Early Growing Supermassive Black Holes Strengthen Bars and Boxy/Peanut Bulges

Wheeler, Vance, Valluri, Monica, Beraldo e Silva, Leandro, Dattathri, Shashank and Debattista, Victor P orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7902-0116 (2023) Early Growing Supermassive Black Holes Strengthen Bars and Boxy/Peanut Bulges. Astrophysical Journal, 958 (2). ISSN 0004-637X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ace962


Using N-body simulations we explore the effects of growing a supermassive black hole (SMBH) prior to or during the formation of a stellar bar. Keeping the final mass and growth rate of the SMBH fixed, we show that if it is introduced before or while the bar is still growing, the SMBH does not cause a decrease in bar amplitude. Rather, in most cases, it is strengthened. In addition early growing SMBHs always either decreases the buckling amplitude, delay buckling, or both. This weakening of buckling is caused by an increase in the disk vertical velocity dispersion at radii well beyond the nominal black hole sphere-of-influence. While we find considerable stochasticity and sensitivity to initial conditions, the only case where the SMBH causes a decrease in bar amplitude is when it is introduced after the bar has attained a steady state. In this case we confirm previous findings that the decrease in bar strength is a result of scattering of bar-supporting orbits with small pericenter radii. By heating the inner disk both radially and vertically, an early growing SMBH increases the fraction of stars that can be captured by the Inner Lindblad Resonance (ILR) and the vertical ILR, thereby strengthening both the bar and the boxy peanut shaped bulge. Using orbital frequency analysis of star particles, we show that when an SMBH is introduced early and the bar forms around it, the bar is populated by different families of regular bar-supporting orbits than when the bar forms without an SMBH.

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