The Milky Way and a significant fraction of galaxies are observed to host a central Massive Black Hole (MBH) embedded in a non-spherical nuclear star cluster. I will discuss the orbital evolution of stellar binaries in these environments and argue that their merger rates are expected to be greatly enhanced when the effect from cluster potential is taken into account in the binary-MBH triple system. I will apply our results to compact-object binary mergers mediated by gravitational wave radiation and show that this merger channel can contribute significantly to the LIGO detections. Further consequences of the presented dynamics will be discussed.
Binary mergers in non-spherical nuclear star clusters
Cristobal Petrovich (CITA)
Thursday, 28 September 2017