Supermassive black holes ejected from galaxy nuclei by gravitational wave recoil will carry a retinue of bound stars, even in the absence of an accretion disk. We discuss the observable signatures related to these stars, with an emphasis on electromagnetic flares from stars which are tidally disrupted by the black hole. We calculate disruption rates for the bound, and the unbound, stars. The rates are smaller than, but comparable to, rates for non-recoiling black holes. A key observational consequence is the existence of powerful off-nuclear and intergalactic X-ray flares. We also discuss other observable signatures associated with the bound stars, including episodic X-ray emission from accretion due to stellar mass loss, intergalactic supernovae, and feedback trails.

Publication Date



This is the pre-print of an article published by the American Astronomical Society. The final, published version is available here: https://doi.org/10.1086/591420

© 2008 The American Astronomical Society

Also archived in: arXiv:0807.0223 v1 Jul 1 2008

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


RIT – Main Campus