Current Projects

The MBHBM* Project

Measuring Black Holes in Below Milky Way-mass galaxies

This project improves on many problems affecting black hole mass measurements via existing optical/infrared instruments, including (1) high angular resolution capable of resolving the sphere of influences of the black holes and (2) ability to obtain dynamical measurements in dusty/obscured nuclei, which are inaccessible at optical wavelengths. The physical idea is that we use the gas-dynamical method and ALMA observations to derive black hole mass. We aim to detect and resolve the Keplerian turnover motion of cold gas at the galactic centers directly (within the sphere of influences of black holes).

Our goal is to obtain a census of local black holes in below Milky Way mass galaxies, which is currently missing. Our homogenous technical approach with dynamical modeling will achieve breakthroughs, in uncovering the demographics of black holes in below Milky Way mass galaxies and understanding co-evolution with their host galaxies.

Detailed descriptions of the project is here (Figure Credit by Dieu Nguyen).

Publications:

  • Paper. I. Measurement of the Central Black Hole Mass in Spiral Galaxy NGC 3504 Using Molecular Gas Kinematics (ApJ 892, 68)

  • Paper. II. Molecular Gas Kinematics in the Lenticular Galaxy NGC 3593 Reveal a Supermassive Black Hole (submitted to MNRAS)

HARMONI Integral Field Spectroscopic Surveys (GTO)

These are including two large and high-profile surveys that use the High Angular Resolution Monolithic Optical and Near-infrared Integral field spectrograph (HARMONI) on ELT to explore the nuclear-stellar dynamics and weighing black holes in galaxies that are out of the reach of current apparatuses. This info will be crucial for the giant leap in our understanding of black hole-galaxy formation and co-evolution.

Both projects are under construction with part of the Guaranteed Time Observation (GTO) from the University of Oxford. The first light of HARMONI will be in 2025, while GTO proposals will be in 2024. We will provide more details of these projects after the publications of their first papers.

Publications:

  • Paper. I. Simulating Supermassive Black Hole Mass Measurements using ELT/HARMONI Observations (will be submitted to MNRAS soon)