The MBHBM⋆ Project. I. Measurement of the Central Black Hole Mass in Spiral Galaxy NGC 3504 Using Molecular Gas Kinematics
We present a dynamical mass measurement of the supermassive black hole (SMBH) in the nearby double-barred spiral galaxy NGC 3504 as part of the Measuring Black Holes in below Milky Way (M⋆) Mass Galaxies Project. Our analysis is based on Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array cycle 5 observations of the 12CO(2-1) emission line. These observations probe NGC 3504's circumnuclear gas disk (CND). Our dynamical model of the CND simultaneously constrains a black hole (BH) mass of 1.6-0.4+0.6 × 107} M⊙, which is consistent with the empirical BH-galaxy scaling relations and a mass-to-light ratio in the H band of 0.44 ± 0.12 (M⊙/L⊙). This measurement also relies on our new estimation of the distance to the galaxy of 32.4 ± 2.1 Mpc using the surface brightness fluctuation method, which is much further than the existing distance estimates. Additionally, our observations detect a central deficit in the 12CO(2-1) integrated intensity map with a diameter of 6.3 pc at the putative position of the SMBH. However, we find that a dense gas tracer CS(5 - 4) peaks at the galaxy center, filling in the 12CO(2 - 1)-attenuated hole. Holes like this one are observed in other galaxies, and our observations suggest these may be caused by changing excitation conditions rather than a true absence of molecular gas around the nucleus.