Could black hole X-ray binaries be detected in globular clusters?

V. Kalogera*, A. R. King, F. A. Rasio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


We consider the implications of the presence of an ∼1 stellar-mass black hole (BH) at the center of a dense globular cluster. We show that BH X-ray binaries formed through exchange interactions are likely to have extremely low duty cycles (under about 10-3), consistent with the absence of BH X-ray transients in Galactic globular clusters. In contrast, we find that BH X-ray binaries formed through tidal capture would be persistent, bright X-ray sources. Given the absence of any such source and the very high interaction rates, we conclude that tidal capture of a main-sequence star by a BH most likely leads to the complete disruption of the star.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L171-L174
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Binaries: close
  • Black hole physics
  • Globular clusters: general
  • Stellar dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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