Published on November 29, 2007
Low-Luminosity AGN: Low-Luminosity AGN Heino Falcke Max-Planck Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn Neil Nagar, Andrew S. Wilson Sera Markoff, Feng Yuan Radio Cores: Radio Cores All types of active black holes have compact, flat-spectrum radio cores: Blazars Quasars Seyferts Liners & LLAGN The Galactic Center X-ray binaries Potentially useful probes for BH physics Radiogalaxy LLAGN The Basic Jet Model: The Basic Jet Model Plasma freely expanding in a supersonic jet B r-1, n r-2, e ~ const superposition of self-absorbed synchrotron spectra at each frequency one sees the = 1 surface as the “core”flat spectrum subject to rel. boosting Jet-Disk Symbiosis: Jet-Disk Symbiosis Jet power scales with accretion disk power Qjet = qj/l · Ldisk Model applicable to quasars LLAGN X-ray binaries Accretion disk luminosity Radio Core Luminosity (Falcke, Malkan, Biermann 1995) Luminosity Function of AGN: Luminosity Function of AGN The AGN luminosity function is steeply rising towards lower luminosities. The majority of AGN is rather silent. 1/3 of nearby galaxies are LLAGN (Ho et al. 1995-2000) Köhler et al. (1997) Disks may become radiatively inefficient … : Disks may become radiatively inefficient … Below a critical accretion rate, disks may become radiatively inefficient (and become advection dominated: ADAFs, BDAFs, CDAFs …). At lower accretion rates disks become less and less prominent. What about the jets? Esin, Narayan et al. (1997 …) The Power-Evolution of XRBs: The Power-Evolution of XRBs Accretion Disk Radio & X-ray Spectrum Radio Jet Fender (2000) Suggestion: FR Is, BL Lacs, LLAGN are the low/hard state of supermassive BHs The FR I Gap for Radio-Loud Quasars: The FR I Gap for Radio-Loud Quasars Why are there no FR I quasars? Are they sub-Eddington? Radio loud quasars are found almost exclusively in elliptical galaxies. Black hole masses 109M (McLure, Dunlop et al.). R.L. quasars are almost exclusively of FR II type (the high-power one). Spirals Ellipticals Ellipticals Ellipticals Sub-Eddington Eddington Figure: Falcke, Ghopal-Krishna, Biermann (1995) The FR I Gap for Radio-Loud Quasars: The FR I Gap for Radio-Loud Quasars FR Is are missing in the sample because they have no disk spectrum. Analogy to XRBs: Are the FR I radio galaxies the low/hard-state of radio-loud AGN? Figure: Falcke, Ghopal-Krishna, Biermann (1995) JDAF Model for LLAGN:Jet-Dominated Accretion Flow : JDAF Model for LLAGN: Jet-Dominated Accretion Flow Because Te,disk<<Te,jet the ADAF radiates only in the innermost region. Emission from the jet material dominates cm and X-ray emission Applied to Sgr A*, NGC4258 Yuan, Markoff, Falcke (2001) ADAF/Disk Jet Sgr A* Slide11: Stars, dust, and particularly the lack of resolution make it almost impossible to pinpoint the black hole by optical means. The VLA has high enough resolution (~10 pc) to filter out the compact radio emission and accurately pinpoint the black hole. VLA Survey of LLAGN: VLA Survey of LLAGN Parent Sample: Ho et al. (1995) Sample A: 48 Liners Sample B: 95 active galaxies within 19 Mpc Survey: VLA @ 15 GHz, 0.15” resolution, 1 mJy (10) detection limit Goal: pick out flat spectrum cores VLA - Very-Large-Array Survey of Nearby Galaxies: VLA - Very-Large-Array Survey of Nearby Galaxies 1/3 of galaxies in distance limited sample of LLAGN detected with the VLA at 15 GHz Discovery of many new black holes in nearby galaxies Some of the least luminous black holes in the universe Accretion disk luminosity Radio Core Luminosity Falcke et al. (1994-2000) VLBA observations: VLBA observations Sample: all sources brighter than 3 mJy at 15 GHz and compact structure Observations: VLBA phase-referencing at 5 GHz, detection limit ~ 1.5 mJy VLBA observations: VLBA observations Detection Rate: 18/19 sources = 95% (non-detected core was steep-spectrum) very effective selection! VLBA observations: VLBA observations Morphology: 6 brightest cores: core-jet structure 10 fainter sources: point-like (dynamic range limited) Tb 108 K genuine AGN cores 40% of Liners are AGN Falcke et al. (2000); Nagar et al. (2000) VLBA observations: VLBA observations Spectral Index: The VLBA/VLA spectral index a5/15 is not larger than ~0.25 on average ~0.0 Not a single highly inverted (ADAF) core no missing flux ADAF Jet: Core Radio Observations of LLAGN: Radio Observations of LLAGN Compile the spectra of LLAGN up to 660 GHz. Radio spectra are typically flat with a peak around 22 GHz (GPS-like). The ADAF model predicts strongly inverted radio spectra at higher frequencies. We find no evidence for this. Morphological and spectral data suggest that the radio emission is dominated by jet-emission! VLBA Sample:Radio-Loudness: VLBA Sample: Radio-Loudness Radio/Ha-ratio: Isolate core flux. Compare with nuclear H. Radio scales with H. There is trend for a larger Radio/Ha-ratio with larger bulge luminosity. Larger black holes? Lower radiative efficiency? Lower Eddington Rate? Larger obscuration? VLBA Sample;Radio-Loudness: VLBA Sample; Radio-Loudness Radio/Ha-ratio: Isolate core flux. Compare with nuclear H. Radio scales with H. There is trend for a larger Radio/Ha-ratio with larger bulge luminosity. Larger black holes? Lower radiative efficiency? Lower Eddington Rate? Larger obscuration? Black Hole Mass Radio Efficiency Black Hole Mass: Black Hole Mass Consequently, there seems to be a correlation between black hole mass and radio flux. However, the main driver should be the accretion rate. Larger black holes have more “headroom” (to the Eddington limit) and may accrete more They are more jet-dominated (or selection was optical!). Nagar, Falcke, Wilson (2002) Multi-Epoch Observations of LLAGN: Multi-Epoch Observations of LLAGN Three different programs at the VLA in subsequent A-array seasons separated by 1.5 years. 2-3 epochs observations of brightest radio cores (>3 mJy) 200% 300% 200% Distribution of Variability Amplitudes: Distribution of Variability Amplitudes Typical variability amplitude around 20% Tail up to 70% Variability comparable with blazars (lower power/smaller BHs?) Many radio cores Many are variable More evidence for AGN RMS/MEAN „Pinpointing Black Holes“: „Pinpointing Black Holes“ We have identified the least-luminous black holes found in our cosmic neighborhood. What can we do with this? VLBI also has extremely good astrometric capabilities. Positions can be determined to sub-milliarcsecond precision! We can locate the centers of nearby galaxies extremely precisely. Dark Matter Search:Measuring Galaxy Motions: Dark Matter Search: Measuring Galaxy Motions Galaxies are not static. In a cluster relative galaxy motions of 200 km/sec are possible. This corresponds to 40 microarcseconds per year at one Mpc distance. This motion is sensitive to the dark matter distribution! So far we only have radial motions. Good mass models need proper motions! Berrington (1996-2000) Simulation of 100 Galaxies over 16 Ga. (white=luminous matter, red=dark matter) Dark Matter Search:H2O Masers in M33 and IC10: Dark Matter Search: H2O Masers in M33 and IC10 Water molecules are excited by X-rays or infrared radiation population inversion A maser line (stimulated emission) is emitted around 21 GHz. The emission comes from a very compact region (long coherent path length!) Maser spots are ideal reference sources for VLBI. Greenhill, p.c. Dark Matter Search:First Epoch Observations of IC10: Dark Matter Search: First Epoch Observations of IC10 We have achieved a precision of 3-10 as RMS. The expected components of motion are: Milky Way rotation: 50as/yr IC10 motion : 25-50 as/yr IC10 rotation: 50 as/yr Maser motion: 10 as/yr In one year we expect the discovery of extragalactic proper motion. Precise mass model to get dark matter distribution. Brunthaler, Falcke, Reid, in prep. Conclusions and Future Directions: Conclusions and Future Directions At low accretion rates active black holes become increasingly jet- (and radio-) dominated. Radio (and possibly X-rays) maybe the only way to find the fossil black holes in the nearby universe. With EVLA & SKA we can hope to locate essentially all nearby supermassive black holes. This will provide us with the luminosity evolution of dead quasars. With VLBI the cores can be used to measure proper motion and study the 3D dynamics of galaxies out to Virgo within a decade (and locate dark matter).