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Massive black hole seeds born via direct gas collapse in galaxy mergers: their properties, statistics and environment


Bonoli, S; Mayer, L; Callegari, S (2014). Massive black hole seeds born via direct gas collapse in galaxy mergers: their properties, statistics and environment. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 437(2):1576-1592.

Abstract

We study the statistics and cosmic evolution of massive black hole seeds formed during major mergers of gas-rich late-type galaxies. Generalizing the results of the hydrosimulations from Mayer et al., we envision a scenario in which a supermassive star can form at the centre of galaxies that just experienced a major merger owing to a multiscale powerful gas inflow, provided that such galaxies live in haloes with masses above 1011 M⊙, are gas rich and disc dominated, and do not already host a massive black hole. We assume that the ultimate collapse of the supermassive star leads to the rapid formation of a black hole of 105 M⊙ following a quasi-star stage. Using a model for galaxy formation applied to the outputs of the Millennium Simulation, we show that the conditions required for this massive black hole formation route to take place in the concordance Λ cold dark matter model are actually common at high redshift and can be realized even at low redshift. Most major mergers above z ˜ 4 in haloes with mass >1011 M⊙ can lead to the formation of a massive seed and, at z ˜ 2, the fraction of favourable mergers decreases to about half. Interestingly, we find that even in the local universe a fraction (˜20 per cent) of major mergers in massive haloes still satisfies the conditions for our massive black hole formation route. Those late events take place in galaxies with a markedly low clustering amplitude, that have lived in isolation for most of their life and that are experiencing a major merger for the first time. We predict that massive black hole seeds from galaxy mergers can dominate the massive end of the mass function at high (z > 4) and intermediate (z ˜ 2) redshifts relative to lighter seeds formed at higher redshift, for example, by the collapse of Pop III stars. Finally, a fraction of these massive seeds could lie, soon after formation, above the MBH-MBulge relation.

Abstract

We study the statistics and cosmic evolution of massive black hole seeds formed during major mergers of gas-rich late-type galaxies. Generalizing the results of the hydrosimulations from Mayer et al., we envision a scenario in which a supermassive star can form at the centre of galaxies that just experienced a major merger owing to a multiscale powerful gas inflow, provided that such galaxies live in haloes with masses above 1011 M⊙, are gas rich and disc dominated, and do not already host a massive black hole. We assume that the ultimate collapse of the supermassive star leads to the rapid formation of a black hole of 105 M⊙ following a quasi-star stage. Using a model for galaxy formation applied to the outputs of the Millennium Simulation, we show that the conditions required for this massive black hole formation route to take place in the concordance Λ cold dark matter model are actually common at high redshift and can be realized even at low redshift. Most major mergers above z ˜ 4 in haloes with mass >1011 M⊙ can lead to the formation of a massive seed and, at z ˜ 2, the fraction of favourable mergers decreases to about half. Interestingly, we find that even in the local universe a fraction (˜20 per cent) of major mergers in massive haloes still satisfies the conditions for our massive black hole formation route. Those late events take place in galaxies with a markedly low clustering amplitude, that have lived in isolation for most of their life and that are experiencing a major merger for the first time. We predict that massive black hole seeds from galaxy mergers can dominate the massive end of the mass function at high (z > 4) and intermediate (z ˜ 2) redshifts relative to lighter seeds formed at higher redshift, for example, by the collapse of Pop III stars. Finally, a fraction of these massive seeds could lie, soon after formation, above the MBH-MBulge relation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:January 2014
Deposited On:13 Aug 2014 14:57
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:01
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt1990

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