There is an intimate link between supermassive black hole (SMBH) mass (M•) and the stellar velocity dispersion (!#) of the host bulge. This has a fundamental impact on our understanding of galaxy and SMBH formation and evolution. However, the scatter, slope and zero-point of the relation is a subject of some debate. For any progress to be made on this relation, the established values of M• and !# must be robust. Over 50% of current M• estimates have been made using the technique of stellar dynamics. However, there is serious concern over this method that prompts their re-evaluation. In addition, it is not clear how best to define !#. The aim of the M• −!# Project is to use STIS long-slit spectroscopy, integral field spectroscopy and the latest stellar models, to best estimate the values of M• and !# in as many cases as possible. The project will determine the most appropriate properties of the M• − !# relation itself.
Department, Program, or Center
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)
Batcheldor, D, "The M - sigma project" (2008). Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus