The Mass of the Black Hole in NGC 5273 from Stellar Dynamical Modeling

Katie A. Merrell*, Eugene Vasiliev, Misty C. Bentz, Monica Valluri, Christopher A. Onken

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    We present a new constraint on the mass of the black hole in the active S0 galaxy NGC 5273. Due to the proximity of the galaxy at 16.6 ± 2.1 Mpc, we were able to resolve and extract the bulk motions of stars near the central black hole using adaptive-optics-assisted observations with the Gemini Near-infrared Integral Field Spectrograph, as well as constrain the large-scale kinematics using archival Spectroscopic Areal Unit for Research and Optical Nebulae spectroscopy. High-resolution Hubble Space Telescope imaging allowed us to generate a surface-brightness decomposition, determine approximate mass-to-light ratios for the bulge and disk, and obtain an estimate for the disk inclination. We constructed an extensive library of dynamical models using the Schwarzschild orbit-superposition code FORSTAND, exploring a range of disk and bulge shapes, halo masses, etc. We determined a black hole mass of M = [0.5-2] × 107 M , where the low side of the range is in agreement with the reverberation mapping measurement of M = [4.7 ± 1.6] × 106 M . NGC 5273 is one of the few nearby galaxies that hosts a broad-lined active galactic nucleus, allowing a crucial comparison of black hole masses derived from independent mass-measurement techniques.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number13
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023


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