Publications by Michele Cappellari


WISDOM project – IV. A molecular gas dynamical measurement of the supermassive black hole mass in NGC 524

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 485 (2019) 4359–4374-

MD Smith, M Bureau, TA Davis, M Cappellari, L Liu, EV North, K Onishi, S Iguchi, M Sarzi

We present high angular resolution (0.3 arcsec or 37 pc) Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations of the CO(2–1) line emission from a central disc in the early-type galaxy NGC 524. This disc is shown to be dynamically relaxed, exhibiting ordered rotation about a compact 1.3 mm continuum source, which we identify as emission from an active supermassive black hole (SMBH). There is a hole at the centre of the disc slightly larger than the SMBH sphere of influence. An azimuthal distortion of the observed velocity field is found to be due to either a position angle warp or radial gas flow over the inner 2. 5. By forward-modelling the observations, we obtain an estimate of the SMBH mass of 4.0+3.5 −2.0 × 108 M, where the uncertainties are at the 3σ level. The uncertainties are dominated by the poorly constrained inclination and the stellar mass-to-light ratio of this galaxy, and our measurement is consistent with the established correlation between SMBH mass and stellar velocity dispersion. Our result is roughly half that of the previous stellar dynamical measurement, but is consistent within the uncertainties of both. We also present and apply a new tool for modelling complex molecular gas distributions.


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