We investigate how the properties of massive black hole binaries influence the observed properties of core galaxies. We compare the observed trend in stellar mass deficit as a function of total stellar mass in the core galaxy with predicted trends in IllustrisTNG. We calculate mass deficits in simulated galaxies by applying sub-grid, post-processing physics based on the results of literature N-body experiments. We find the median value of the posterior distribution for the minimum binary mass ratio capable of creating a core is 0.7. For the gas mass fraction above which a core is erased we find a median value of 0.6. Thus low mass ratio binaries do not contribute to core formation and gas-rich mergers must lead to star formation within the nucleus, ultimately erasing the core. Such constraints have important implications for the overall massive black hole binary population, black hole-galaxy co-evolution, and the origin of the gravitational wave background.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- November 2023
- galaxies:supermassive black holes;
- galaxies:elliptical and lenticular;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 10 pages, 12 figures, Accepted by MNRAS