How Black Holes Shape Globular Clusters: Modeling NGC 3201

Kyle Kremer, Claire S. Ye, Sourav Chatterjee, Carl L. Rodriguez, Frederic A. Rasio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Numerical simulations have shown that black holes (BHs) can strongly influence the evolution and present-day observational properties of globular clusters (GCs). Using a Monte Carlo code, we construct GC models that match the Milky Way cluster NGC 3201, the first cluster in which a stellar-mass BH was identified through radial velocity measurements. We predict that NGC 3201 contains 200 stellar-mass BHs. Furthermore, we explore the dynamical formation of main-sequence-BH binaries and demonstrate that systems similar to the observed BH binary in NGC 3201 are produced naturally. Additionally, our models predict the existence of bright blue straggler-BH binaries that are unique to core-collapsed clusters, which otherwise retain few BHs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL15
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 2018


  • globular clusters: general
  • globular clusters: individual (NGC 3201)
  • methods: numerical
  • stars: black holes
  • stars: kinematics and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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