Chasing the observational signatures of seed black holes at z > 7: candidate statistics

28 Nov 2017  ·  Valiante Rosa, Schneider Raffaella, Graziani Luca, Zappacosta Luca ·

Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) of 10^9-10^10 Msun were already in place ~13 Gyr ago, at z>6. Super-Eddington growth of low-mass BH seeds (~100 Msun) or less extreme accretion onto ~10^5 Msun seeds have been recently considered as the main viable routes to these SMBHs... Here we study the statistics of these SMBH progenitors at z~6. The growth of low- and high-mass seeds and their host galaxies are consistently followed using the cosmological data constrained model GAMETE/QSOdust, which reproduces the observed properties of high-z quasars, like SDSS J1148+5251. We show that both seed formation channels can be in action over a similar redshift range, 15 < z < 18 and are found in dark matter halos with comparable mass, ~5x10^7 Msun. However, as long as the systems evolve in isolation (i.e. no mergers occur), noticeable differences in their properties emerge: at z>= 10 galaxies hosting high-mass seeds have smaller stellar mass and metallicity, the BHs accrete gas at higher rates and star formation proceeds less efficiently than in low-mass seeds hosts. At z<10 these differences are progressively erased, as the systems experience minor or major mergers and every trace of the BH origin gets lost. read more

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Astrophysics of Galaxies