HEA: Missions: Gen-X: Science: Merging Black Holes
  • Merging black holes give insight into merger tree vs. redshift.
  • X-rays can see accreting black holes even for AV=100.
  • Gen-X can detect and resolve a binary AGN 2kpc apart at z=1.
  • Angular resolving power increases at the highest redshifts and 0.1" resolution corresponds to physical scales of:
    • 0.8 kpc at z=3
    • 0.6 kpc at z=6
    • 0.3 kpc at z=15
  • Hundreds of binary BH systems will be observable with separation of ~1 kpc

Drives Effective area=50 m2, Angular Resolution=0.1", Resolving power=103-104

Chandra image of NGC6240: two AGNs in a merger, ~1 kpc separation (Komossa et al)
Schematic Black Hole Merger Tree (Volonteri)

Section Photo