Timing the starburst AGN connection

Vivienne Wild, Tim Heckman, Stephane Charlot ADS

The existence of a correlation between the mass of stars in the
bulge of local galaxies, and the masses of the supermassive black holes at the centres of these galaxies (M-sigma relation), suggests a joint mechanism by which both objects grow together. The difference in scales is enormous however, and finding a physical process which can robustly link the masses of a stellar bulge 1000 times more massive than the central supermassive black hole, has been keeping theorists busy for many years.

Here we use the enormous statistical power of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to directly measure when the black hole starts to grow during a strong burst of star-formation.