Characteristic signatures in the thermal emission from accreting binary black holes

Brian D. Farris, Paul Duffell, Andrew I. MacFadyen, Zoltán Haiman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We present the results of a calculation of the thermal spectrum from a 2D, moving mesh, high-accuracy, viscous hydrodynamical simulation of an accreting supermassive black hole (SMBHs) binary. We include viscous heating, shock heating, and radiative cooling, evolving for longer than a viscous time so that we reach a quasi-steady accretion state. In agreement with previous work, we find that gas is efficiently stripped from the inner edge of the circumbinary disc and enters the cavity along accretion streams, which feed persistent 'minidiscs' surrounding each black hole.We also find that emission from the shock-heated minidiscs and accretion streams prevents any deficit in high-energy emission that may be expected inside the circumbinary cavity, and instead leads to a characteristic brightening of the spectrum beginning in soft X-rays.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)L36-L40
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


    • Black hole physics
    • Gravitational waves

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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