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  Blindly Detecting Merging Supermassive Black Holes with Radio Surveys

Kaplan, D. L., O'Shaughnessy, R., Sesana, A., & Volonteri, M. (2011). Blindly Detecting Merging Supermassive Black Holes with Radio Surveys. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 734(2): L37. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/734/2/L37.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-0736-9 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-0737-7
Genre: Journal Article

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1105.3653 (Preprint), 165KB
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 Creators:
Kaplan, David L., Author
O'Shaughnessy, Richard, Author
Sesana, Alberto1, Author              
Volonteri, Marta, Author
Affiliations:
1Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_24013              

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Free keywords: Astrophysics, High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, astro-ph.HE
 Abstract: Supermassive black holes presumably grow through numerous mergers throughout cosmic time. During each merger, supermassive black hole binaries are surrounded by a circumbinary accretion disk that imposes a significant (~1e4 G for a binary of 1e8 Msun) magnetic field. The motion of the binary through that field will convert the field energy to Poynting flux, with a luminosity ~1e43 erg/s (B/1e4 G)^2 (M/1e8 Msun)^2, some of which may emerge as synchrotron emission at frequencies near 1 GHz where current and planned wide-field radio surveys will operate. We find that the short timescales of many mergers will limit their detectability with most planned blind surveys to <1 per year over the whole sky, independent of the details of the emission process and flux distribution. Including an optimistic estimate for the radio flux makes detection even less likely, with <1 mergers per year over the whole sky. However, wide-field radio instruments may be able to localize systems identified in advance of merger by gravitational waves. Further, radio surveys may be able to detect the weaker emission produced by the binary's motion as it is modulated by spin-orbit precession and inspiral well in advance of merger.

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 Dates: 2011-05-182011
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 5 pages, 2 figures. Accepted for publication in ApJ Letters
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: -
 Identifiers: arXiv: 1105.3653
DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/734/2/L37
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Title: The Astrophysical Journal Letters
  Other : Astrophys. J. Lett.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Press for the American Astronomical Society
Pages: 5 Volume / Issue: 734 (2) Sequence Number: L37 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0004-637X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828215