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Publication . Preprint . Article . 2001 . Embargo end date: 01 Jan 2001

Chandra Limits on X-ray Emission Associated with the Supermassive Black Holes in Three Giant Elliptical Galaxies

Michael Loewenstein; Richard Mushotzky; Lorella Angelini; Keith A. Arnaud; Eliot Quataert;
Open Access
Elliptical galaxy nuclei are the sites of the largest black holes known, but typically show little or no nuclear activity. We investigate this extreme quiescence using Chandra X-ray Observatory observations of the giant elliptical galaxies NGC 1399, NGC 4472, and NGC 4636. The unique Chandra imaging power enables us to place upper limits of 7.3, 15 and 28 X 10^-9 the Eddington luminosity for the 0.1-1 billion solar mass black holes in NGC 1399, NGC 4472, and NGC 4636, respectively. The corresponding radiative efficiencies in this band are 4.1, 24, and 620 X 10^-6 using Bondi accretion rates derived from the Chandra hot interstellar gas surface brightness profiles. These limits are inconsistent with basic advection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) models for NGC 1399 and NGC 4472, indicating accretion onto the black hole at 10% of the Bondi rate.
Comment: 12 pages including two embedded figures, accepted for publication in ApJ Letters
Subjects by Vocabulary

arXiv: Astrophysics::High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena Astrophysics::Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics Astrophysics::Galaxy Astrophysics Astrophysics::Solar and Stellar Astrophysics

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Surface brightness Physics Radiative transfer Astrophysics Elliptical galaxy Solar mass Bondi accretion Supermassive black hole Eddington luminosity symbols.namesake symbols Accretion (astrophysics)


Astrophysics (astro-ph), FOS: Physical sciences, Astrophysics, Space and Planetary Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics

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