We present results from HST/STIS long-slit spectroscopy of the gas motions in the nuclear region of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 5252. The observed velocity field is consistent with gas in regular rotation with superposed localized patches of disturbed gas. The dynamics of the circumnuclear gas can be accurately reproduced by adding to the stellar mass component a compact dark mass of MBH = 0.95 (−0.45;+1.45) ×109 M⊙, very likely a supermassive black hole (BH). Contrarily to results obtained in similar studies rotational broadening is sufficient to reproduce also the behaviour of line widths. The BH mass estimated for NGC 5252 is in good agreement with the correlation between MBH and bulge mass. The comparison with the MBH vs c relationship is less stringent (mostly due to the relatively large error in c); NGC 5252 is located above the best fit line by between 0.3 and 1.2 dex, i.e. 1 - 4 times the dispersion of the correlation. Both the galaxy’s and BH mass of NGC 5252 are substantially larger than those usually estimated for Seyfert galaxies but, on the other hand, they are typical of radio-quiet quasars. Combining the determined BH mass with the hard X-ray luminosity, we estimate that NGC 5252 is emitting at a fraction ∼ 0.005 of LEdd. In this sense, this active nucleus appears to be a quasar relic, now probably accreting at a low rate, rather than a low black hole mass counterpart of a QSO.

Publication Date



This is the pre-print of an article published by EDP Sciences. The final, published version is available here: https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041701

Reproduced with permission from Astronomy & Astrophyics, © 2005 ESO

Also archived in: arXiv:astro-ph/0411081 v1 3 Nov 2004

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


RIT – Main Campus