Eddington ratio distributions are probably from the same population. In addition, we noted that the relation between black hole mass and host galaxy luminosity we obtained using the fundamental plane provides further arguments for a nonlinear scaling law between supermassive black hole mass and galactic bulge mass.

Key words: black hole physics -- BL Lacertae objects: general -- galaxies: active -- galaxies: nuclei -- quasars: general

Offprint request: Xue-Bing Wu, wuxb@bac.pku.edu.cn

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