Powerful flares from recoiling black holes in quasars

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Shields, G. A.
Bonning, E. W.
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Abstract
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Mergers of spinning black holes can give recoil velocities from gravitational radiation up to several thousand km/s. A recoiling supermassive black hole in an AGN retains the inner part of its accretion disk. Marginally bound material rejoining the disk around the moving black hole releases a large amount of energy in shocks in a short time, leading to a flare in thermal soft X-rays with a luminosity approaching the Eddington limit. Reprocessing of the X-rays by the infalling material gives strong optical and ultraviolet emission lines with a distinctive spectrum. Despite the short lifetime of the flare (~10^4 yr), as many as 100 flares may be in play at the present time in QSOs at redshifts ~ 1 to 3. These flares provide a means to identify high velocity recoils.
Comment: 15 pages, 7 figures, submitted to ApJ
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Astrophysics
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