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Clocking Super-Massive Black Hole Spin with Accuracy

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Clocking Super-Massive Black Hole Spin with Accuracy. MCG–6-30-15:. Observations by Suzaku unambiguously confirm the extremely broad Fe K line in MCG–6-30-15 We accurately quantify how far in the accretion disk reaches (< 2 gravitational radii)

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clocking super massive black hole spin with accuracy
Clocking Super-Massive Black Hole Spin with Accuracy

MCG–6-30-15:

  • Observations by Suzaku unambiguously confirm the extremely broad Fe K line in MCG–6-30-15
  • We accurately quantify how far in the accretion disk reaches (< 2 gravitational radii)
  • The presence of a Kerr, or spinning, black hole is confirmed
  • We measure the black hole spin parameter to be 90% of maximum
warped space time light bending near the black hole in mcg 6 30 15
Warped Space-Time & Light-Bending Near the Black Hole in MCG–6-30-15
  • Observationally confirm that space-time very close to the black hole is "warped", a key component in Einstein\'s General Relatively
  • Light paths close to the black hole can be sharply curved: photons traveling away from the accretion disk can be redirected onto the disk
  • Confirmation made possible only via Suzaku’s broad energy coverage
evidence for gravitational light bending around the black hole in mcg 6 30 15
Evidence for gravitational light bending around the black hole in MCG–6-30-15

Strong iron K line and disk reflection from around a Kerr (spinning) black hole.

No strong variations in iron line - gravitational light bending around a Kerr Black hole.

Suzaku lightcurve

Constant Reflection hump and iron line

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Suzaku can measure the geometry of the accretion disk

In MCG–5-23-16, the disk is viewed at an inclination angle of 50 degrees

In MCG–6-30-15, the disk is viewed more face-on, at an angle of 30 degrees

“Edge-on” Disk

“Face-on” Disk

suzaku black hole spin measurements
Suzaku Black Hole Spin Measurements

MCG–5-23-16 (no evidence for black hole spin)

MCG–6-30-15 (spinning black hole)

iron line emission from multiple regions of gas
Iron Line Emission From Multiple Regions of Gas

MCG -5-23-16

Narrow line

Broad line

  • Suzaku has unambiguously measured the broad and narrow iron lines.
  • Narrow line emission denotes (low velocity) gas, distant from the black hole, far from the region of extreme gravity
  • X-ray emission is seen both from gas very close to the black hole and gas that is distant
  • Confirms our picture of the geometry and accretion flow in AGN
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XMM/Chandra

Suzaku

Suzaku’s Broad Bandpass

Absorption from outflow

X-ray Continuum

Iron KLine

Thermal Disk Emission?

Compton Reflection hump

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