There are no known stellar-origin double black hole (BH-BH) or black-hole-neutron-star (BH-NS) systems. We argue that Cyg X-3 is a very likely BH-BH or BH-NS progenitor. This Galactic X-ray binary consists of a compact object, wind-fed by a Wolf-Rayet (W-R) type companion. Based on a comprehensive analysis of observational data, it was recently argued that Cyg X-3 harbors a 2-4.5 M⊙ black hole (BH) and a 7.5-14.2 M⊙ W-R companion. We find that the fate of such a binary leads to the prompt (≲ 1 Myr) formation of a close BH-BH system for the high end of the allowed W-R mass (M⊙W-R ≳ 13 M⊙). For the low- to mid-mass range of the W-R star (M⊙W-R ∼ 7-10 M⊙) Cyg X-3 is most likely (probability 70%) disrupted when W-R ends up as a supernova. However, with smaller probability, it may form a wide (15%) or a close (15%) BH-NS system. The advanced LIGO/VIRGO detection rate for mergers of BH-BH systems from the Cyg X-3 formation channel is ∼10 yr-1, while it drops down to ∼0.1 yr-1 for BH-NS systems. If Cyg X-3 in fact hosts a low-mass black hole and massive W-R star, it lends additional support for the existence of BH-BH/BH-NS systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science