Published in "Observational Evidence for the Black Holes
in the Universe", Conference held in Calcutta, January 11-17th, 1999.,
For a PDF version of the article, click
For a PDF version of the article, click here.
Abstract. I review the status of observational determinations of central masses in nearby galactic nuclei. Results from a variety of techniques are summarized, including ground-based and space-based optical spectroscopy, radio VLBI measurements of luminous water vapor masers, and variability monitoring studies of active galactic nuclei. I will also discuss recent X-ray observations that indicate relativistic motions arising from the accretion disks of active nuclei. The existing evidence suggests that supermassive black holes are an integral component of galactic structure, at least in elliptical and bulge-dominated galaxies. The black hole mass appears to be correlated with the mass of the spheroidal component of the host galaxy. This finding may have important implications for many astrophysical issues.
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For a postscript version of the article, click here.