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Intermediate-mass Black Holes on the Run from Young Star Clusters

González Prieto, Elena and Kremer, Kyle and Fragione, Giacomo and Martinez, Miguel A. S. and Weatherford, Newlin C. and Zevin, Michael and Rasio, Frederic A. (2022) Intermediate-mass Black Holes on the Run from Young Star Clusters. Astrophysical Journal, 940 (2). p. 131. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac9b0f.

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The existence of black holes (BHs) with masses in the range between stellar remnants and supermassive BHs has only recently become unambiguously established. GW190521, a gravitational wave signal detected by the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration, provides the first direct evidence for the existence of such intermediate-mass BHs (IMBHs). This event sparked and continues to fuel discussion on the possible formation channels for such massive BHs. As the detection revealed, IMBHs can form via binary mergers of BHs in the “upper mass gap” (≈40–120 M_⊙). Alternatively, IMBHs may form via the collapse of a very massive star formed through stellar collisions and mergers in dense star clusters. In this study, we explore the formation of IMBHs with masses between 120 and 500 M_⊙ in young, massive star clusters using state-of-the-art Cluster Monte Carlo models. We examine the evolution of IMBHs throughout their dynamical lifetimes, ending with their ejection from the parent cluster due to gravitational radiation recoil from BH mergers, or dynamical recoil kicks from few-body scattering encounters. We find that all of the IMBHs in our models are ejected from the host cluster within the first ∼500 Myr, indicating a low retention probability of IMBHs in this mass range for globular clusters today. We estimate the peak IMBH merger rate to be ℛ ≈ 2 Gpc⁻³ yr⁻¹ at redshift z ≈ 2.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
González Prieto, Elena0000-0002-0933-6438
Kremer, Kyle0000-0002-4086-3180
Fragione, Giacomo0000-0002-7330-027X
Martinez, Miguel A. S.0000-0001-5285-4735
Weatherford, Newlin C.0000-0002-9660-9085
Zevin, Michael0000-0002-0147-0835
Rasio, Frederic A.0000-0002-7132-418X
Additional Information:This work was supported by NSF grant AST-2108624 and NASA grant 80NSSC22K0722. G.F. and F.A.R. acknowledge support from NASA grant 80NSSC21K1722. K.K. is supported by an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under award AST-2001751. N.C.W. acknowledges support from the CIERA Riedel Family Graduate Fellowship. Support for M.Z. is provided by NASA through the NASA Hubble Fellowship grant HST-HF2-51474.001-A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. This research was supported in part through the computational resources and staff contributions provided for the Quest high performance computing facility at Northwestern University, which is jointly supported by the Office of the Provost, the Office for Research, and Northwestern University Information Technology.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics FellowshipAST-2001751
Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA)UNSPECIFIED
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF2-51474.001-A
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20230103-818063100.30
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:118629
Deposited By: Research Services Depository
Deposited On:27 Jan 2023 17:46
Last Modified:27 Jan 2023 17:46

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