AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 60 Quasars
Poster, Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[60.08] Accretion Disk Temperature and Continuum Color in QSOs

L. Cheng, G. A. Shields, K. Gebhardt (U. Texas)

Accretion disks around supermassive black holes are widely believed to be the source of the optical/UV continuum in active galactic nuclei (AGNs). However, the agreement between accretion disk model predictions and observations is not satisfactory. We have studied the optical/UV continuum colors of QSOs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (www.sdss.org) and other data sets in relation to the expected temperature of the accretion disk. The disk temperature is inferred from the continuum luminosity and from the black hole mass as derived from the broad emission-line widths. The observed colors of individual QSOs show wide scatter when plotted against disk temperature. However, there is a statistical trend in the sense of redder colors for hotter disks. This is contrary to theoretical expectations but agrees with previously reported trends of QSO colors with broad line width.

This work was supported by the Texas Advanced Research Program grant 003658-0177-2001 and by NSF grant AST-0098594.

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