A gap in phase space is opened up by a binary supermassive black hole as it ejects stars in a galactic nucleus. This gap must be refilled before the single black hole that subsequently forms can disrupt or accrete stars. We compute loss cone refilling rates for a sample of elliptical galaxies as a function of the mass ratio of the binary that preceded the current, single black hole. Refilling times are of order 1010 yr or longer in bright elliptical galaxies. Tidal flaring rates in these galaxies might be much lower than predicted using steady-state models.

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/10.1086/429272

© 2005 The American Astronomical Society.

Also archived In: arXiv: astro-ph/0411210 v2 10 Nov 2004

This work was supported by grants AST-0071099, AST- 0206031, AST-0420920 and AST-0437519 from the NSF grant NNG04GJ48G from NASA, and grant HST-AR-09519.01-A from STScI.

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