Stacked reverberation mapping

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 13
  • Abstract:

    Over the past 20 years reverberation mapping has proved one of the most successful techniques for studying the local (<1 pc) environment of supermassive black holes that drive active galactic nuclei. Key successes of reverberation mapping have been direct black hole mass estimates, the radius–luminosity relation for the Hβ line and the calibration of single-epoch mass estimators commonly employed up to z ∼ 7. However, observing constraints mean that few studies have been successful at z > 0.1, or for the more-luminous quasars that make up the majority of current spectroscopic samples, or for rest-frame ultraviolet emission lines available in optical spectra ofz>0.5 objects. Previously,we described a technique for stacking cross-correlations to obtain reverberation mapping results at high z. Here, we present the first results from a campaign designed for this purpose. We construct stacked cross-correlation functions for the C IV and Mg II lines and find a clear peak in both. We find that the peak in the Mg II correlation is at longer lags than C IV consistent with previous results at low redshift. For the C IV sample, we are able to bin by luminosity and find evidence for increasing lags for more-luminous objects. This C IV radius–luminosity relation is consistent with previous studies but with a fraction of the observational cost.