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Galaxy-scale bars in late-type Sloan Digital Sky Survey galaxies do not influence the average accretion rates of supermassive black holes.

Goulding, A. D. and Matthaey, E. and Greene, J. E. and Hickox, R. C. and Alexander, D. M. and Forman, W. R. and Jones, C. and Lehmer, B. D. and Griffis, S. and Kanek, S. and Oulmakki, M. (2017) 'Galaxy-scale bars in late-type Sloan Digital Sky Survey galaxies do not influence the average accretion rates of supermassive black holes.', Astrophysical journal., 843 (2). p. 135.

Abstract

Galaxy-scale bars are expected to provide an effective means for driving material toward the central region in spiral galaxies, and possibly feeding supermassive black holes (BHs). Here we present a statistically complete study of the effect of bars on average BH accretion. From a well-selected sample of 50,794 spiral galaxies (with ${M}_{* }\sim 0.2\mbox{--}30\times {10}^{10}\,{M}_{\odot }$) extracted from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Galaxy Zoo 2 project, we separate those sources considered to contain galaxy-scale bars from those that do not. Using archival data taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, we identify X-ray luminous (${L}_{{\rm{X}}}\gtrsim {10}^{41}\,\mathrm{erg}\,{{\rm{s}}}^{-1}$) active galactic nuclei and perform an X-ray stacking analysis on the remaining X-ray undetected sources. Through X-ray stacking, we derive a time-averaged look at accretion for galaxies at fixed stellar mass and star-formation rate, finding that the average nuclear accretion rates of galaxies with bar structures are fully consistent with those lacking bars (${\dot{M}}_{\mathrm{acc}}\approx 3\times {10}^{-5}$ ${M}_{\odot }$ yr−1). Hence, we robustly conclude that large-scale bars have little or no effect on the average growth of BHs in nearby ($z\lt 0.15$) galaxies over gigayear timescales.

Item Type:Article
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa755b
Publisher statement:© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:24 May 2017
Date deposited:04 August 2017
Date of first online publication:13 July 2017
Date first made open access:04 August 2017

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