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Extending the Calibration of Civ-based Single-epoch Black Hole Mass Estimators for Active Galactic Nuclei


We provide an updated calibration of C iv broad emission line-based single-epoch (SE) black hole (BH) mass estimators for active galactic nuclei (AGNs) using new data for six reverberation-mapped AGNs at redshift with BH masses (bolometric luminosities) in the range106.5-107.5 M⊙(1041.7-1043.8 erg s-1). New rest-frame UV-to-optical spectra covering 1150-5700 Å for the six AGNs were obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Multicomponent spectral decompositions of the HST spectra were used to measure SE emission-line widths for the C iv, Mg ii, and Hβ lines, as well as continuum luminosities in the spectral region around each line. We combine the new data with similar measurements for a previous archival sample of 25 AGNs to derive the most consistent and accurate calibrations of the C iv-based SE BH mass estimators against the Hβ reverberation-based masses, using three different measures of broad-line width: full width at half maximum (FWHM), line dispersion (σline), and mean absolute deviation (MAD). The newly expanded sample at redshift z = 0.005-0.234 covers a dynamic range in BH mass (bolometric luminosity) of log MBH M⊙ = 6.5-9.1(log Lbol/erg s-1 = 41.7-46.9), and we derive the new C iv-based mass estimators using a Bayesian linear regression analysis over this range. We generally recommend the use of or MAD rather than FWHM to obtain a less biased velocity measurement of the C iv emission line, because its narrow-line component contribution is difficult to decompose from the broad-line profile.

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