Continuum acceleration of black hole winds

John E. Everett*, David R. Ballantyne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Motivated by recent observations of high-velocity, highly ionized winds in several QSOs, models of purely continuum-driven winds launched from ∼200GMBH/c2 are presented. Launching conditions are investigated, as well as the observational signatures for a variety of initial conditions and illuminating continua. While we verify that continuum-driven highly ionized outflows reach the observed velocities for L/LEdd ≥ 1 independent of the incident spectral shape, such winds are too highly ionized to exhibit the observed absorption features when launched with an active galactic nucleus continuum (in fact, such winds are so ionized that they are driven primarily by electron scattering). If the wind is instead illuminated with a blackbody continuum originating from an optically thick shield, the gas is too weakly ionized and does not produce high-energy absorption features. If high-velocity high-ionization winds are truly launched from very near the black hole, such winds must be launched under other conditions or via other processes; we summarize some possibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L13-L16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 II
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Galaxies: active
  • Quasars: absorption lines
  • X-rays: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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