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    Publication Date: 2014-03-07
    Description: The co-evolution of a supermassive black hole with its host galaxy through cosmic time is encoded in its spin. At z 〉 2, supermassive black holes are thought to grow mostly by merger-driven accretion leading to high spin. It is not known, however, whether below z approximately 1 these black holes continue to grow by coherent accretion or in a chaotic manner, though clear differences are predicted in their spin evolution. An established method of measuring the spin of black holes is through the study of relativistic reflection features from the inner accretion disk. Owing to their greater distances from Earth, there has hitherto been no significant detection of relativistic reflection features in a moderate-redshift quasar. Here we report an analysis of archival X-ray data together with a deep observation of a gravitationally lensed quasar at z = 0.658. The emission originates within three or fewer gravitational radii from the black hole, implying a spin parameter (a measure of how fast the black hole is rotating) of a = 0.87(+0.08)(-0.15) at the 3sigma confidence level and a 〉 0.66 at the 5sigma level. The high spin found here is indicative of growth by coherent accretion for this black hole, and suggests that black-hole growth at 0.5 〈/= z 〈/= 1 occurs principally by coherent rather than chaotic accretion episodes.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Notes: 〈/span〉Reis, R C -- Reynolds, M T -- Miller, J M -- Walton, D J -- England -- Nature. 2014 Mar 13;507(7491):207-9. doi: 10.1038/nature13031. Epub 2014 Mar 5.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Author address: 〈/span〉Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA. ; Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Record origin:〈/span〉 〈a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24598545" target="_blank"〉PubMed〈/a〉
    Print ISSN: 0028-0836
    Electronic ISSN: 1476-4687
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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