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Simulating disc formation in tidal disruption events

Bonnerot, Clément and Lu, Wenbin (2020) Simulating disc formation in tidal disruption events. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 495 (1). pp. 1374-1391. ISSN 0035-8711.

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A star coming too close to a supermassive black hole gets disrupted by the tidal force of the compact object in a tidal disruption event, or TDE. Following this encounter, the debris evolves into an elongated stream, half of which coming back to pericentre. Relativistic apsidal precession then leads to a self-crossing shock that initiates the formation of an accretion disc. We perform the first simulation of this process considering a parabolic encounter with a supermassive black hole, which has so far eluded investigations for computational reasons. This numerical issue is alleviated by using as initial conditions the outflow launched by the self-crossing shock according the local simulation of Lu & Bonnerot (2020). We find that the gas leaving the intersection point experiences numerous secondary shocks that result in the rapid formation of a thick and marginally bound disc. The mass distribution features two overdensities identified as spiral shocks that drive slow gas inflow along the mid-plane. Inward motion primarily takes place along the funnels of the newly formed torus, from which a fraction of the matter can get accreted. Further out, the gas moves outward forming an extended envelope completely surrounding the accretion flow. Secondary shocks heat the debris at a rate of a few times 10⁴⁴ erg s⁻¹ with a large fraction likely participating to the bolometric luminosity. These results pave the way towards a complete understanding of the early radiation from TDEs that progressively becomes accessible from observations.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemSimulations
Bonnerot, Clément0000-0001-9970-2843
Lu, Wenbin0000-0002-1568-7461
Alternate Title:Simulating realistic disc formation in tidal disruption events
Additional Information:© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2020 May 1. Received 2020 April 22; in original form 2019 June 12. We thank Eliot Quataert, Sterl Phinney, Phil Hopkins, Nathan Roth, Luc Dessart, Chris White, and Greg Salvesen for useful discussions. We acknowledge the use of SPLASH (Price 2007) for producing most of the figures in this paper. This research benefited from interactions at the ZTF Theory Network Meeting, partly funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. NSF PHY-1748958. The research of CB was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF5076. WL was supported by the David and Ellen Lee Fellowship at Caltech.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationGBMF5076
David and Ellen Lee Postdoctoral ScholarshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:black hole physics, hydrodynamics, galaxies: nuclei
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200625-112849183
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Official Citation:Clément Bonnerot, Wenbin Lu, Simulating disc formation in tidal disruption events, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 495, Issue 1, June 2020, Pages 1374–1391,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:104043
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:25 Jun 2020 22:01
Last Modified:25 Jun 2020 22:01

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