A low upper mass limit for the central black hole in the late-type galaxy NGC 4414

S. Thater, D. Krajnović, M. A. Bourne, M. Cappellari, T. De Zeeuw, E. Emsellem, J. Magorrian, R. M. McDermid, M. Sarzi, G. Van De Ven

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    18 Citations (Scopus)


    We present our mass estimate of the central black hole in the isolated spiral galaxy NGC 4414. Using natural guide star adaptive optics assisted observations with the Gemini Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrometer (NIFS) and the natural seeing Gemini Multi-Object Spectrographs-North (GMOS), we derived two-dimensional stellar kinematic maps of NGC 4414 covering the central 1.5 arcsec and 10 arcsec, respectively, at a NIFS spatial resolution of 0.13 arcsec. The kinematic maps reveal a regular rotation pattern and a central velocity dispersion dip down to around 105 km s-1. We constructed dynamical models using two different methods: Jeans anisotropic dynamical modeling and axisymmetric Schwarzschild modeling. Both modeling methods give consistent results, but we cannot constrain the lower mass limit and only measure an upper limit for the black hole mass of MBH = 1.56 × 106MȮ (at 3σ level) which is at least 1σ below the recent MBHe relations. Further tests with dark matter, mass-to-light ratio variation and different light models confirm that our results are not dominated by uncertainties. The derived upper limit mass is not only below the MBHe relation, but is also five times lower than the lower limit black hole mass anticipated from the resolution limit of the sphere of influence. This proves that via high quality integral field data we are now able to push black hole measurements down to at least five times less than the resolution limit.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberA18
    Pages (from-to)1-20
    Number of pages20
    JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


    • Galaxies: individual: NGC 4414
    • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
    • Galaxies: spiral


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