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Date and Time of the Query: 2019-08-25 T09:48:29 PDT
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For refcode 2011ApJ...730...52K:
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Copyright by American Astronomical Society. Reproduced by permission
2011ApJ...730...52K A Stochastic Model for the Luminosity Fluctuations of Accreting Black Holes Kelly, Brandon C.; Sobolewska, Malgorzata; Siemiginowska, Aneta Abstract. In this work, we have developed a new stochastic model for the fluctuations in light curves of accreting black holes. The model is based on a linear combination of stochastic processes and is also the solution to the linear diffusion equation perturbed by a spatially correlated noise field. This allows flexible modeling of the power spectral density (PSD), and we derive the likelihood function for the process, enabling one to estimate the parameters of the process, including break frequencies in the PSD. Our statistical technique is computationally efficient, unbiased by aliasing and red noise leak, and fully accounts for irregular sampling and measurement errors. We show that our stochastic model provides a good approximation to the X-ray light curves of galactic black holes, and the optical and X-ray light curves of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We use the estimated timescales of our stochastic model to recover the correlation between characteristic timescale of the high-frequency X-ray fluctuations and black hole mass for AGNs, including two new "detections" of the timescale for Fairall 9 and NGC 5548. We find a tight anti-correlation between the black hole mass and the amplitude of the driving noise field, which is proportional to the amplitude of the high-frequency X-ray PSD, and we estimate that this parameter gives black hole mass estimates to within ~0.2 dex precision, potentially the most accurate method for AGNs yet. We also find evidence that ~13% of AGN optical PSDs fall off flatter than 1/f ^2^ and, similar to previous work, find that the optical fluctuations are more suppressed on short timescales compared to the X-rays, but are larger on long timescales, suggesting that the optical fluctuations are not solely due to reprocessing of X-rays. Key words: accretion, accretion disks, galaxies: active, methods: data analysis, quasars: general
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