Searching for the Recoiling Black Hole in BCG2261

We propose a 100 ksec observation of the core of BCG 2261 to test for the presence of a recoiling SMBH. Binary SMBHs are thought to scour out cores in the host galaxy before coalescence of the black holes, which can lead to large recoils. Despite the importance of the connection between binary BHs, strong gravity, and galaxy evolution, it has never been conclusively observed. Without confirmation, we don’t know if binary SMBHs can create stellar cores achieve high recoil velocities. We can produce the first direct observational proof of a recoiling SMBH in BCG 2261, the strongest candidate to date to host a recoiling SMBH and an extreme stellar core. With a detection, we will finally have definitive observational evidence connecting core formation, gravitational waves, and binary BHs.