Intermediate-mass black holes and the fundamental plane of black hole accretion

Kayhan Gültekin, Kristina Nyland, Nichole Gray, Greg Fehmer, Tianchi Huang, Matthew Sparkman, Amy E. Reines, Jenny E. Greene, Edward M. Cackett, Vivienne Baldassare

Submitted on 20 September 2022


We present new 5 GHz VLA observations of a sample of 8 active intermediate-mass black holes with masses 104.9<M<106.1 M found in galaxies with stellar masses M<3×109 M. We detected 5 of the 8 sources at high significance. Of the detections, 4 were consistent with a point source, and one (SDSS J095418.15+471725.1, with black hole mass M<105 M) clearly shows extended emission that has a jet morphology. Combining our new radio data with the black hole masses and literature X-ray measurements, we put the sources on the fundamental plane of black hole accretion. We find that the extent to which the sources agree with the fundamental plane depends on their star-forming/composite/AGN classification based on optical narrow emission line ratios. he single star-forming source is inconsistent with the fundamental plane. The three composite sources are consistent, and three of the four AGN sources are inconsistent with the fundamental plane. We argue that this inconsistency is genuine and not a result of misattributing star-formation to black hole activity. Instead, we identify the sources in our sample that have AGN-like optical emission line ratios as not following the fundamental plane and thus caution the use of the fundamental plane to estimate masses without additional constraints, such as radio spectral index, radiative efficiency, or the Eddington fraction.


Comment: Accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 9 pages, 2 figures. Images can be accessed in fits format from

Subjects: Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena; Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies