Intermediate-mass black holes in binary-rich star clusters

Ladislav Šubr*, Giacomo Fragione, Jörg Dabringhausen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


There are both theoretical expectation and some observational clues that intermediate-mass black holes reside in nuclei of globular clusters. In order to find an independent indicator for their existence, we investigate in this paper how an IMBH manifests itself through its dynamical interaction with a binary rich globular cluster of moderate extension and mass. By means of direct N-body integration we follow the dynamical evolution of models of such a system over a time span of ≈0.8 Gyr and compare the cases with and without the primordial binaries as well as with and without the IMBH. In accord with previous results, we show that when present the IMBH develops a power-law density cusp of stars around it, regardless of the binary population in the cluster. If, however, binaries are present, their interaction with the IMBH leads to the production of high-velocity escapers at a rate of the order of 0.1 Myr−1. These stars may contribute to the population of high-velocity stars observed in the Galaxy. Clusters hosting the IMBH together with high number of binaries also form a denser halo of marginally unbound stars than clusters that lack either the IMBH or the rich binary population. Finally, we show that the binary population leads to an increased rate of direct interactions of stars with the IMBH, potentially observable as tidal disruption events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2974-2986
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 11 2019


  • Galaxies: star clusters: general
  • Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics
  • Stars: kinematics and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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