Tracing intermediate-mass black holes in the Galactic Centre

Lockmann, U. and Baumgardt, H. (2008) Tracing intermediate-mass black holes in the Galactic Centre. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 384 1: 323-330. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12699.x

Author Lockmann, U.
Baumgardt, H.
Title Tracing intermediate-mass black holes in the Galactic Centre
Journal name Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0035-8711
Publication date 2008-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12699.x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 384
Issue 1
Start page 323
End page 330
Total pages 8
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We have developed a new method for post-Newtonian, high-precision integration of stellar systems containing a super-massive black hole (SMBH), splitting the forces on a particle between a dominant central force and perturbations. We used this method to perform fully collisional N-body simulations of inspiralling intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) in the centre of the Milky Way. We considered stellar cusps of different power-law indices and analysed the effects of IMBHs of different masses, all starting from circular orbits at an initial distance of 0.1 pc. Our simulations show how IMBHs deplete the central cusp of stars, leaving behind a flatter cusp with slope consistent with what has recently been observed. If an additional IMBH spirals into such a flat cusp, it can take 50 Myr or longer to merge with the central SMBH, thus allowing for direct observation in the near future. The final merger of the two black holes involves gravitational wave radiation which may be observable with planned gravitational wave detectors. Furthermore, our simulations reveal detailed properties of the hypervelocity stars (HVSs) created, and how generations of HVSs can be used to trace IMBHs in the Galactic Centre. We find that significant rotation of HVSs (which would be evidence for an IMBH) can only be expected among very fast stars (v > 1000 km s−1). Also, the probability of creating a hypervelocity binary star is found to be very small.
Keyword Black hole physics
Stellar dynamics
Methods : N-body simulations
Galaxy : centre
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
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