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Journal Article

Supermassive black holes in star forming gaseous circumnuclear discs


Amaro-Seoane,  Pau
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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del Valle, L., Escala, A., Maureira-Fredes, C., Molina, J., Cuadra, J., & Amaro-Seoane, P. (2015). Supermassive black holes in star forming gaseous circumnuclear discs. Astrophysical Journal, 811(1): 59. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/811/1/59.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-0B12-0
Using N-body/SPH simulations we study the evolution of the separation of a pair of SMBHs embedded in a star forming circumnuclear disk (CND). This type of disk is expected to be formed in the central kilo parsec of the remnant of gas-rich galaxy mergers. Our simulations indicate that orbital decay of the SMBHs occurs more quickly when the mean density of the CND is higher, due to increased dynamical friction. However, in simulations where the CND is fragmented in high density gaseous clumps (clumpy CND), the orbits of the SMBHs are erratically perturbed by the gravitational interaction with these clumps, delaying, in some cases, the orbital decay of the SMBHs. The densities of these gaseous clumps in our simulations and in recent studies of clumpy CNDs are significantly higher than the observed density of molecular clouds in isolated galaxies or ULIRGs, thus, we expect that SMBH orbits are perturbed less in real CNDs than in the simulated CNDs of this study and other recent studies. We also find that the migration timescale has a weak dependence on the star formation rate of the CND. Furthermore, the migration timescale of a SMBH pair in a star-forming clumpy CND is at most a factor three longer than the migration timescale of a pair of SMBHs in a CND modeled with more simple gas physics. Therefore, we estimate that the migration timescale of the SMBHs in a clumpy CND is on the order of $10^7$ yrs.