Difficulties with Recovering the Masses of Supermassive Black Holes from Stellar Kinematical Data

  title={Difficulties with Recovering the Masses of Supermassive Black Holes from Stellar Kinematical Data},
  author={Monica Valluri and David Merritt and Eric Emsellem},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal},
We investigate the ability of three-integral, axisymmetric, orbit-based modeling algorithms to recover the parameters defining the gravitational potential (mass-to-light ratio and black hole mass M•) in spheroidal stellar systems using stellar kinematical data. We show that the potential estimation problem is generically underdetermined when applied to long-slit kinematical data of the kind used for most black hole mass determinations to date. A range of parameters (, M•) can provide equally… 
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