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Author(s): Reines, Amy E; Greene, Jenny E.; Geha, Marla

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Abstract: We present a sample of 151 dwarf galaxies (10(8.5) less than or similar to M-* <= 10(9.5) M-circle dot) that exhibit optical spectroscopic signatures of accreting massive black holes (BHs), increasing the number of known active galaxies in this stellar-mass range by more than an order of magnitude. Utilizing data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 8 and stellar masses from the NASA-Sloan Atlas, we have systematically searched for active BHs in similar to 25,000 emission-line galaxies with stellar masses comparable to the Magellanic Clouds and redshifts z < 0.055. Using the narrow-line [O III]/H beta versus [N II]/H alpha diagnostic diagram, we find photoionization signatures of BH accretion in 136 galaxies, a small fraction of which also exhibit broad H alpha emission. For these broad-line active galactic nucleus (AGN) candidates, we estimate BH masses using standard virial techniques and find a range of 10(5) less than or similar to M-BH less than or similar to 10(6) M-circle dot and a median of M-BH similar to 2 x 10(5) M-circle dot. We also detect broad H alpha in 15 galaxies that have narrow-line ratios consistent with star-forming galaxies. Follow-up observations are required to determine if these are true type 1 AGN or if the broad H alpha is from stellar processes. The median absolute magnitude of the host galaxies in our active sample is M-g = -18.1 mag, which is similar to 1-2 mag fainter than previous samples of AGN hosts with low-mass BHs. This work constrains the smallest galaxies that can form a massive BH, with implications for BH feedback in low-mass galaxies and the origin of the first supermassive BH seeds.
Publication Date: 1-Oct-2013
Electronic Publication Date: 13-Sep-2013
Citation: Reines, Amy E, Greene, Jenny E, Geha, Marla. (2013). DWARF GALAXIES WITH OPTICAL SIGNATURES OF ACTIVE MASSIVE BLACK HOLES. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 775 (10.1088/0004-637X/775/2/116
DOI: doi:10.1088/0004-637X/775/2/116
ISSN: 0004-637X
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Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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