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Title: Constraining the number of compact remnants near Sgr A*
Authors: Deegan, P.
Nayakshin, S.
First Published: 11-May-2007
Publisher: Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2007, 377 (2), pp. 897-904
Abstract: Due to dynamical friction stellar mass black holes and neutron stars are expected to form high-density cusps in the inner parsec of our Galaxy. These compact remnants, expected to number around 20 000, may be accreting cold dense gas present there, and give rise to potentially observable X-ray emission. Here we build a simple but detailed time-dependent model of such emission. The possibility that these accretion flows are radiatively inefficient is taken into account and brings in some uncertainty in the conclusions. Despite this uncertainty, we find that at least several X-ray sources of this nature should be detectable with Chandra at any one time. Turning this issue around, we also ask a question of what current observational constraints might be telling us about the total number of compact remnants. In our ‘best guess’ model, a cusp of ∼40 000 remnants overpredicts the number of discrete sources and the total X-ray luminosity of the inner parsec, and is hence ruled out. In the most radiatively inefficient scenario that we consider, the radiative efficiency is set to be as small as ɛ= 10−5. In this rather unlikely scenario, a cusp of ∼40 000 black holes would be allowed by the data, but several individual sources should still be visible. Future observations of the distribution and orbits of the cold ionized gas in the inner parsec of our Galaxy will put tighter constraints on the cusp of compact remnants.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.11659.x
ISSN: 0035-8711
eISSN: 1365-2966
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2007 the authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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