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We still do not know the timescale for the merging of binary black holes (BHs). This timescale has important implications for gravitational wave predictions and our understanding of BH demographics. Here we discuss efforts to constrain the fraction of BH pairs on kpc scales using observations of dual active galactic nuclei.
Recent observations suggest that dissipationless mergers of elliptical galaxies build up the population of massive early-type galaxies (Bell et al. 2004; Faber et al. 2006). This type of merger is observed in galaxy clusters (Tran et al. 2005) and predicted by semi-analytic models which find mass assembly times significantly later than star-formation times for the most massive elliptical galaxies (de Lucia & Blaizot 2006). Here, we use a semi-analytic model of minor mergers of dark matter halos to examine the role of dry minor mergers in elliptical galaxy formation.
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