Study on the detectability of gravitational radiation from single-binary encounters between black holes in nuclear star cluster: the case of hyperbolic flybys

Elena Codazzo, Matteo Di Giovanni, Jan Harms, Marco Dall'Amico, Michela Mapelli

Submitted on 4 July 2022


With the release of the third Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalogue (GWTC-3), 90 observations of compact-binary mergers by Virgo and LIGO detectors are confirmed. Some of these mergers are suspected to have occurred in star clusters. The density of black holes at the cores of these clusters is so high that mergers can occur through a few generations forming increasingly massive black holes. These conditions also make it possible for three black holes to interact, most likely via single-binary encounters. In this paper, we present a first study of how often such encounters can happen in nuclear star clusters (NSCs) as a function of redshift, and whether these encounters are observable by gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. This study focuses on effectively hyperbolic encounters leaving out the resonant encounters. We find that in NSCs single-binary encounters occur rarely compared to binary mergers, and that hyperbolic encounters most likely produce the strongest GW emission below the observation band of terrestrial GW detectors. While several of them can be expected to occur per year with peak energy in the LISA band, their amplitude is low, and detection by LISA seems improbable.


Comment: 14 pages, 9 figures

Subjects: Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena; Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics; General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology