Stacked reverberation mapping

S. Fine*, T. Shanks, P. Green, B. C. Kelly, S. M. Croom, R. L. Webster, E. Berger, R. Chornock, W. S. Burgett, K. C. Chambers, N. Kaiser, P. A. Price

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Over the past 20 years reverberation mapping has proved one of the most successful techniques for studying the local (<1 pc) environment of supermassive black holes that drive active galactic nuclei. Key successes of reverberation mapping have been direct black hole mass estimates, the radius-luminosity relation for the Hβ line and the calibration of single-epoch mass estimators commonly employed up to z ~ 7. However, observing constraints mean that few studies have been successful at z > 0.1, or for the more-luminous quasars that make up the majority of current spectroscopic samples, or for rest-frame ultraviolet emission lines available in optical spectra ofz > 0.5 objects. Previously,we described a technique for stacking cross-correlations to obtain reverberation mapping results at high z. Here, we present the first results from a campaign designed for this purpose. We construct stacked cross-correlation functions for the C IV and Mg II lines and find a clear peak in both. We find that the peak in the Mg II correlation is at longer lags than C IV consistent with previous results at low redshift. For the C IV sample, we are able to bin by luminosity and find evidence for increasing lags for more-luminous objects. This C IV radius-luminosity relation is consistent with previous studies but with a fraction of the observational cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L16-L20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: seyfert
  • Quasars: emission lines
  • Quasars: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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