Is there really a black hole at the center of NGC 4041? Constraints from gas kinematics

A. Marconi, D. J. Axon, A. Capetti, W. Maciejewski, J. Atkinson, D. Batcheldor, J. Binney, M. Carollo, L. Dressel, H. Ford, J. Gerssen, M. A. Hughes, D. Macchetto, M. R. Merrifield, C. Scarlata, W. Sparks, M. Stiavelli, Zlatan Tsvetanov, R. P. Van der Marel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph spectra of the Sbc spiral galaxy NGC 4041, which were used to map the velocity field of the gas in its nuclear region. We detect the presence of a compact (r ≃ 0″.4 ≃ 40 pc), high surface brightness, rotating nuclear disk cospatial with a nuclear star cluster. The disk is characterized by a rotation curve with a peak-to-peak amplitude of ∼40 km s-1 and is systematically blueshifted by ∼10-20 km s-1 with respect to the galaxy systemic velocity. With the standard assumption of constant mass-to-light ratio and with the nuclear disk inclination taken from the outer disk, we find that a dark point mass of (1-0.7 +0.6) × 107 M is needed to reproduce the observed rotation curve. However, the observed blueshift suggests the possibility that the nuclear disk could be dynamically decoupled. Following this line of reasoning, we relax the standard assumptions and find that the kinematical data can be accounted for by the stellar mass provided that either the central mass-to-light ratio is increased by a factor of ∼2 or the inclination is allowed to vary. This model results in a 3 σ upper limit of 6 × 106 M on the mass of any nuclear black hole (BH). Overall, our analysis only allows us to set an upper limit of 2 × 107 M on the mass of the nuclear BH. If this upper limit is taken in conjunction with an estimated bulge B magnitude of -17.7 and with a central stellar velocity dispersion of ≃95 km s-1, then these results are not inconsistent with both the MBH-Lsph and the MBH-σ* correlations. Constraints on BH masses in spiral galaxies of types as late as Sbc are still very scarce; therefore, the present result adds an important new data point to our understanding of BH demography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-890
Number of pages23
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume586
Issue number2 I
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

kinematics
mass to light ratios
gases
gas
spiral galaxies
inclination
demography
star clusters
curves
stellar mass
spectrographs
brightness
velocity distribution
telescopes
galaxies

Keywords

  • Black hole physics
  • Galaxies: individual (NGC 4041)
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • Galaxies: nuclei
  • Galaxies: spiral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

Cite this

Marconi, A., Axon, D. J., Capetti, A., Maciejewski, W., Atkinson, J., Batcheldor, D., ... Van der Marel, R. P. (2003). Is there really a black hole at the center of NGC 4041? Constraints from gas kinematics. Astrophysical Journal, 586(2 I), 868-890. https://doi.org/10.1086/367764

Is there really a black hole at the center of NGC 4041? Constraints from gas kinematics. / Marconi, A.; Axon, D. J.; Capetti, A.; Maciejewski, W.; Atkinson, J.; Batcheldor, D.; Binney, J.; Carollo, M.; Dressel, L.; Ford, H.; Gerssen, J.; Hughes, M. A.; Macchetto, D.; Merrifield, M. R.; Scarlata, C.; Sparks, W.; Stiavelli, M.; Tsvetanov, Zlatan; Van der Marel, R. P.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 586, No. 2 I, 01.04.2003, p. 868-890.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Marconi, A, Axon, DJ, Capetti, A, Maciejewski, W, Atkinson, J, Batcheldor, D, Binney, J, Carollo, M, Dressel, L, Ford, H, Gerssen, J, Hughes, MA, Macchetto, D, Merrifield, MR, Scarlata, C, Sparks, W, Stiavelli, M, Tsvetanov, Z & Van der Marel, RP 2003, 'Is there really a black hole at the center of NGC 4041? Constraints from gas kinematics', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 586, no. 2 I, pp. 868-890. https://doi.org/10.1086/367764
Marconi A, Axon DJ, Capetti A, Maciejewski W, Atkinson J, Batcheldor D et al. Is there really a black hole at the center of NGC 4041? Constraints from gas kinematics. Astrophysical Journal. 2003 Apr 1;586(2 I):868-890. https://doi.org/10.1086/367764
Marconi, A. ; Axon, D. J. ; Capetti, A. ; Maciejewski, W. ; Atkinson, J. ; Batcheldor, D. ; Binney, J. ; Carollo, M. ; Dressel, L. ; Ford, H. ; Gerssen, J. ; Hughes, M. A. ; Macchetto, D. ; Merrifield, M. R. ; Scarlata, C. ; Sparks, W. ; Stiavelli, M. ; Tsvetanov, Zlatan ; Van der Marel, R. P. / Is there really a black hole at the center of NGC 4041? Constraints from gas kinematics. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2003 ; Vol. 586, No. 2 I. pp. 868-890.
@article{0d4a480f5e834c328891531e1d9cfe1c,
title = "Is there really a black hole at the center of NGC 4041? Constraints from gas kinematics",
abstract = "We present Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph spectra of the Sbc spiral galaxy NGC 4041, which were used to map the velocity field of the gas in its nuclear region. We detect the presence of a compact (r ≃ 0″.4 ≃ 40 pc), high surface brightness, rotating nuclear disk cospatial with a nuclear star cluster. The disk is characterized by a rotation curve with a peak-to-peak amplitude of ∼40 km s-1 and is systematically blueshifted by ∼10-20 km s-1 with respect to the galaxy systemic velocity. With the standard assumption of constant mass-to-light ratio and with the nuclear disk inclination taken from the outer disk, we find that a dark point mass of (1-0.7 +0.6) × 107 M⊙ is needed to reproduce the observed rotation curve. However, the observed blueshift suggests the possibility that the nuclear disk could be dynamically decoupled. Following this line of reasoning, we relax the standard assumptions and find that the kinematical data can be accounted for by the stellar mass provided that either the central mass-to-light ratio is increased by a factor of ∼2 or the inclination is allowed to vary. This model results in a 3 σ upper limit of 6 × 106 M⊙ on the mass of any nuclear black hole (BH). Overall, our analysis only allows us to set an upper limit of 2 × 107 M⊙ on the mass of the nuclear BH. If this upper limit is taken in conjunction with an estimated bulge B magnitude of -17.7 and with a central stellar velocity dispersion of ≃95 km s-1, then these results are not inconsistent with both the MBH-Lsph and the MBH-σ* correlations. Constraints on BH masses in spiral galaxies of types as late as Sbc are still very scarce; therefore, the present result adds an important new data point to our understanding of BH demography.",
keywords = "Black hole physics, Galaxies: individual (NGC 4041), Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics, Galaxies: nuclei, Galaxies: spiral",
author = "A. Marconi and Axon, {D. J.} and A. Capetti and W. Maciejewski and J. Atkinson and D. Batcheldor and J. Binney and M. Carollo and L. Dressel and H. Ford and J. Gerssen and Hughes, {M. A.} and D. Macchetto and Merrifield, {M. R.} and C. Scarlata and W. Sparks and M. Stiavelli and Zlatan Tsvetanov and {Van der Marel}, {R. P.}",
year = "2003",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1086/367764",
language = "English",
volume = "586",
pages = "868--890",
journal = "Astrophysical Journal",
issn = "0004-637X",
publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
number = "2 I",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Is there really a black hole at the center of NGC 4041? Constraints from gas kinematics

AU - Marconi, A.

AU - Axon, D. J.

AU - Capetti, A.

AU - Maciejewski, W.

AU - Atkinson, J.

AU - Batcheldor, D.

AU - Binney, J.

AU - Carollo, M.

AU - Dressel, L.

AU - Ford, H.

AU - Gerssen, J.

AU - Hughes, M. A.

AU - Macchetto, D.

AU - Merrifield, M. R.

AU - Scarlata, C.

AU - Sparks, W.

AU - Stiavelli, M.

AU - Tsvetanov, Zlatan

AU - Van der Marel, R. P.

PY - 2003/4/1

Y1 - 2003/4/1

N2 - We present Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph spectra of the Sbc spiral galaxy NGC 4041, which were used to map the velocity field of the gas in its nuclear region. We detect the presence of a compact (r ≃ 0″.4 ≃ 40 pc), high surface brightness, rotating nuclear disk cospatial with a nuclear star cluster. The disk is characterized by a rotation curve with a peak-to-peak amplitude of ∼40 km s-1 and is systematically blueshifted by ∼10-20 km s-1 with respect to the galaxy systemic velocity. With the standard assumption of constant mass-to-light ratio and with the nuclear disk inclination taken from the outer disk, we find that a dark point mass of (1-0.7 +0.6) × 107 M⊙ is needed to reproduce the observed rotation curve. However, the observed blueshift suggests the possibility that the nuclear disk could be dynamically decoupled. Following this line of reasoning, we relax the standard assumptions and find that the kinematical data can be accounted for by the stellar mass provided that either the central mass-to-light ratio is increased by a factor of ∼2 or the inclination is allowed to vary. This model results in a 3 σ upper limit of 6 × 106 M⊙ on the mass of any nuclear black hole (BH). Overall, our analysis only allows us to set an upper limit of 2 × 107 M⊙ on the mass of the nuclear BH. If this upper limit is taken in conjunction with an estimated bulge B magnitude of -17.7 and with a central stellar velocity dispersion of ≃95 km s-1, then these results are not inconsistent with both the MBH-Lsph and the MBH-σ* correlations. Constraints on BH masses in spiral galaxies of types as late as Sbc are still very scarce; therefore, the present result adds an important new data point to our understanding of BH demography.

AB - We present Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph spectra of the Sbc spiral galaxy NGC 4041, which were used to map the velocity field of the gas in its nuclear region. We detect the presence of a compact (r ≃ 0″.4 ≃ 40 pc), high surface brightness, rotating nuclear disk cospatial with a nuclear star cluster. The disk is characterized by a rotation curve with a peak-to-peak amplitude of ∼40 km s-1 and is systematically blueshifted by ∼10-20 km s-1 with respect to the galaxy systemic velocity. With the standard assumption of constant mass-to-light ratio and with the nuclear disk inclination taken from the outer disk, we find that a dark point mass of (1-0.7 +0.6) × 107 M⊙ is needed to reproduce the observed rotation curve. However, the observed blueshift suggests the possibility that the nuclear disk could be dynamically decoupled. Following this line of reasoning, we relax the standard assumptions and find that the kinematical data can be accounted for by the stellar mass provided that either the central mass-to-light ratio is increased by a factor of ∼2 or the inclination is allowed to vary. This model results in a 3 σ upper limit of 6 × 106 M⊙ on the mass of any nuclear black hole (BH). Overall, our analysis only allows us to set an upper limit of 2 × 107 M⊙ on the mass of the nuclear BH. If this upper limit is taken in conjunction with an estimated bulge B magnitude of -17.7 and with a central stellar velocity dispersion of ≃95 km s-1, then these results are not inconsistent with both the MBH-Lsph and the MBH-σ* correlations. Constraints on BH masses in spiral galaxies of types as late as Sbc are still very scarce; therefore, the present result adds an important new data point to our understanding of BH demography.

KW - Black hole physics

KW - Galaxies: individual (NGC 4041)

KW - Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics

KW - Galaxies: nuclei

KW - Galaxies: spiral

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=18744418029&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=18744418029&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/367764

DO - 10.1086/367764

M3 - Article

VL - 586

SP - 868

EP - 890

JO - Astrophysical Journal

JF - Astrophysical Journal

SN - 0004-637X

IS - 2 I

ER -