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Active Galactic Nuclei: Boon or Bane for Biota?

  • Authors: Manasvi Lingam, Idan Ginsburg, and Shmuel Bialy

2019 The Astrophysical Journal 877 62.

  • Provider: AAS Journals

Caption: Figure 1.

Distances at which AGNs enable prebiotic chemistry (dO), facilitate potential extinction events (dB), and permit photosynthesis (dP) are depicted as a function of the mass of the SMBH (MBH). The x-axis is truncated at 104 M because this value is quite close to some of the smaller central BHs known to date (Mezcua et al. 2018; Graham et al. 2019; Nguyen et al. 2019), and at 1011 M as SMBHs are not expected to exceed this theoretical limit at the current age of the universe (Inayoshi & Haiman 2016; King 2016; Pacucci et al. 2017). For Sagittarius A*, we obtain dO ≈ 44 pc, dB ≈ 2 pc, and dP ≈ 340 pc after selecting an Eddington factor close to unity. Top panel: the solid and dashed curves correspond to Eddington factors of unity and 0.1, respectively; note that these two values are consistent with observational constraints that mostly favor average Eddington factors of ∼0.1–1 (Marconi et al. 2004). Bottom panel: the dotted–dashed and dotted curves correspond to Eddington factors of 10 and 0.01, respectively; these values are also consistent with observations and theory (see Section 2.1).

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