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2011ApJ...741L..12B - Astrophys. J., 741, L12 (2011/November-1)

A new type of compact stellar population: dark star clusters.


Abstract (from CDS):

Among the most explored directions in the study of dense stellar systems is the investigation of the effects of the retention of supernova remnants, especially that of the massive stellar remnant black holes (BHs), in star clusters. By virtue of their eventual high central concentration, these stellar mass BHs potentially invoke a wide variety of physical phenomena, the most important ones being emission of gravitational waves (GWs), formation of X-ray binaries, and modification of the dynamical evolution of the cluster. Here we propose, for the first time, that rapid removal of stars from the outer parts of a cluster by the strong tidal field in the inner region of our Galaxy can unveil its BH sub-cluster, which appears as a star cluster that is gravitationally bound by an invisible mass. We study the formation and properties of such systems through direct N-body computations and estimate that they can be present in significant numbers in the inner region of the Milky Way. We call such objects "dark star clusters" (DSCs) as they appear dimmer than normal star clusters of similar mass and they comprise a predicted, new class of entities. The finding of DSCs will robustly cross-check BH retention; they will not only constrain the uncertain natal kicks of BHs, thereby the widely debated theoretical models of BH formation, but will also pinpoint star clusters as potential sites for GW emission for forthcoming ground-based detectors such as the Advanced LIGO. Finally, we also discuss the relevance of DSCs for the nature of IRS 13E.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): black hole physics - Galaxy: center - gravitational waves - methods: numerical - open clusters and associations: individual: IRS 13E - stars: kinematics and dynamics

Simbad objects: 3

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