Volume 560, December 2013
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||02 December 2013|
Black-hole mass estimates for a homogeneous sample of bright flat-spectrum radio quasars
SISSA, via Bonomea 265,
2 DiSAT, Università dell’Insubria, via Valleggio 11, 22100 Como, Italy
3 INFN, Sezione di Milano Bicocca, Piazza Della Scienza 3, 20126 Milano, Italy
4 Dipartimento di Fisica, Università “Tor Vergata”, via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Roma, Italy
5 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
Accepted: 16 September 2013
We have selected a complete sample of flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) from the WMAP 7 yr catalog within the SDSS area, all with measured redshift, and compared the black-hole mass estimates based on fitting a standard accretion disk model to the “blue bump” with those obtained from the commonly used single-epoch virial method. The sample comprises 79 objects with a flux density limit of 1 Jy at 23 GHz, 54 of which (68%) have a clearly detected “blue bump”. Thirty-four of those 54 have, in the literature, black-hole mass estimates obtained with the virial method. The mass estimates obtained from the two methods are well correlated. If the calibration factor of the virial relation is set to f = 4.5, well within the range of recent estimates, the mean logarithmic ratio of the two mass estimates is equal to zero with a dispersion close to the estimated uncertainty of the virial method. That the two independent methods agree so closely in spite of the potentially large uncertainties associated with each lends strong support to both of them. The distribution of black-hole masses for the 54 FSRQs in our sample with a well-detected blue bump has a median value of 7.4 × 108 M⊙. It declines at the low-mass end, consistent with other indications that radio-loud AGNs are generally associated with the most massive black holes, although the decline may be, at least partly, due to the source selection. The distribution drops above log (M•/M⊙) = 9.4, implying that ultra-massive black holes associated with FSRQs must be rare.
Key words: black hole physics / accretion, accretion disks
© ESO, 2013
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