Friday, March 13, 2015

[1408.1934] A Rapidly Spinning Black Hole Powers the Einstein Cross

[1408.1934] A Rapidly Spinning Black Hole Powers the Einstein Cross:

 "Observations over the past 20 years have revealed a strong relationship between the properties of the supermassive black hole (SMBH) lying at the center of a galaxy and the host galaxy itself. The magnitude of the spin of the black hole will play a key role in determining the nature of this relationship. To date, direct estimates of black hole spin have been restricted to the local Universe. Herein, we present the results of an analysis of ∼ 0.5 Ms of archival Chandra observations of the gravitationally lensed quasar Q 2237+305 (aka the "Einstein-cross"), lying at a redshift of z = 1.695. The boost in flux provided by the gravitational lens allows constraints to be placed on the spin of a black hole at such high redshift for the first time. Utilizing state of the art relativistic disk reflection models, the black hole is found to have a spin of a∗=0.74+0.06−0.03 at the 90% confidence level. Placing a lower limit on the spin, we find a∗≥0.65 (4σ). The high value of the spin for the ∼109 M⊙ black hole in Q 2237+305 lends further support to the coherent accretion scenario for black hole growth. This is the most distant black hole for which the spin has been directly constrained to date."

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