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  1. Abstract Galaxy mergers are predicted to trigger accretion onto the central supermassive black holes, with the highest rates occurring during final coalescence. Previously, we have shown elevated rates of both optical and mid-IR selected active galactic nuclei (AGN) in post-mergers, but to date the prevalence of X-ray AGN has not been examined in the same systematic way. We present XMM-Newton data of 43 post-merger galaxies selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey along with 430 non-interacting control galaxies matched in stellar mass, redshift, and environment in order to test for an excess of hard X-ray (2–10 keV) emission in post-mergers attributable to triggered AGN. We find 2 X-ray detections in the post-mergers ($4.7^{+9.3}_{-3.8}\%$) and 9 in the controls ($2.1^{+1.5}_{-1.0}\%$), an excess of $2.22^{+4.44}_{-2.22}$, where the confidence intervals are 90%. While we therefore do not find statistically significant evidence for an X-ray AGN excess in post-mergers (p = 0.26), we find a factor of ∼17 excess of mid-IR AGN in our sample, consistent with past work and inconsistent with the observed X-ray excess (p = 2.7 × 10−4). Dominant, luminous AGN are therefore more frequent in post-mergers, and the lack of a comparable excess of 2–10 keV X-ray AGN suggests that AGN inmore »post-mergers are more likely to be heavily obscured. Our results are consistent with the post-merger stage being characterised by enhanced AGN fueling, heavy AGN obscuration, and more intrinsically luminous AGN, in line with theoretical predictions.« less
  2. Abstract ESA and NASA are moving forward with plans to launch LISA around 2034. With data from the Illustris cosmological simulation, we provide analysis of LISA detection rates accompanied by characterization of the merging massive black hole population. Massive black holes of total mass ∼105 − 1010M⊙ are the focus of this study. We evolve Illustris massive black hole mergers, which form at separations on the order of the simulation resolution (∼kpc scales), through coalescence with two different treatments for the binary massive black hole evolutionary process. The coalescence times of the population, as well as physical properties of the black holes, form a statistical basis for each evolutionary treatment. From these bases, we Monte Carlo synthesize many realizations of the merging massive black hole population to build mock LISA detection catalogs. We analyze how our massive black hole binary evolutionary models affect detection rates and the associated parameter distributions measured by LISA. With our models, we find massive black hole binary detection rates with LISA of ∼0.5 − 1 yr−1 for massive black holes with masses greater than 105M⊙. This should be treated as a lower limit primarily because our massive black hole sample does not include masses below 105M⊙,more »which may significantly add to the observed rate. We suggest reasons why we predict lower detection rates compared to much of the literature.« less