Friday, June 8th

Deep near-infrared spectroscopy of passively evolving galaxies at z>1.4

M. Onodera, A. Renzini, M. Carollo, M. Cappellari, C. Mancini, V. Strazzullo, E. Daddi, N. Arimoto, R. Gobat, Y. Yamada, H. J. McCracken, O. Ilbert, P. Capak, A. Cimatti, M. Giavalisco, A. M. Koekemoer, X. Kong, S. Lilly, K. Motohara, K. Ohta, D. B. Sanders, N. Scoville, N. Tamura, Y. Taniguchi
(Submitted on 7 Jun 2012)

[Abridged] We present the results of new near-IR spectroscopic observations of passive galaxies at z>1.4 in a concentration of BzK-selected galaxies in the COSMOS field. The observations have been conducted with Subaru/MOIRCS, and have resulted in absorption lines and/or continuum detection for 18 out of 34 objects. This allows us to measure spectroscopic redshifts for a sample almost complete to K(AB)=21. COSMOS photometric redshifts are found in fair agreement overall with the spectroscopic redshifts, with a standard deviation of ~0.05; however, ~30% of objects have photometric redshifts systematically underestimated by up to ~25%. We show that these systematic offsets in photometric redshifts can be removed by using these objects as a training set. All galaxies fall in four distinct redshift spikes at z=1.43, 1.53, 1.67 and 1.82, with this latter one including 7 galaxies. SED fits to broad-band fluxes indicate stellar masses in the range of ~4-40×10^10Msun and that star formation was quenched ~1 Gyr before the cosmic epoch at which they are observed. The spectra of several individual galaxies have allowed us to measure their Hdelta_F and Dn4000 indices, which confirms their identification as passive galaxies, as does a composite spectrum resulting from the coaddition of 17 individual spectra. The effective radii of the galaxies have been measured on the HST/ACS F814W image, confirming the coexistence at these redshifts of passive galaxies which are substantially more compact than their local counterparts with others that follow the local size-stellar mass relation. For the galaxy with best S/N spectrum we were able to measure a velocity dispersion of 270+/-105 km/s, indicating that this galaxy lies closely on the virial relation given its stellar mass and effective radius.

The Size, Structure and Ionization of the Broad Line Region in NGC 3227

Nick Devereux
(Submitted on 6 Jun 2012)

Hubble Space Telescope (HST) spectroscopy of the Seyfert 1.5 galaxy, NGC 3227, confirms previous reports that the broad H-alpha emission line flux is time variable, decreasing by a modest ~ 13% between 1999 and 2000 in response to a corresponding ~ 40% decrease in the underlying continuum. Modeling the gas distribution responsible for the broad H-alpha, H-beta and H-gamma emission lines favors a spherically symmetric inflow as opposed to a thin disk. Adopting a central black hole mass of 7.6 x 10^{6} Msun, determined from prior reverberation mapping, leads to the following dimensions for the size of the region emitting the broad H-alpha line; an outer radius ~ 60 l.d and an inner radius ~ 4 l.d. Thus, the previously determined reverberation size for the broad line region (BLR) consistently coincides with the inner radius of a much larger volume of ionized gas. However, the perceived size of the BLR is an illusion, a consequence of the fact that the emitting region is ionization bounded at the outer radius and diminished by Doppler broadening at the inner radius. The actual dimensions of the inflow remain to be determined. Nevertheless, the steady state mass inflow rate is estimated to be ~ 1 x 10^{-2} Msun/yr which is sufficient to explain the X-ray luminosity of the AGN in terms of radiatively inefficient accretion. Collectively, the results challenge many preconceived notions concerning the nature of BLRs in active galactic nuclei.

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