Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 78 - Seyfert Galaxies.
Display session, Friday, January 09
Exhibit Hall,

[78.14] Weighting black holes in AGNs with SIM

T. Boeker, R. J. Allen (STScI)

We present results from simulations of the synthesis imaging mode of the Space Interferometer Mission (SIM). Designed primarily for high-precision astrometry, SIM in its current design has considerable capabilities for rotational aperture synthesis. Using an interactive software tool written in the IDL environment, we can investigate the imaging performance of SIM under realistic observing conditions for different classes of astronomical objects.

Here, we discuss the special case of rotating gaseous disks around black holes in the centers of nearby galaxies. We will demonstrate that the velocity structure of such disks can be resolved accurately with SIM. The spatial resolution of 10mas at 500nm leads to much improved velocity measurements and thus to better estimates of the black-hole mass. Such an observation can be performed in about an hour of integration time for the case of M87. We discuss the spectral resolution of the SIM beam combiner that is needed to perform such measurements and give limits on the acceptable internal phase calibration errors. We extrapolate the estimates of integration time in dependance of black-hole mass and distance to the host galaxy.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract:

Program listing for Friday