AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 7. Galaxy Structures and Dynamics: Models and Observations
Display, Wednesday, January 12, 2000, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[7.04] Can bars mimic Massive Black Holes?

A.P. Sluis, J.A. Sellwood (Rutgers University)

The case for Massive Black Holes (MBHs) at the center of galaxies has become strong in recent years, but is of necessity model dependent. The most general dynamical models use three integrals of motion, allowing triaxial symmetry, but are cumbersome to construct. Models limited to spherical symmetry, i.e. with a two integral distribution function f(E,L2), are much more tractable, and are usually employed as a first step in gauging the mass of a suspected MBH.

It has been suggested that the high streaming motions of a bar, seen end-on, can mimic the kinematic signature of a MBH. We investigate this proposition using fully self-consistent numerical simulations of barred galaxies, both with and without a central mass. Our analysis, which assumes spherical symmetry, is done using a variation of the Schwarzschild method. We present the estimate of the central mass as a function of viewing angle of the bar.

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