Letter to the Editor
Universitäts-Sternwarte Göttingen, Geismarlandstraße 11, 37083 Göttingen, Germany
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 10 November 2003
Accretion of gas onto a central supermassive black hole is generally accepted to be the source of the emitted energy in active galactic nuclei. The broad emission lines we observe in their optical spectra are probably formed in the wind of an accretion disk at distances of light days to light years from the central black hole. The variable fraction of the emission lines originates at typical distances of only 1 to 50 light days from the central supermassive black hole. We derived a central black hole mass of in the Seyfert galaxy Mrk 110 assuming the broad emission lines are generated in gas clouds orbiting within an accretion disk. This figure depends on the inclination angle of the accretion disk. Here we report on the detection of gravitational redshifted emission in the variable fraction of the broad emission lines. We derive a central black hole mass of . These measurements are independent on the orientation of the accretion disk. The comparison of both black hole mass estimates allows to determine the projection of the central accretion disk angle i to in Mrk 110 and therefore the orientation of the spin axis of the central black hole.
Key words: accretion disks / black hole physics / gravitation / line: profiles / galaxies: active / galaxies: individual: Mrk 110
Based on observations obtained with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, which is a joint project of the University of Texas at Austin, the Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.
© ESO, 2003