Volume 587, March 2016
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Published online||15 February 2016|
A multi-epoch spectroscopic study of the BAL quasar APM 08279+5255
II. Emission- and absorption-line variability time lags
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”,
p.le A. Moro 5,
2 Università degli Studi “Roma Tre”, via della Vasca Navale 84, 00146 Rome, Italy
3 Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”, via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
4 Università di Bologna, via Zamboni 33, 40126 Bologna, Italy
5 INAF–IASF Bologna, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Received: 10 August 2015
Accepted: 4 December 2015
Context. The study of high-redshift bright quasars is crucial to gather information about the history of galaxy assembly and evolution. Variability analyses can provide useful data on the physics of quasar processes and their relation with the host galaxy.
Aims. In this study, we aim to measure the black hole mass of the bright lensed BAL QSO APM 08279+5255 at z = 3.911 through reverberation mapping, and to update and extend the monitoring of its C IV absorption line variability.
Methods. We perform the first reverberation mapping of the Si IV and C IV emission lines for a high-luminosity quasar at high redshift with the use of 138 R-band photometric data and 30 spectra available over 16 years of observations. We also cross-correlate the C IV absorption equivalent width variations with the continuum light curve to estimate the recombination time lags of the various absorbers and infer the physical conditions of the ionised gas.
Results. We find a reverberation-mapping time lag of ~900 rest-frame days for both Si IV and C IV emission lines. This is consistent with an extension of the BLR size-to-luminosity relation for active galactic nuclei up to a luminosity of ~1048 erg s-1, and implies a black hole mass of 1010 M⊙. Additionally, we measure a recombination time lag of ~160 days in the rest frame for the C IV narrow absorption system, which implies an electron density of the absorbing gas of ~2.5 × 104 cm-3.
Conclusions. The measured black hole mass of APM 08279+5255 indicates that the quasar resides in an under-massive host-galaxy bulge with Mbulge ~ 7.5MBH, and that the lens magnification is lower than ~8. Finally, the inferred electron density of the narrow-line absorber implies a distance of the order of 10 kpc of the absorbing gas from the quasar, placing it within the host galaxy.
Key words: galaxies: active / quasars: absorption lines / quasars: emission lines / quasars: supermassive black holes / quasars: individual: APM 08279+5255 / quasars: general
© ESO, 2016
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