Virial black hole (BH) mass (M (BH)) determination directly involves knowing the broad-line region (BLR) clouds' velocity distribution, their distance from the central supermassive BH (R (BLR)), and the virial factor (f). Understanding whether biases arise in M (BH) estimation with increasing obscuration is possible only by studying a large (N > 100) statistical sample of obscuration-unbiased (hard) X-ray-selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the rest-frame near-infrared (0.8-2.5 mu m) since it penetrates deeper into the BLR than the optical. We present a detailed analysis of 65 local Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) selected Seyfert galaxies observed with Magellan/FIRE. Adding these to the near-infrared BAT AGN spectroscopic survey database, we study a total of 314 unique near-infrared spectra. While the FWHMs of H alpha and near-infrared broad lines (He i, Pa beta, Pa alpha) remain unbiased to either BLR extinction or X-ray obscuration, the H alpha broad-line luminosity is suppressed when N (H) greater than or similar to 10(21) cm(-2), systematically underestimating M (BH) by 0.23-0.46 dex. Near-infrared line luminosities should be preferred to H alpha until N (H) < 10(22) cm(-2), while at higher obscuration a less-biased R (BLR) proxy should be adopted. We estimate f for Seyfert 1 and 2 using two obscuration-unbiased M (BH) measurements, i.e., the stellar velocity dispersion and a BH mass prescription based on near-infrared and X-ray, and find that the virial factors do not depend on the redshift or obscuration, but some broad lines show a mild anticorrelation with M (BH). Our results show the critical impact obscuration can have on BLR characterization and the importance of the near-infrared and X-rays for a less-biased view of the BLR.

Ricci, F., Treister, E., Bauer, F.E., Mej??a-Restrepo, J.E., Koss, M.J., den Brok, J.S., et al. (2022). BASS. XXIX. The Near-infrared View of the Broad-line Region (BLR): The Effects of Obscuration in BLR Characterization*. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL SUPPLEMENT SERIES, 261(1), 8 [10.3847/1538-4365/ac5b67].

BASS. XXIX. The Near-infrared View of the Broad-line Region (BLR): The Effects of Obscuration in BLR Characterization*

Federica Ricci
Formal Analysis
;
2022

Abstract

Virial black hole (BH) mass (M (BH)) determination directly involves knowing the broad-line region (BLR) clouds' velocity distribution, their distance from the central supermassive BH (R (BLR)), and the virial factor (f). Understanding whether biases arise in M (BH) estimation with increasing obscuration is possible only by studying a large (N > 100) statistical sample of obscuration-unbiased (hard) X-ray-selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the rest-frame near-infrared (0.8-2.5 mu m) since it penetrates deeper into the BLR than the optical. We present a detailed analysis of 65 local Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) selected Seyfert galaxies observed with Magellan/FIRE. Adding these to the near-infrared BAT AGN spectroscopic survey database, we study a total of 314 unique near-infrared spectra. While the FWHMs of H alpha and near-infrared broad lines (He i, Pa beta, Pa alpha) remain unbiased to either BLR extinction or X-ray obscuration, the H alpha broad-line luminosity is suppressed when N (H) greater than or similar to 10(21) cm(-2), systematically underestimating M (BH) by 0.23-0.46 dex. Near-infrared line luminosities should be preferred to H alpha until N (H) < 10(22) cm(-2), while at higher obscuration a less-biased R (BLR) proxy should be adopted. We estimate f for Seyfert 1 and 2 using two obscuration-unbiased M (BH) measurements, i.e., the stellar velocity dispersion and a BH mass prescription based on near-infrared and X-ray, and find that the virial factors do not depend on the redshift or obscuration, but some broad lines show a mild anticorrelation with M (BH). Our results show the critical impact obscuration can have on BLR characterization and the importance of the near-infrared and X-rays for a less-biased view of the BLR.
Ricci, F., Treister, E., Bauer, F.E., Mej??a-Restrepo, J.E., Koss, M.J., den Brok, J.S., et al. (2022). BASS. XXIX. The Near-infrared View of the Broad-line Region (BLR): The Effects of Obscuration in BLR Characterization*. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL SUPPLEMENT SERIES, 261(1), 8 [10.3847/1538-4365/ac5b67].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/420149
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