Outflow-driven Transients from the Birth of Binary Black Holes. I. Tidally Locked Secondary Supernovae

Shigeo S. Kimura, Kohta Murase, Peter Mészáros

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7 Scopus citations


We propose a new type of electromagnetic transient associated with the birth of binary black holes (BBHs), which may lead to merger events accompanied by gravitational waves in ∼0.11 Gyr. We consider the newborn BBHs formed through the evolution of isolated massive stellar binaries. For a close massive binary, consisting of a primary black hole (BH) and a secondary Wolf-Rayet (WR) star that are orbiting around each other, the spin period of the WR star can be tidally synchronized to its orbital period. Then the angular momentum of the outer material of the WR star is large enough to form an accretion disk around a newborn, secondary BH, following its core-collapse. This disk may produce an energetic outflow with a kinetic energy of ∼10501052erg and an outflow velocity of ∼1010 cm s-1, resulting in an optical transient with an absolute magnitude from approximately -14 to approximatley -17 with a duration of around a day. This type of transient also produces detectable radio signals ∼110 years after the birth of BBHs, via synchrotron emission from nonthermal electrons accelerated at external shocks. The predicted optical transients have a shorter duration than ordinary core-collapse supernovae. Dedicated optical transient surveys can detect them and distinguish them from ordinary SNe using the different features of its light curve and late-time spectrum. In this paper (Paper I), we investigate disk-driven outflows from the secondary BH, whereas possible signals from the primary BH will be discussed in Paper II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number52
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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