Overmassive Black Holes at Cosmic Noon: Linking the Local and the High-redshift Universe

Mezcua, Mar; Pacucci, Fabio; Suh, Hyewon; Siudek, Malgorzata; Natarajan, Priyamvada
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The Astrophysical Journal

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We report for the first time a sample of 12 supermassive black holes (SMBHs) hosted by low-mass galaxies at cosmic noon, i.e., in a redshift range consistent with the peak of star formation history: z ∼ 1–3. These black holes are 2 orders of magnitude too massive for the stellar content of their hosts when compared with the local relation for active galaxies. These overmassive systems at cosmic noon share similar properties with the high-z sources found ubiquitously in recent James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) surveys (same range of black-hole-to-stellar-mass ratio, bolometric luminosity, and Eddington ratio). We argue that black hole feedback processes, for which there is possible evidence in five of the sources, and the differing environments in galactic nuclei at these respective epochs play a key role in these overmassive systems. These findings contribute to our understanding of the growth and coevolution of SMBHs and their host galaxies across cosmic time, offering a link between the early Universe (z > 4) observed by JWST and observations of the present-day Universe (z ≲ 1).