The sloan digital sky survey reverberation mapping project: The MBH-host relations at 0.2 ≲ z ≲ 0.6 from reverberation mapping and hubble space telescope imaging

Jennifer I.Hsiu Li, Yue Shen, Luis C. Ho, W. N. Brandt, Elena Dalla Bontà, G. Fonseca Alvarez, C. J. Grier, J. V. Hernandez Santisteban, Y. Homayouni, Keith Horne, B. M. Peterson, D. P. Schneider, Jonathan R. Trump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the results of a pilot Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging study of the host galaxies of ten quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping (SDSS-RM) project. Probing more than an order of magnitude in black hole (BH) and stellar masses, our sample is the first statistical sample to study the BH-host correlations beyond z > 0.3 with reliable BH masses from reverberation mapping rather than from single-epoch spectroscopy. We perform image decomposition in two HST bands (UVIS-F606W and IR-F110W) to measure host colors and estimate stellar masses using empirical relations between broadband colors and the mass-to-light ratio. The stellar masses of our targets are mostly dominated by a bulge component. The BH masses and stellar masses of our sample broadly follow the same correlations found for local RM active galactic nuclei and quiescent bulge-dominant galaxies, with no strong evidence of evolution in the MBH -M*,bulge relation to z ∼ 0.6. We further compare the host light fraction from HST imaging decomposition to that estimated from spectral decomposition. We find a good correlation between the host fractions derived with both methods. However, the host fraction derived from spectral decomposition is systematically smaller than that from imaging decomposition by ∼30%, indicating different systematics in both approaches. This study paves the way for upcoming more ambitious host galaxy studies of quasars with direct RM-based BH masses at high redshift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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