Black Hole Growth Is Mainly Linked to Host-galaxy Stellar Mass Rather Than Star Formation Rate

G. Yang, C. T.J. Chen, F. Vito, W. N. Brandt, D. M. Alexander, B. Luo, M. Y. Sun, Y. Q. Xue, F. E. Bauer, A. M. Koekemoer, B. D. Lehmer, T. Liu, D. P. Schneider, O. Shemmer, J. R. Trump, C. Vignali, J. X. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


We investigate the dependence of black hole accretion rate (BHAR) on host-galaxy star formation rate (SFR) and stellar mass (M ) in the CANDELS/GOODS-South field in the redshift range of. Our sample consists of galaxies, allowing us to probe galaxies with and/or. We use sample-mean BHAR to approximate long-term average BHAR. Our sample-mean BHARs are derived from the Chandra Deep Field-South 7 Ms observations, while the SFRs and M have been estimated by the CANDELS team through spectral energy distribution fitting. The average BHAR is correlated positively with both SFR and M , and the BHAR-SFR and BHAR-M relations can both be described acceptably by linear models with a slope of unity. However, BHAR appears to be correlated more strongly with M than SFR. This result indicates that M is the primary host-galaxy property related to supermassive black hole (SMBH) growth, and the apparent BHAR-SFR relation is largely a secondary effect due to the star-forming main sequence. Among our sources, massive galaxies () have significantly higher BHAR/SFR ratios than less massive galaxies, indicating that the former have higher SMBH fueling efficiency and/or higher SMBH occupation fraction than the latter. Our results can naturally explain the observed proportionality between and M for local giant ellipticals and suggest that their is higher than that of local star-forming galaxies. Among local star-forming galaxies, massive systems might have higher compared to dwarfs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number72
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 20 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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