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Multiple Tidal Disruptions as an Indicator of Binary Supermassive Black Hole Systems

Wegg, Christopher and Bode, J. Nate (2011) Multiple Tidal Disruptions as an Indicator of Binary Supermassive Black Hole Systems. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 738 (1). Art. No. L8. ISSN 2041-8205.

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We find that the majority of systems hosting multiple tidal disruptions (TDs) are likely to contain hard binary supermassive black hole (SMBH) systems, and also show that the rates of these repeated events are high enough to be detected by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) over its lifetime. Therefore, these multiple TD events provide a novel method for identifying SMBH binary systems with parsec to subparsec separations. The rates of TDs are investigated using simulations of non-interacting stars initially orbiting a primary SMBH and the potential of the model stellar cusp. The stars are then evolved forward in time and perturbed by a secondary SMBH inspiraling from the edge of the cusp to its stalling radius. We find with conservative magnitude estimates that the next-generation transient survey LSST should detect multiple TDs in approximately three galaxies over five years of observation, though less conservative estimates could increase this rate by an order of magnitude.

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Additional Information:© 2011 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2010 December 1; accepted 2011 July 18; published 2011 August 10. We gratefully acknowledge useful discussions with Sterl Phinney, Annika Peter, and Andrew Benson. We also thank David Merritt for providing his fits to ACS Virgo data and Marta Volonteri for calculating the SMBH merger rates. Support for this work was provided by NASA BEFS grant NNX-07AH06G.
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Subject Keywords:black hole physics; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: nuclei
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:PACS: 95.75.Pq; 98.62.Ai; 98.62.Js; 98.62.Dm; 97.60.Lf
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110922-072820088
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Official Citation:Multiple Tidal Disruptions as an Indicator of Binary Supermassive Black Hole Systems Christopher Wegg and J. Nate Bode 2011 ApJ 738 L8
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:25393
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:22 Sep 2011 14:41
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:05

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