Black Hole Mass Scaling Relations for Spiral Galaxies. I. M BH -M ∗,sph

Benjamin L. Davis, Alister W. Graham, Ewan Cameron

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The (supermassive black hole mass, M BH )-(bulge stellar mass, ) relation is, obviously, derived using two quantities. We endeavor to provide accurate values for the latter via detailed multicomponent galaxy decompositions for the current full sample of 43 spiral galaxies having directly measured M BH values; 35 of these galaxies have been alleged to contain pseudobulges, 21 have water maser measurements, and three appear bulgeless. This more than doubles the previous sample size of spiral galaxies with a finessed image analysis. We have analyzed near-infrared images, accounting for not only the bulge, disk (exponential, truncated, or inclined), and bar but also spiral arms and rings and additional central components (active galactic nuclei (AGNs), etc.). A symmetric Bayesian analysis finds log (M BH M o ) = (2.44 +0.35 -0.31 log{M ∗ ,sph /[ν1.15 × 10 10 M o ]} + (7.24 ±0.12), with υ a stellar mass-to-light ratio term. The level of scatter equals that about the M BH relation. The nonlinear slope rules out the idea that many mergers, coupled with the central limit theorem, produced this scaling relation, and it corroborates previous observational studies and simulations, which have reported a near-quadratic slope at the low-mass end of the M BH - diagram. Furthermore, bulges with AGNs follow this relation; they are not offset by an order of magnitude, and models that have invoked AGN feedback to establish a linear M BH - relation need revisiting. We additionally present an updated M BH -(Sérsic index, n sph ) relation for spiral galaxy bulges with a comparable level of scatter and a new -(spiral-arm pitch angle, φ) relation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number85
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 2019


    • black hole physics
    • galaxies: bulges
    • galaxies: evolution
    • galaxies: fundamental parameters
    • galaxies: spiral
    • galaxies: structure

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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