Letter to the Editor
Binary black hole growth by gas accretion in stellar clusters
1 Department of Mathematics, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, 45110, Greece
2 Astrophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 20771, USA
Accepted: 7 December 2018
We show that binaries of stellar-mass black holes formed inside a young protoglobular cluster, can grow rapidly inside the cluster’s core by accretion of the intracluster gas, before the gas may be depleted from the core. A black hole with mass of the order of eight solar masses can grow to values of the order of thirty five solar masses in accordance with recent gravitational waves signals observed by LIGO. Due to the black hole mass increase, a binary may also harden. The growth of binary black holes in a dense protoglobular cluster through mass accretion indicates a potentially important formation and hardening channel.
Key words: globular clusters: general / galaxies: star clusters: general / black hole physics / gravitational waves
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