A multi-wavelength study of dwarf galaxies with active massive black holes

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Date

2023

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science

Abstract

Dwarf galaxies which host massive black holes with M less than or equivalent to 106M circled dot give us an opportunity to better understand the formation mechanism behind the supermassive black holes that live in the center of galaxies. Studying how common massive black holes in dwarfs are is an important step in constraining the channels that led to those supermassive black holes. An important part of that study is understanding in what types of dwarf galaxies we can expect to find massive black holes. I present a multi-wavelength study of dwarf galaxies which attempts to find any trends in the morphologies of the hosts of active massive black holes. I begin by modeling the structures of a sample of galaxies which have been identified as black hole hosts; I then perform an identical modeling on a sample of galaxies which show no signs of hosting a massive black hole. I finish by describing an X-ray search for massive black holes among irregular/disturbed galaxies, including the discovery of a very bright X-ray source which is extremely likely to be a massive black hole in a dwarf-dwarf merger. This is one of the first active massive black holes discovered in such a late-stage merger, and it is also notable for radiating at nearly its upper limit.

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