3 years ago

Accretion of clumpy cold gas onto massive black holes binaries: the challenging formation of extended circumbinary structures.

Alberto Sesana, Felipe G. Goicovic, Pau Amaro-Seoane, Cristián Maureira-Fredes

Massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) represent an unavoidable outcome of hierarchical galaxy formation, but their dynamical evolution at sub-parsec scales is poorly understood, due to a combination of uncertainties in theoretical models and lack of firm observational evidence. In gas rich environments, it has been shown that a putative extended, steady circumbinary gaseous disc plays an important role in the MBHB evolution, facilitating its coalescence. How gas on galactic scales is transported to the nuclear region to form and maintain such a stable structure is, however, unclear. If, following a galaxy merger, turbulent gas is condenses in cold clumps and filaments that are randomly scattered, gas is naturally transported on parsec scales and interacts with the MBHB in discrete incoherent pockets. The aim of this work is to investigate the gaseous structures arising from this interaction. We employ a suite of smoothed-particle-hydrodynamic simulations to study the formation and evolution of gaseous structures around a MBHB constantly perturbed by the incoherent infall of molecular clouds. We investigate the influence of the infall rate and angular momentum distribution of the clouds on the geometry and stability of the arising structures. We find that the continuous supply of incoherent clouds is a double-edge sword, resulting in the intermittent formation and disruption of circumbinary structures. Anisotropic cloud distributions featuring an excess of co-rotating events generate more prominent co-rotating circumbinary discs. Similar structures are seen when mostly counter-rotating clouds are fed to the binary, even though they are more compact and less stable. In general, our simulations do not show the formation of extended smooth and stable circumbinary discs, typically assumed in analytical and numerical investigations of the the long term evolution of MBHBs. (Abridged)

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.06179

DOI: arXiv:1801.06179v1

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.