The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping Project : accretion disk sizes from continuum lags
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We present accretion disk structure measurements from continuum lags in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping (SDSS-RM) project. Lags are measured using the JAVELIN software from the first-year SDSS-RM g and i photometry, resulting in well-defined lags for 95 quasars, 33 of which have lag S/N > 2σ. We also estimate lags using the ICCF software and find consistent results, though with larger uncertainties. Accretion disk structure is fit using a Markov chain Monte Carlo approach, parameterizing the measured continuum lags as a function of disk size normalization, wavelength, black hole mass, and luminosity. In contrast with previous observations, our best-fit disk sizes and color profiles are consistent (within 1.5σ) with the Shakura & Sunyaev analytic solution. We also find that more massive quasars have larger accretion disks, similarly consistent with the analytic accretion disk model. The data are inconclusive on a correlation between disk size and continuum luminosity, with results that are consistent with both no correlation and the Shakura & Sunyaev expectation. The continuum lag fits have a large excess dispersion, indicating that our measured lag errors are underestimated and/or our best-fit model may be missing the effects of orientation, spin, and/or radiative efficiency. We demonstrate that fitting disk parameters using only the highest-S/N lag measurements biases best-fit disk sizes to be larger than the disk sizes recovered using a Bayesian approach on the full sample of well-defined lags.
Homayouni , Y , Trump , J R , Grier , C J , Shen , Y , Starkey , D A , Brandt , W N , Alvarez , G F , Hall , P B , Horne , K , Kinemuchi , K , Li , J I-H , McGreer , I D , Sun , M , Ho , L C & Schneider , D P 2019 , ' The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping Project : accretion disk sizes from continuum lags ' , Astrophysical Journal , vol. 880 , no. 2 , 126 . https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab2638
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