The closest black holes

R. P. Fender, Thomas Maccarone, I. Heywood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Starting from the assumption that there is a large population (≥108) of stellar-mass isolated black holes (IBH) distributed throughout our Galaxy, we consider the detectable signatures of accretion from the interstellar medium (ISM) that may be associated with such a population. We simulate the nearby (radius 250 pc) part of this population, corresponding to the closest ˜35 000 black holes, using current best estimates of the mass distribution of stellar-mass black holes combined with two models for the velocity distribution of stellar-mass IBH which bracket likely possibilities. We distribute this population of objects appropriately within the different phases of the ISM and calculate the Bondi-Hoyle accretion rate, modified by a further dimensionless efficiency parameter λ. Assuming a simple prescription for radiatively inefficient accretion at low Eddington ratios, we calculate the X-ray luminosity of these objects, and similarly estimate the radio luminosity from relations found
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1538
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
StatePublished - Apr 2013


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