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Title:
A 3.5 million Solar masses black hole in the centre of the ultracompact dwarf galaxy fornax UCD3
Authors:
Afanasiev, Anton V.; Chilingarian, Igor V.; Mieske, Steffen; Voggel, Karina T.; Picotti, Arianna; Hilker, Michael; Seth, Anil; Neumayer, Nadine; Frank, Matthias; Romanowsky, Aaron J.; Hau, George; Baumgardt, Holger; Ahn, Christopher; Strader, Jay; den Brok, Mark; McDermid, Richard; Spitler, Lee; Brodie, Jean; Walsh, Jonelle L.
Affiliation:
AA(Sternberg Astronomical Institute, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, 13 Universitetsky Prospect, Moscow, 119234, Russia; Department of Physics, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119234, Russia), AB(Sternberg Astronomical Institute, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, 13 Universitetsky Prospect, Moscow, 119234, Russia; Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden St. MS09, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA), AC(European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile), AD(Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA), AE(Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany), AF(European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, D-85748 Garching bei München, Germany), AG(Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA), AH(Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany), AI(European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, D-85748 Garching bei München, Germany), AJ(Department of Physics and Astronomy, San José State University, San Jose, CA 95192, USA; University of California Observatories, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA), AK(European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile), AL(School of Mathematics and Physics, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia 0000-0002-1959-6946), AM(Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA), AN(Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA), AO(ETH Zürich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland; Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, AIP, An der Sternwarte 16, D-14482 Potsdam, Germany), AP(Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia), AQ(Australian Astronomical Observatory, PO Box 915, North Ryde, NSW 1670, Australia), AR(University of California Observatories, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA), AS(George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA)
Publication:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 477, Issue 4, p.4856-4865 (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
07/2018
Origin:
OUP
Astronomy Keywords:
galaxies: dwarf, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: formation, galaxies: kinematics and dynamics, quasars: supermassive black holes
Abstract Copyright:
2018 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
DOI:
10.1093/mnras/sty913
Bibliographic Code:
2018MNRAS.477.4856A

Abstract

The origin of ultracompact dwarfs (UCDs), a class of compact stellar systems discovered two decades ago, still remains a matter of debate. Recent discoveries of central supermassive black holes in UCDs likely inherited from their massive progenitor galaxies provide support for the tidal stripping hypothesis. At the same time, on statistical grounds, some massive UCDs might be representatives of the high luminosity tail of the globular cluster luminosity function. Here we present a detection of a 3.3^{+1.4}_{-1.2}× 10^6 M_{&sun;} black hole (1sigma uncertainty) in the centre of the UCD3 galaxy in the Fornax cluster, which corresponds to 4 per cent of its stellar mass. We performed isotropic Jeans dynamical modelling of UCD3 using internal kinematics derived from adaptive optics-assisted observations with the SINFONI spectrograph and seeing limited data collected with the FLAMES spectrograph at the ESO VLT. We rule out the zero black hole mass at the 3sigma confidence level when adopting a mass-to-light ratio inferred from stellar populations. This is the fourth supermassive black hole found in a UCD and the first one in the Fornax cluster. Similarly to other known UCDs that harbour black holes, UCD3 hosts metal rich stars enhanced in alpha-elements that support the tidal stripping of a massive progenitor as its likely formation scenario. We estimate that up to 80 per cent of luminous UCDs in galaxy clusters host central black holes. This fraction should be lower for UCDs in groups, because their progenitors are more likely to be dwarf galaxies, which do not usually host black holes massive enough to be detected.
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