The nature of the relationship between low-level supermassive black hole activity and galactic cold gas, if any, is currently unclear. It has been hypothesized that feedback may heat or expel gas and quench star formation; alternatively, central black holes may feed at higher rates (either directly or as a secondary effect from stellar winds) in gas-rich galaxies. We use a combination of radio data from the on-going ALFALFA survey and from the literature, along with archival X-ray flux measurements from the Chandra X-ray observatory, to investigate this potential relationship. We construct a sample of 136 late-type galaxies, with MB < −18 out to 50 Mpc, that have both HI masses and sensitive X-ray coverage. Of these, 76 host a nuclear X-ray source, a 56% detection fraction. There is a highly significant correlation between LX and Mstar with a slope of 1.5±0.2, and a tentative correlation (significant at the 2.5σ level) between LX and MHI. However, a joint fit to LX as a function of both Mstar and MHI finds no significant dependence on MHI, and similarly the residuals of LX − LX(Mstar) show no trend with MHI. We conclude that the galaxy-wide cold gas content in these spirals does not strongly influence their low-level supermassive black hole activity.
Alfvin, Erik D.
"The Role of Cold Gas in Low-Level Supermassive Black Hole Activity,"
Macalester Journal of Physics and Astronomy: Vol. 3
, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/mjpa/vol3/iss1/1