Space Telescope and Optical Reverberation Mapping Project. IX. Velocity-Delay Maps for Broad Emission Lines in NGC 5548


In this contribution, we achieve the primary goal of the active galactic nucleus (AGN) STORM campaign by recovering velocity-delay maps for the prominent broad emission lines (Lyα, C iv, He ii, and Hβ) in the spectrum of NGC 5548. These are the most detailed velocity-delay maps ever obtained for an AGN, providing unprecedented information on the geometry, ionization structure, and kinematics of the broad-line region. Virial envelopes enclosing the emission-line responses show that the reverberating gas is bound to the black hole. A stratified ionization structure is evident. The He ii response inside 5-10 lt-day has a broad single-peaked velocity profile. The Lyα, C iv, and Hβ responses extend from inside 2 to outside 20 lt-day, with double peaks at ±2500 km s-1 in the 10-20 lt-day delay range. An incomplete ellipse in the velocity-delay plane is evident in Hβ. We interpret the maps in terms of a Keplerian disk with a well-defined outer rim at R = 20 lt-day. The far-side response is weaker than that from the near side. The line-center delay days gives the inclination i ≈ 45°. The inferred black hole mass is M BH ≈ 7 × 107 M o˙. In addition to reverberations, the fit residuals confirm that emission-line fluxes are depressed during the "BLR Holiday"identified in previous work. Moreover, a helical "Barber-Pole"pattern, with stripes moving from red to blue across the C iv and Lyα line profiles, suggests azimuthal structure rotating with a 2 yr period that may represent precession or orbital motion of inner-disk structures casting shadows on the emission-line region farther out.

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Astrophysical Journal