Editors: Pau Amaro-Seoane & Bernard Schutz
The last GW Note is a Special Issues on eLISA/NGO

Recoiling Supermassive Black Holes in Spin-flip Radio Galaxies


by Liu, F. K. and Wang, Dong and Chen, Xian
47 pages, 9 figures, 1 table; accepted for publication in ApJ

Numerical relativity simulations predict that coalescence of supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries not only leads to a spin flip but also to a recoiling of the merger remnant SMBHs. In the literature, X-shaped radio sources are popularly suggested to be candidates for SMBH mergers with spin flip of jet-ejecting SMBHs. Here we investigate the spectral and spatial observational signatures of the recoiling SMBHs in radio sources undergoing black hole spin flip. Our results show that SMBHs in most spin-flip radio sources have mass ratio $latex q\ga 0.3$ with a minimum possible value $latex q_{\rm min} \simeq 0.05$. For major mergers, the remnant SMBHs can get a kick velocity as high as $latex 2100 km s^{-1}$ in the direction within an angle $latex \la 40^\circ$ relative to the spin axes of remnant SMBHs, implying that recoiling quasars are biased to be with high Doppler-shifted broad emission lines while recoiling radio galaxies are biased to large apparent spatial off-center displacements. We also calculate the distribution functions of line-of-sight velocity and apparent spatial off-center for spin-flip radio sources with different apparent jet reorientation angles. Our results show that the larger the apparent jet reorientation angle is, the larger the Doppler-shifting recoiling velocity and apparent spatial off-center displacement will be. We investigate the effects of recoiling velocity on the dust torus in spin-flip radio sources and suggest that recoiling of SMBHs would lead to “dust poor” AGNs. Finally, we collect a sample of 19 X-shaped radio objects and for each object give the probability of detecting the predicted signatures of recoiling SMBH.

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