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Title: Massive black hole mergers with orbital information: predictions from the ASTRID simulation
ABSTRACT We examine massive black hole (MBH) mergers and their associated gravitational wave signals from the large-volume cosmological simulation Astrid . Astrid includes galaxy formation and black hole models recently updated with an MBH seed population between 3 × 104h−1M⊙ and 3 × 105h−1M⊙ and a sub-grid dynamical friction (DF) model to follow the MBH dynamics down to 1.5 ckpc h−1. We calculate the initial eccentricities of MBH orbits directly from the simulation at kpc-scales, and find orbital eccentricities above 0.7 for most MBH pairs before the numerical merger. After approximating unresolved evolution on scales below ${\sim 200\, \text{pc}}$, we find that the in-simulation DF on large scales accounts for more than half of the total orbital decay time ($\sim 500\, \text{Myr}$) due to DF. The binary hardening time is an order of magnitude longer than the DF time, especially for the seed-mass binaries (MBH < 2Mseed). As a result, only $\lesssim 20{{\rm per \,cent}}$ of seed MBH pairs merge at z > 3 after considering both unresolved DF evolution and binary hardening. These z > 3 seed-mass mergers are hosted in a biased population of galaxies with the highest stellar masses of $\gt 10^9\, {\rm M}_\odot$. With the higher initial eccentricity prediction from Astrid , we estimate an more » expected merger rate of 0.3−0.7 per year from the z > 3 MBH population. This is a factor of ∼7 higher than the prediction using the circular orbit assumption. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna events are expected at a similar rate, and comprise $\gtrsim 60\,{\rm{per\,cent}}$ seed-seed mergers, $\sim 30\,{\rm{per\,cent}}$ involving only one seed-mass MBH, and $\sim 10\,{\rm{per\,cent}}$ mergers of non-seed MBHs. « less
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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
2220 to 2238
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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