Low-Mass Active Galactic Nuclei with Rapid X-Ray Variability

Kavli Affiliate: Luis Ho

| First 5 Authors: Luis Ho, Minjin Kim, , ,

| Summary:

We present a detailed study of the optical spectroscopic properties of 12
active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with candidate low-mass black holes (BHs)
selected by Kamizasa et al. through rapid X-ray variability. The high-quality,
echellette Magellan spectra reveal broad H$alpha$ emission in all the sources,
allowing us to estimate robust viral BH masses and Eddington ratios for this
unique sample. We confirm that the sample contains low-mass BHs accreting at
high rates: the median $M_{rm BH} = 1.2times 10^6M_odot$ and median $L_{rm
bol}/L_{rm Edd}=0.44$. The sample follows the $M_{rm BH}-sigma_*$ relation,
within the considerable scatter typical of pseudobulges, the probable hosts of
these low-mass AGNs. Various lines of evidence suggest that ongoing star
formation is prevalent in these systems. We propose a new strategy to estimate
star formation rates in AGNs hosted by low-mass, low-metallicity galaxies,
based on modification of an existing method using the strength of [O II] $lambda 3727$, [O III] $lambda 5007$, and X-rays.

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