Benny Trakhtenbrot - Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich

Benny Trakhtenbrot
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Benny Trakhtenbrot
Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich

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Astrophysics of Galaxies (22)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (14)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (9)
Astrophysics (3)

Publications Authored By Benny Trakhtenbrot

We present new ALMA band-7 data for a sample of six luminous quasars at z~4.8, powered by fast-growing supermassive black holes (SMBHs) with rather uniform properties: the typical accretion rates and black hole masses are L/L_Edd~0.7 and M_BH~10^9 M_sol. Read More

We systematically investigate the near- (NIR) to far-infrared (FIR) photometric properties of a nearly complete sample of local active galactic nuclei (AGN) detected in the Swift/Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) all-sky ultra hard X-ray (14-195 keV) survey. Out of 606 non-blazar AGN in the Swift/BAT 70-month catalog at high galactic latitude of $|b|>10^{\circ}$, we obtain IR photometric data of 604 objects by cross-matching the AGN positions with catalogs from the WISE, AKARI, IRAS, and Herschel infrared observatories. We find a good correlation between the ultra-hard X-ray and mid-IR (MIR) luminosities over five orders of magnitude ($41 < \log (L_{14-195}/{\rm erg}~{\rm s}^{-1})< 46$). Read More

We characterize the optical variability of quasars in the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) and Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) surveys. We re-calibrate the $r$-band light curves for $\sim$28,000 luminous, broad-line AGNs from the SDSS, producing a total of $\sim$2.4 million photometric data points. Read More

We estimate the accretion rates onto the super-massive black holes powering 20 of the highest-redshift quasars, at z>5.8, including the quasar with the highest redshift known to date -- ULAS J1120 at z=7.09. Read More

We investigate the observed relationship between black hole mass ($M_{\rm BH}$), bolometric luminosity ($L_{\rm bol}$), and Eddington ratio (${\lambda}_{\rm Edd}$) with optical emission line ratios ([NII] {\lambda}6583/H{\alpha}, [SII] {\lambda}{\lambda}6716,6731/H{\alpha}, [OI] {\lambda}6300/H{\alpha}, [OIII] {\lambda}5007/H{\beta}, [NeIII] {\lambda}3869/H{\beta}, and HeII {\lambda}4686/H{\beta}) of hard X-ray-selected AGN from the BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey (BASS). We show that the [NII] {\lambda}6583/H{\alpha} ratio exhibits a significant correlation with ${\lambda}_{\rm Edd}$ ($R_{\rm Pear}$ = -0.44, $p$-value=$3\times10^{-13}$, {\sigma} = 0. Read More

We investigate the sensitivity of the colour-based quasar selection algorithm of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to several key physical parameters of supermassive black holes (SMBHs), focusing on BH spin ($a_{\star}$) at the high BH-mass regime ($M_{BH} \geqslant10^9\, M_{\odot}$). We use a large grid of model spectral energy distribution, assuming geometrically-thin, optically-thick accretion discs, and spanning a wide range of five physical parameters: BH mass $M_{BH}$, BH spin $a_{\star}$, Eddington ratio $L / L_{Edd}$ , redshift $z$, and inclination angle $inc$. Based on the expected fluxes in the SDSS imaging ugriz bands, we find that $\sim 99. Read More

This is the third paper in a series describing the spectroscopic properties of a sample of 39 AGN at $z \sim 1.5$, selected to cover a large range in black hole mass ($M_{BH}$) and Eddington ratio ($L/L_{Edd}$). In this paper, we continue the analysis of the VLT/X-shooter observations of our sample with the addition of 9 new sources. Read More

This is the second in a series of papers aiming to test how the mass ($M_{\rm BH}$), accretion rate ($\dot{M}$) and spin ($a_{*}$) of super massive black holes (SMBHs) determine the observed properties of type-I active galactic nuclei (AGN). Our project utilizes a sample of 39 unobscured AGN at $z\simeq1.55$ observed by VLT/X-shooter, selected to map a large range in $M_{\rm BH}$ and $L/L_{\rm edd}$ and covers the most prominent UV-optical (broad) emission lines, including H$\alpha$, H$\beta$, MgII, and CIV. Read More

We present new Keck/MOSFIRE K-band spectroscopy for a sample of 14 faint, X-ray-selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the COSMOS field. The data cover the spectral region surrounding the broad Balmer emission lines, which enables the estimation of black hole masses (M_BH) and accretion rates (in terms of L/L_Edd). We focus on 10 AGN at z~3. Read More

We report herschel observations of 100 very luminous, optically selected AGNs at z=2-3.5 with log(LUV)(erg/sec)> 46.5, where LUV=L1350A. Read More

We investigated AGN activity in low-mass galaxies, an important regime that can shed light onto BH formation and evolution, and their interaction with their host galaxies. We identified 336 AGN candidates from a parent sample of $\sim 48,000$ nearby low-mass galaxies ($M_{\rm \star} \leq 10^{9.5}M_\odot$, $z < 0. Read More

We investigate the relationship between X-ray and optical line emission in 340 nearby AGN selected above 10 keV using Swift BAT. We find a weak correlation between the extinction corrected [O III] and hard X-ray luminosity (14-195 keV) with a [OIII] large scatter (R_Pear = 0.64, sigma = 0. Read More

Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host galaxies are generally thought to coevolve, so that the SMBH achieves up to about 0.2 to 0.5% of the host galaxy mass in the present day. Read More

We have newly identified a substantial number of type 1 active galactic nuclei (AGN) featuring weak broad-line regions (BLRs) at z < 0.2 from detailed analysis of galaxy spectra in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7. These objects predominantly show a stellar continuum but also a broad H-alpha emission line, indicating the presence of a low-luminosity AGN oriented so that we are viewing the central engine directly without significant obscuration. Read More

Over the past 15 years, examples of exotic radio-quiet quasars with intrinsically weak or absent broad emission line regions (BELRs) have emerged from large-scale spectroscopic sky surveys. Here, we present spectroscopy of seven such weak emission line quasars (WLQs) at moderate redshifts (z=1.4-1. Read More

Affiliations: 1Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich, 2Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich, 3Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Concepción, 4Physics Department and Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, 5Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich, 6Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich

We investigate early black hole (BH) growth through the methodical search for $z\gtrsim5$ AGN in the $Chandra$ Deep Field South. We base our search on the $Chandra$ 4-Ms data with flux limits of $9.1\times\ 10^{-18}$ (soft, 0. Read More

The radius and surface composition of an exploding massive star,as well as the explosion energy per unit mass, can be measured using early UV observations of core collapse supernovae (SNe). We present the first results from a simultaneous GALEX/PTF search for early UV emission from SNe. Six Type II SNe and one Type II superluminous SN (SLSN-II) are clearly detected in the GALEX NUV data. Read More

We explore the connections between the evolving galaxy and AGN populations. We present a simple phenomenological model that links the evolving galaxy mass function and the evolving quasar luminosity function, which makes specific and testable predictions for the distribution of host galaxy masses for AGN of different luminosities. We show that the $\phi^{*}$ normalisations of the galaxy mass function and of the AGN luminosity function closely track each other over a wide range of redshifts, implying a constant "duty cycle" of AGN activity. Read More

The physics of active super massive black holes (BHs) is governed by their mass (M_BH), spin (a*) and accretion rate ($\dot{M}$). This work is the first in a series of papers with the aim of testing how these parameters determine the observable attributes of active galactic nuclei (AGN). We have selected a sample in a narrow redshift range, centered on z~1. Read More

The radiative efficiencies ($\eta$) of 72 luminous unobscured Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) at $z\sim1.5-3.5$, powered by some of the most massive black holes (BHs), are constrained. Read More

While performing a survey to detect recoiling supermassive black holes, we have identified an unusual source having a projected offset of 800 pc from a nearby dwarf galaxy. The object, SDSS J113323.97+550415. Read More

We investigate the accretion rate, bolometric luminosity, black hole (BH) growth time and BH spin in a large AGN sample under the assumption that all such objects are powered via thin or slim accretion discs (ADs). We use direct estimates of the mass accretion rate, Mdot, to show that many currently used values of Lbol and Ledd are either under estimated or over estimated because they are based on bolometric correction factors that are adjusted to the properties of moderately accreting active galactic nuclei (AGN) and do not take into account the correct combination of BH mass, spin and accretion rate. The consistent application of AD physics to our sample of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) AGN leads to the following findings: 1. Read More

We report Herschel Spitzer and Wise observations of 44 z=4.8 optically selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs). This sample contains the highest mass black holes (BHs) at this redshift. Read More

We analyze several large samples of AGN in order to establish the best tools required to study the evolution of black hole mass (M_BH) and normalized accretion rate (L/L_Edd). The data include spectra from the SDSS, 2QZ and 2SLAQ surveys at z<2, and a compilation of smaller samples with 0Read More

We report new Herschel observations of 25 z=4.8 extremely luminous optically selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Five of the sources have extremely large star forming (SF) luminosities, L_SF, corresponding to SF rates (SFRs) of 2800-5600 M_sol/yr assuming a Salpeter IMF. Read More

We fitted the optical to mid-infrared (MIR) spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of ~15000 type-I, 0.75Read More

We present new Gemini-North/NIRI and VLT/SINFONI H-band spectroscopy for a flux limited sample of 40 z~4.8 active galactic nuclei, selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The sample probably contains the most massive active black holes (BHs) at this redshift and spans a broad range in bolometric luminosity, 2. Read More

Affiliations: 1U. North Texas, 2Tel Aviv U, 3U. Washington, 4Penn State U, 5U. Arizona, 6U. Arizona, 7U. Chile, 8Tel Aviv U, 9U. Amsterdam, 10Drexel U, 11Penn State U, 12Princeton U

We present Gemini-North K-band spectra of two representative members of the class of high-redshift quasars with exceptionally weak rest-frame ultraviolet emission lines (WLQs), SDSS J114153.34+021924.3 at z=3. Read More

We propose a novel method to estimate M_*/M_BH, the ratio of stellar mass (M_*) to black hole mass (M_BH), at various redshifts using two recent observational results: the correlation between the bolometric luminosity of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and the star formation rate (SFR) in their host galaxies, and the correlation between SFR and M_* in star-forming (SF) galaxies. Our analysis is based on M_BH and L_bol measurements in two large samples of type-I AGN at z~1 and z~2, and the measurements of M_*/M_BH in 0.05Read More

Affiliations: 1Tel Aviv U, 2U. de Chile, 3Tel Aviv U, 4PSU, 5Yale
Category: Astrophysics

We present new H and K bands spectroscopy of 15 high luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at redshifts 2.3-3.4 obtained on Gemini South. Read More

We present line and continuum measurements for 9818 SDSS type-I active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with z le 0.75. The data are used to study the four dimensional space of black hole mass, normalized accretion rate (Ledd), metalicity and redshift. Read More

We combine emission line and X-ray luminosities for 45 sources from the Chandra Deep Field South (CDF-S), and seven HELLAS sources, to obtain a new sample of 52 X-ray selected type-II active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Eighteen of our sources are very luminous with a typical, absorption-corrected 2-10 keV luminosity of few 10^{44} erg/sec (type-II QSOs). We compare the emission line properties of the new sources with emission line and X-ray luminosities of known low redshift, mostly lower luminosity AGNs by using a composite spectrum. Read More