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Black Hole Mergers in Nuclear Star Clusters

18 Jul 2017, 14:09 UTC
Black Hole Mergers in Nuclear Star Clusters
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Title: Black Hole Mergers in Galactic Nuclei Induced by the Eccentric Kozai-Lidov EffectAuthors: B.-M. Hoang, S. Naoz, B. Kocsis, F. A. Rasio, F. DosopoulouFirst Author’s Institution: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of CaliforniaStatus: Submitted to The Astrophysical Journal, open accessThanks to the efforts of the LIGO and VIRGO collaborations, we now have direct evidence of gravitational waves (GWs) produced by three or possibly even four pairs of merging stellar-mass black holes (BHs). This spectacular discovery has given us a first glimpse of a yet unexplored realm of the universe, so it is not surprising that the astrophysical origins of these BH mergers are still under much discussion.For example, mergers of BHs formed by some of the very first stars have been suggested as candidate sources for these GW signals, but dynamical processes happening in dense star clusters such as globular clusters could also cause BHs formed there to merge. The authors of today’s paper investigate how stellar-mass BHs bound in binary systems evolve inside of nuclear star clusters, which are located at the cores of galaxies and are known to host another kind of BH, a (super-)massive black hole (MBH), at their centers.Why is this an interesting setup? Firstly, ...

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