BASS. XXXVI. Constraining the Local Supermassive Black Hole-Halo Connection with BASS DR2 AGNs

M. C. Powell, S. W. Allen, T. Caglar, N. Cappelluti, F. Harrison, B. E. Irving, M. J. Koss, A. B. Mantz, K. Oh, C. Ricci, R. J. Shaper, D. Stern, B. Trakhtenbrot, C. M. Urry, J. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the connection between supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host dark matter halos in the local universe using the clustering statistics and luminosity function of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) from the Swift/BAT AGN Spectroscopic Survey (BASS DR2). By forward-modeling AGN activity into snapshot halo catalogs from N-body simulations, we test a scenario in which SMBH mass correlates with dark matter (sub)halo mass for fixed stellar mass. We compare this to a model absent of this correlation, where stellar mass alone determines the SMBH mass. We find that while both simple models are able to largely reproduce the abundance and overall clustering of AGNs, the model in which black hole mass is tightly correlated with halo mass is preferred by the data by 1.8σ. When including an independent measurement on the black hole mass-halo mass correlation, this model is preferred by 4.6σ. We show that the clustering trends with black hole mass can further break the degeneracies between the two scenarios and that our preferred model reproduces the measured clustering differences on one-halo scales between large and small black hole masses. These results indicate that the halo binding energy is fundamentally connected to the growth of SMBHs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022


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