COSMIC EVOLUTION OF BLACK HOLES AND SPHEROIDS. IV. THE M BH-L sph RELATION
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COSMIC EVOLUTION OF BLACK HOLES AND SPHEROIDS. IV. THE M BH-L sph RELATION

  • Author(s): Bennert, Vardha Nicola
  • Treu, Tommaso
  • Woo, Jong-Hak
  • Malkan, Matthew A
  • Le Bris, Alexandre
  • Auger, Matthew W
  • Gallagher, Sarah
  • Blandford, Roger D
  • et al.
Abstract

From high-resolution images of 23 Seyfert-1 galaxies at z=0.36 and z=0.57 obtained with the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer on board the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), we determine host-galaxy morphology, nuclear luminosity, total host-galaxy luminosity and spheroid luminosity. Keck spectroscopy is used to estimate black hole mass (M_BH). We study the cosmic evolution of the M_BH-spheroid luminosity (L_sph) relation. In combination with our previous work, totaling 40 Seyfert-1 galaxies, the covered range in BH mass is substantially increased, allowing us to determine for the first time intrinsic scatter and correct evolutionary trends for selection effects. We re-analyze archival HST images of 19 local reverberation-mapped active galaxies to match the procedure adopted at intermediate redshift. Correcting spheroid luminosity for passive luminosity evolution and taking into account selection effects, we determine that at fixed present-day V-band spheroid luminosity, M_BH/L_sph \propto (1+z)^(2.8+/-1.2). When including a sample of 44 quasars out to z=4.5 taken from the literature, with luminosity and BH mass corrected to a self-consistent calibration, we extend the BH mass range to over two orders of magnitude, resulting in M_BH/L_sph \propto (1+z)^(1.4+/-0.2). The intrinsic scatter of the relation, assumed constant with redshift, is 0.3+/-0.1 dex (<0.6 dex at 95% CL). The evolutionary trend suggests that BH growth precedes spheroid assembly. Interestingly, the M_BH-total host-galaxy luminosity relation is apparently non-evolving. It hints at either a more fundamental relation or that the spheroid grows by a redistribution of stars. However, the high-z sample does not follow this relation, indicating that major mergers may play the dominant role in growing spheroids above z~1.

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