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Publications (6)25.89 Total impact

  • Michael Brockamp · Holger Baumgardt · Silke Britzen · Anton Zensus
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    ABSTRACT: We aim to unveil the most massive central cluster black holes in the universe. We present a new search strategy which is based on a black hole mass gain sensitive 'calorimeter' and which links the innermost stellar density profile of a galaxy to the adiabatic growth of its central SMBH. In a first step we convert observationally inferred feedback powers into SMBH growth rates by using reasonable energy conversion efficiency parameters, $\epsilon$. In the main part of this paper we use these black hole growth rates, sorted in logarithmically increasing steps encompassing our whole parameter space, to conduct $N$-Body computations of brightest cluster galaxies with the newly developed MUESLI software. For the initial setup of galaxies we use core-Sersic models in order to account for SMBH scouring. We find that adiabatically driven core re-growth is significant at the highest accretion rates. As a result, the most massive black holes should be located in BCGs with less pronounced cores when compared to the predictions of empirical scaling relations which are usually calibrated in less extreme environments. For efficiency parameters $\epsilon<0.1$, BCGs in the most massive, relaxed and X-ray luminous galaxy clusters might even develop steeply rising density cusps. Finally, we discuss several promising candidates for follow up investigations, among them the nuclear black hole in the Phoenix cluster. Based on our results, it might have a mass of the order of $10^{11} M_\odot$.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Article: Rubrik
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    ABSTRACT: Detailed and long-term VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) studies of the variable jets of supermassive black holes helps us to understand the emission processes of these fascinating phenomena. When observed and traced precisely, jet component kinematics reveals details about the potential motion of the jet base. Following this motion over decades with VLBI monitoring reveals – in some cases – the signatures of precession. While several processes can cause precession, the most likely cause seems to be a supermassive binary black hole in the central region of the AGN. We present examples of the analysis of high-resolution VLBI observations which provides us with insight into the physics of these objects and reveals evidence for the presence of double black hole cores. EHT (Event Horizon Telescope) observations will probably soon tell us more about the jet origin and launching mechanism at the very centers of nearby active galactic nuclei. An important question to be addressed by the EHT and related observations will be whether Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole in the Galactic Center, has a jet as well. (© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Astronomische Nachrichten
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    ABSTRACT: 4U 1820-30 is a low-mass X-ray binary near the center of the globular cluster NGC 6624 consisting of, at least, one neutron star and one helium white dwarf. Analyzing 16 years of data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) allows us to measure its orbital period and its time derivative with unprecedented accuracy to be P = 685.01197 +- 0.00003 s and dP/dt /P = -5.3 +- 0.3x10^-8 yr^-1. Hence, we confirm that the period derivative is significantly negative at the >17 sigma level, contrary to theoretical expectations for an isolated X-ray binary. We discuss possible scenarios that could explain this discrepancy, and conclude that the center of NGC 6624 most likely contains large amounts of non-luminous matter such as dark remnants. We also discuss the possibility of an IMBH inside NGC 6624, or that a dark remnant close to 4U 1820-30 causes the observed shift.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    Steffen Mieske · Andreas Kuepper · Michael Brockamp
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    ABSTRACT: We quantify to what extent tidal erosion of globular clusters (GCs) has contributed to the observed u-shaped relation between GC specific frequencies S_N and host galaxy luminosity M_V. We used our MUESLI code to calculate GC survival rates for typical early-type galaxy potentials covering a wide range of observed galaxy properties. We do this for isotropic and radially anisotropic GC velocity distributions. We find that the calculated GC survival fraction, f_s, depends linearly on the logarithm of the 3D mass density, rho_3D, within the galaxy's half light radius, with f_s proportional to (rho_3D)^(-0.17). For a given galaxy, survival rates are lower for radially anisotropic configurations than for the isotropic GC cases. We apply these relations to a literature sample of 219 early-type galaxies from Harris et al. (2013) in the range M_V=[-24.5:-15.5] mag. The expected GC survival fraction ranges from ~50% for the most massive galaxies with the largest radii to ~10% for the most compact galaxies. We find that intermediate luminosity galaxies M_V=[-20.5:-17.5] mag have the strongest expected GC erosion. Within the considered literature sample, the predicted GC survival fraction therefore defines a u-shaped relation with M_V, similar to the relation between specific frequency S_N and M_V. As a consequence, the u-shape of S_N vs. M_V gets erased almost entirely when correcting the S_N values for the effect of GC erosion. We conclude that tidal erosion is an important contributor to the u-shaped relation between GC specific frequency and host galaxy luminosity. It must be taken into account when inferring primordial star cluster formation efficiencies from observations of GC systems in the nearby universe.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present the adaptable muesli code for investigating dynamics and erosion processes of globular clusters (GCs) in galaxies. Muesli follows the orbits of individual clusters and applies internal and external dissolution processes to them. Orbit integration is based on the self-consistent field method in combination with a time-transformed leapfrog scheme, allowing us to handle velocity-dependent forces like triaxial dynamical friction. In a first application, the erosion of GC systems (GCSs) in elliptical galaxies is investigated. Observations show that massive ellipticals have rich, radially extended GCSs, while some compact dwarf ellipticals contain no GCs at all. For several representative examples, spanning the full mass scale of observed elliptical galaxies, we quantify the influence of radial anisotropy, galactic density profiles, supermassive black holes and dynamical friction on the GC erosion rate. We find that GC number density profiles are centrally flattened in less than a Hubble time, naturally explaining observed cored GC distributions. The erosion rate depends primarily on a galaxy's mass, half-mass radius and radial anisotropy. The fraction of eroded GCs is nearly 100 per cent in compact, M32-like galaxies and lowest in extended and massive galaxies. Finally, we uncover the existence of a violent tidal-disruption-dominated phase which is important for the rapid build-up of halo stars.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    M. Brockamp · H. Baumgardt · P. Kroupa
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    ABSTRACT: The disruption rate of stars by supermassive black holes (SMBHs) is calculated numerically with a modified version of Aarseth’s nbody6 code. Equal-mass systems without primordial binaries are treated. The initial stellar distribution around the SMBH follows a Sérsic n= 4 profile representing bulges of late-type galaxies as well of early-type galaxies without central light deficits, i.e. without cores. In order to infer relaxation-driven effects and to increase the statistical significance, a very large set of N-body integrations with different particle numbers N, ranging from 103 to 0.5 × 106 particles, is performed. Three different black hole capture radii are taken into account, enabling us to scale these results to a broad range of astrophysical systems with relaxation times shorter than one Hubble time, i.e. for SMBHs up to M•≈ 107 M⊙. The computed number of disrupted stars is driven by diffusion in angular momentum space into the loss cone of the black hole and the rate scales with the total number of particles as (dN/dt) ∝Nb, where b is as large as 0.83. This is significantly steeper than the expected scaling (d N/dt) ∝ ln (N) derived from simplest energy relaxation arguments. Only a relatively modest dependence of the tidal disruption rate on the mass of the SMBH is found and we discuss our results in the context of the M•–σ relation. The number of disrupted stars contributes a significant part to the mass growth of black holes in the lower mass range as long as a significant part of the stellar mass becomes swallowed by the SMBH. This also bears direct consequences for the search and existence of intermediate-mass black holes in globular clusters. For SMBHs similar to the galactic centre black hole Sgr A★, a tidal disruption rate of 55 ± 27 events Myr−1 is deduced. Finally relaxation-driven stellar feeding cannot account for the masses of massive black holes M•≥ 107 M⊙ in complete agreement with conventional gas accretion and feedback models.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society