BHs in GCs, and a new job

In Stars group meeting, Ruth Angus (Columbia) showed her catalog of rotation periods in the Kepler and K2 fields. She has a huge number! We discussed visualizations of these that would be convincing and also possibly create new scientific leads.

Also in Stars group meeting, Arash Bahramian (MSU) spoke about black holes in globular clusters. He discussed how they use simultaneous radio and X-ray observations to separate the BHs from neutron stars: Radio reveals jet energy and X-ray reveals accretion energy, which (empirically) are different for BHs and NSs. However, in terms of making a data-driven model, the only situations in which you are confident that something is a NS is when you see X-ray bursts (because: surface effect) and the only situations in which you are confident that something is a BH is when you can see a dynamical mass substantially greater than 1.4 Solar masses (because: equation of state). He highlighted some oddities around the cluster Terzan 5, which is the globular cluster with the largest number of X-ray sources, and also an extremely high density and inferred stellar collision rate. This was followed by much discussion of relationships between collision rate and other cluster properties, and also some discussion of some individual x-ray sources.

[In non-research news: Today I became an employee of the Flatiron Institute, as a new group leader within the CCA! Prior to today I was only in a consulting role.]

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