DDA 36th Meeting, 10-14 April 2005
Session 2 Orbits and Orbit Evolution I: from Small to Large
Oral, Monday, April 11, 2005, 9:35am-12:15pm

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[2.06] Binary Black Hole Ejections of Intracluster Planetary Nebulae

K. Holley-Bockelmann, S. Sigurdsson, R. Ciardullo (Penn State U.), J. Feldmeier (NOAO), C. Mihos (Case Western Reserve University), C. McBride (University of Pittsburgh)

Recently, hypervelocity stars have been discovered in the outskirts of galaxies, such as the unbound star in the Milky Way halo (Brown et al 2005), or the three anomalously fast intracluster planetary nebulae (ICPN) around M87 (Arnaboldi et al 2004). Such fast velocities may be caused by close 3-body interactions with a binary supermassive black hole (BBH) at a galaxy's center, where a star which passes within the semimajor axis of the BBH can receive enough energy to eject it from the system (Hills 1988, Yu & Tremaine 2003). Stars ejected by BBHs may form a substantial sub-population of the intracluster stars, but with very different kinematics and mean population properties than the bulk of the intracluster stellar population. It may be possible to observationally discriminate the two populations. The number, kinematics, and shape of the ejected stellar distribution may constrain the mass ratio, semimajor axis, orbital plane, and even the time evolution of the orbital plane of the BBH. These constraints, assume, however, that the ejected debris moves within a smooth, static potential. We investigate the evolution of the ejected debris field from a BBH within a time-dependent cluster potential using a high resolution, self-consistent cosmological N-body simulation of the Virgo Cluster.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #2
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.