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Black Hole Growth Is Mainly Linked to Host-galaxy Stellar Mass Rather Than Star Formation Rate

Yang, G.; Chen, C.-T.J.; Vito, F.; Brandt, W.N.; Alexander, D.M.; Luo, B.; Sun, M.Y.; Xue, Y.Q.; Bauer, F.E.; Koekemoer, A.M.; Lehmer, B.D.; Liu, T.; Schneider, D.P.; Shemmer, O.; Trump, J.R.; Vignali, C.; Wang, J.-X.

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G. Yang

C.-T.J. Chen

F. Vito

W.N. Brandt

B. Luo

M.Y. Sun

Y.Q. Xue

F.E. Bauer

A.M. Koekemoer

B.D. Lehmer

T. Liu

D.P. Schneider

O. Shemmer

J.R. Trump

C. Vignali

J.-X. Wang


We investigate the dependence of black-hole accretion rate (BHAR) on host-galaxy star formation rate (SFR) and stellar mass (M∗) in the CANDELS/GOODS-South field in the redshift range of 0.5≤z<2.0. Our sample consists of ≈18000 galaxies, allowing us to probe galaxies with 0.1≲SFR≲100 M⊙ yr−1 and/or 108≲M∗≲1011 M⊙. We use sample-mean BHAR to approximate long-term average BHAR. Our sample-mean BHARs are derived from the Chandra Deep Field-South 7 Ms observations, while the SFRs and M∗ have been estimated by the CANDELS team through SED fitting. The average BHAR is correlated positively with both SFR and M∗, and the BHAR-SFR and BHAR-M∗ relations can both be described acceptably by linear models with a slope of unity. However, BHAR appears to be correlated more strongly with M∗ than SFR. This result indicates that M∗ is the primary host-galaxy property related to black-hole growth, and the apparent BHAR-SFR relation is largely a secondary effect due to the star-forming main sequence. Among our sources, massive galaxies (M∗≳1010M⊙) have significantly higher BHAR/SFR ratios than less-massive galaxies, indicating the former have higher black-hole fueling efficiency and/or higher SMBH occupation fraction than the latter. Our results can naturally explain the observed proportionality between MBH and M∗ for local giant ellipticals, and suggest their MBH/M∗ is higher than that of local star-forming galaxies. Among local star-forming galaxies, massive systems might have higher MBH/M∗ compared to dwarfs.


Yang, G., Chen, C., Vito, F., Brandt, W., Alexander, D., Luo, B., …Wang, J. (2017). Black Hole Growth Is Mainly Linked to Host-galaxy Stellar Mass Rather Than Star Formation Rate. Astrophysical Journal, 842(2), Article 72.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 25, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 15, 2017
Publication Date Jun 15, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 21, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 30, 2017
Journal Astrophysical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Electronic ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 842
Issue 2
Article Number 72
Public URL


Published Journal Article (2.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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