THE E-ELT DESIGN REFERENCE MISSION - SCIENCE CASE G9
A Survey of Black Holes in Different Environments
We propose to carry out a spatially resolved spectroscopic survey of the centers of elliptical and early type galaxies with very low and very high central velocity dispersions. The goal of the survey is to resolve the Sphere of Influence (SoI) of the suspected black holes (BHs) in those galaxies and thereby investigate the low and hi-mass end of the MBH-σ relation. Our sample includes galaxies in a broad range of clusters as well as field galaxies. The centers of all galaxies in our sample have previously been imaged by HST and/or JWST, and expected BH masses have been estimated based on the cusp brightness and velocity dispersion. The survey will for the first time resolve the SoI of BH with masses MBH of around 106 outside the local Universe, and at the same time yield spectroscopic data of a significant sample of the most massive BHs currently known. The survey also might discover supermassive BHs with masses of up to about 1010 Msolar.
Project Science Team
Phase B (2006 – 2011)