Modelling the host galaxies of binary compact object mergers with observational scaling relations

Filippo Santoliquido, Michela Mapelli, M. Celeste Artale, Lumen Boco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The merger rate density evolution of binary compact objects and the properties of their host galaxies carry crucial information to understand the sources of gravitational waves. Here, we present galaxy Rate, a new code that estimates the merger rate density of binary compact objects and the properties of their host galaxies, based on observational scaling relations. We generate our synthetic galaxies according to the galaxy stellar mass function. We estimate the metallicity according to both the mass-metallicity relation (MZR) and the fundamental metallicity relation (FMR). Also, we take into account galaxy-galaxy mergers and the evolution of the galaxy properties from the formation to the merger of the binary compact object. We find that the merger rate density changes dramatically depending on the choice of the star-forming galaxy main sequence, especially in the case of binary black holes (BBHs) and black hole neutron star systems (BHNSs). The slope of the merger rate density of BBHs and BHNSs is steeper if we assume the MZR with respect to the FMR, because the latter predicts a shallower decrease of metallicity with redshift. In contrast, binary neutron stars (BNSs) are only mildly affected by both the galaxy main sequence and metallicity relation. Overall, BBHs and BHNSs tend to form in low-mass metal-poor galaxies and merge in high-mass metal-rich galaxies, while BNSs form and merge in massive galaxies. We predict that passive galaxies host at least ∼5-10 per cent, ∼15-25 per cent, and ∼15-35 per cent of all BNS, BHNS, and BBH mergers in the local Universe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3297-3317
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume516
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • black hole physics
  • galaxies: star formation
  • gravitational waves
  • methods: numerical
  • stars: neutron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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