The formation of the black hole in the X-ray binary system V404 Cyg

J. C.A. Miller-Jones, P. G. Jonker, G. Nelemans, S. Portegies Zwart, V. Dhawan, W. Brisken, E. Gallo, M. P. Rupen

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27 Scopus citations


Using new and archival radio data, we have measured the proper motion of the black hole X-ray binary V404 Cyg to be 9.2 ± 0.3 mas yr-1. Combined with the systemic radial velocity from the literature, we derive the full three-dimensional heliocentric space velocity of the system, which we use to calculate a peculiar velocity in the range 47-102 km s-1, with a best-fitting value of 64 km s-1. We consider possible explanations for the observed peculiar velocity and find that the black hole cannot have formed via direct collapse. A natal supernova is required, in which either significant mass (∼11 M) was lost, giving rise to a symmetric Blaauw kick of up to ∼65 km s-1, or, more probably, asymmetries in the supernova led to an additional kick out of the orbital plane of the binary system. In the case of a purely symmetric kick, the black hole must have been formed with a mass ∼9 M, since when it has accreted 0.5-1.5 M from its companion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1440-1448
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Astrometry
  • Radio continuum: stars
  • Stars: individual: V404 Cyg
  • Stars: kinematics
  • Stars: supernovae: general
  • X-rays: binaries

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