The Lick AGN Monitoring Project 2011 observing campaign was carried out over the course of 11 weeks in spring 2011. Here we present the first results from this program, a measurement of the broad-line reverberation lag in the Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 50. Combining our data with supplemental observations obtained prior to the start of the main observing campaign, our data set covers a total duration of 4.5 months. During this time, Mrk 50 was highly variable, exhibiting a maximum variability amplitude of a factor of ~4 in the U-band continuum and a factor of ~2 in the Hβ line. Using standard cross-correlation techniques, we find that Hβ and Hγ lag the V-band continuum by τcen = 10.64+0.82 – 0.93 and 8.43+1.30 – 1.28 days, respectively, while the lag of He II λ4686 is unresolved. The Hβ line exhibits a symmetric velocity-resolved reverberation signature with shorter lags in the high-velocity wings than in the line core, consistent with an origin in a broad-line region (BLR) dominated by orbital motion rather than infall or outflow. Assuming a virial normalization factor of f = 5.25, the virial estimate of the black hole mass is (3.2 ± 0.5) × 107 M ☉. These observations demonstrate that Mrk 50 is among the most promising nearby active galaxies for detailed investigations of BLR structure and dynamics.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/vbennert/4/