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2002ApJ...566..801R - Astrophys. J., 566, 801-808 (2002/February-3)

Nuclear cusps and cores in early-type galaxies as relics of binary black hole mergers.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present an analysis of the central cusp slopes and core parameters of early-type galaxies using a large database of surface brightness profiles obtained from Hubble Space Telescope observations. We examine the relation between the central cusp slopes, core parameters, and black hole masses in early-type galaxies, in light of two models that attempt to explain the formation of cores and density cusps via the dynamical influence of black holes. Contrary to the expectations from adiabatic-growth models, we find that the cusp slopes do not steepen with increasing black hole mass fraction. Moreover, a comparison of kinematic black hole mass measurements with the masses predicted by the adiabatic models shows that they overpredict the masses by a factor of ∼3. Simulations involving binary black hole mergers predict that both the size of the core and the central mass deficit correlate with the final black hole mass. These relations are qualitatively supported by the present data.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Black Hole Physics - Galaxies: Elliptical and Lenticular, cD - Galaxies: Fundamental Parameters - Galaxies: Structure

Simbad objects: 90

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