AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 89 Galaxy Clusters at High Redshift
Poster, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[89.12] Gemini GMOS-IFU Observations of the Biggest Black Holes

S. E. Busch, K. Gebhardt (U. Texas, Austin), T. R. Lauer (NOAO), R. van der Marel (STScI)

We have been using Gemini GMOS-IFU observations to study the central kinematics in brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) to measure their central black hole masses. The largest galaxies, and especially BCGs, offer special insight into galaxy formation and evolution because they represent the extremes of these processes. Black holes are now believed to be essential components of galaxies, and their evolutionary states appear to be intimately linked to those of their hosts. By studying black holes in BCGs, we will push theoretical predictions for formation of both black holes and their hosts. Since BCGs are the largest galaxies that exist, they should contain the most massive black holes. We will report on results for several galaxies. The data were observed in excellent seeing conditions (0.4 0.6) and therefore will place considerable constraints on any potential black hole. By comparing where these galaxies lie relative to the general galaxy population in correlation studies, we will constrain their evolutionary history.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.