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Title: Supermassive Black Holes as the Regulators of Star Formation in Central Galaxies

Abstract

We present the relationship between the black hole mass, stellar mass, and star formation rate (SFR) of a diverse group of 91 galaxies with dynamically measured black hole masses. For our sample of galaxies with a variety of morphologies and other galactic properties, we find that the specific SFR is a smoothly decreasing function of the ratio between black hole mass and stellar mass, or what we call the specific black hole mass. In order to explain this relation, we propose a physical framework where the gradual suppression of a galaxy’s star formation activity results from the adjustment to an increase in specific black hole mass, and accordingly, an increase in the amount of heating. From this framework, it follows that at least some galaxies with intermediate specific black hole masses are in a steady state of partial quiescence with intermediate specific SFRs, implying that both transitioning and steady-state galaxies live within this region that is known as the “green valley.” With respect to galaxy formation models, our results present an important diagnostic with which to test various prescriptions of black hole feedback and its effects on star formation activity.

Authors:
;  [1]; ;  [2]
  1. Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics, Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22663301
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 844; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BLACK HOLES; FEEDBACK; GALAXIES; MASS; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS

Citation Formats

Terrazas, Bryan A., Bell, Eric F., Woo, Joanna, and Henriques, Bruno M. B.. Supermassive Black Holes as the Regulators of Star Formation in Central Galaxies. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA7D07.
Terrazas, Bryan A., Bell, Eric F., Woo, Joanna, & Henriques, Bruno M. B.. Supermassive Black Holes as the Regulators of Star Formation in Central Galaxies. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA7D07.
Terrazas, Bryan A., Bell, Eric F., Woo, Joanna, and Henriques, Bruno M. B.. Tue . "Supermassive Black Holes as the Regulators of Star Formation in Central Galaxies". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA7D07.
@article{osti_22663301,
title = {Supermassive Black Holes as the Regulators of Star Formation in Central Galaxies},
author = {Terrazas, Bryan A. and Bell, Eric F. and Woo, Joanna and Henriques, Bruno M. B.},
abstractNote = {We present the relationship between the black hole mass, stellar mass, and star formation rate (SFR) of a diverse group of 91 galaxies with dynamically measured black hole masses. For our sample of galaxies with a variety of morphologies and other galactic properties, we find that the specific SFR is a smoothly decreasing function of the ratio between black hole mass and stellar mass, or what we call the specific black hole mass. In order to explain this relation, we propose a physical framework where the gradual suppression of a galaxy’s star formation activity results from the adjustment to an increase in specific black hole mass, and accordingly, an increase in the amount of heating. From this framework, it follows that at least some galaxies with intermediate specific black hole masses are in a steady state of partial quiescence with intermediate specific SFRs, implying that both transitioning and steady-state galaxies live within this region that is known as the “green valley.” With respect to galaxy formation models, our results present an important diagnostic with which to test various prescriptions of black hole feedback and its effects on star formation activity.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/AA7D07},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 844,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Tue Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}