Black hole virial masses from single-epoch photometry : the miniJPAS test case

Chaves-Montero, Jonás and Bonoli, Silvia and Trakhtenbrot, Benny and Fernández-Centeno, Alejandro and Queiroz, Carolina and Díaz-García, Luis A. and Delgado, Rosa María González and Hernán-Caballero, Antonio and Hernández-Monteagudo, Carlos and Lópen-Sanjuan, Carlos and Overzier, Roderik and Sobral, David and Abramo, L. Raul and Alcaniz, Jailson and Benitez, Narciso and Carneiro, Saulo and Cenarro, A. Javier and Cristóbal-Hornillos, David and Dupke, Renato A. and Marín-Franch, Antonio and Oliveira, Claudia Mendes de and Moles, Mariano and Jr, Laerte Sodré and Taylor, Keith and Varela, Jesús and Ramió, Héctor Vázquez and Civera, Tamara (2022) Black hole virial masses from single-epoch photometry : the miniJPAS test case. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 660: A95. ISSN 1432-0746

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Precise measurements of black hole (BH) masses are essential to understanding the coevolution of these sources and their host galaxies. In this work, we develop a novel approach to compute BH virial masses using measurements of continuum luminosities and emission line widths from partially-overlapping, narrow-band observations of quasars; we refer to this technique as single-epoch photometry. This novel method relies on forward-modelling quasar observations to estimate the previous properties, which enables accurate measurements of emission line widths even for lines poorly resolved by narrow-band data. We assess the performance of this technique using quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) observed by the miniJPAS survey, a proof-of-concept project of the J-PAS collaboration covering $\simeq1\,\mathrm{deg}^2$ of the northern sky using the 56 J-PAS narrow-band filters. We find remarkable agreement between BH masses from single-epoch SDSS spectra and single-epoch miniJPAS photometry, with no systematic difference between these and a scatter ranging from 0.4 to 0.07 dex for masses from $\log(M_\mathrm{BH}/\mathrm{M}_\odot)\simeq8$ to 9.75, respectively. Reverberation mapping studies show that single-epoch masses approximately present 0.4 dex precision, letting us conclude that our novel technique delivers BH masses with only mildly worse precision than single-epoch spectroscopy. The J-PAS survey will soon start observing thousands of square degrees without any source preselection other than the photometric depth in the detection band, and thus single-epoch photometry has the potential to provide details on the physical properties of quasar populations not satisfying the preselection criteria of previous spectroscopic surveys.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Additional Information:
(c) ESO2022
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? galaxies: activeglaaxies:photometryline: profilesquasars: emission linesastronomy and astrophysicsspace and planetary science ??
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Deposited On:
07 Mar 2022 16:30
Last Modified:
26 Nov 2023 00:29