[1111.3742] Origin and Implications of high eccentricities in massive black hole binaries at sub-pc scales

Authors: Constanze Roedig, Alberto Sesana

Date: 16 Nov 2011

Abstract: We outline the eccentricity evolution of sub-parsec massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) forming in galaxy mergers. In both stellar and gaseous environments, MBHBs are expected to grow large orbital eccentricities before they enter the gravitational wave (GW) observational domain. We re--visit the predicted eccentricities detectable by space based laser interferometers (as the proposed ELISA/NGO) for both environments. Close to coalescence, many MBHBs will still maintain detectable eccentricities, spanning a broad range from <10ˆ{-5} up to <~ 0.5. Stellar and gas driven dynamics lead to distinct distributions, with the latter favoring larger eccentricities. At larger binary separations, when emitted GWs will be observed by pulsar timing arrays (PTAs), the expected eccentricities are usually quite large, in the range 0.01-0.7, which poses an important issue for signal modelling and detection algorithms. In this window, large eccentricities also have implications on proposed electromagnetic counterparts to the GW signal, which we briefly review.

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Nov 29, 2011

1111.3742 (/preprints)
2011-11-29, 04:48 [edit]

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