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Cosmic Evolution of Black Holes and Spheroids. III. The MBH-σ* Relation in the Last Six Billion Years

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We measure the evolution of the correlation between black hole mass and host spheroid velocity dispersion (MBH-σ*) over the last 6 billion years, by studying three carefully selected samples of active galaxies at z = 0.57, z = 0.36 and z < 0.1. For all three samples, virial black hole masses are consistently estimated using the line dispersion of Hβ and the continuum luminosity at 5100 Å or Hα line luminosity, based on our cross calibration of the broad-line region size-luminosity relation. For the z = 0.57 sample, new stellar velocity dispersions are measured from high signal-to-noise ratio spectra obtained at the Keck Telescope, while for the two lower redshift samples they are compiled from previous works. Extending our previous result at z = 0.36, we find an offset from the local relation, suggesting that for fixed MBH, distant spheroids have on average smaller velocity dispersions than local ones. The measured offset at z = 0.57 is Δ log σ* = 0.12 ± 0.05 ± 0.06 (or Δ log MBH = 0.50 ± 0.22 ± 0.25), i.e., Δ log M BH = (3.1 ± 1.5) log (1 + z) + 0.05 ± 0.21. This is inconsistent with a tight and nonevolving universal M BH-σ* relation at the 95% CL. © 2008. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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