Successful Common Envelope Ejection and Binary Neutron Star Formation in 3D Hydrodynamics
The coalescence of two neutron stars was recently observed in a multi-messenger detection of gravitational wave (GW) and electromagnetic (EM) radiation. Binary neutron stars that merge within a Hubble time, as well as many other compact binaries, are expected to form via common envelope evolution. Yet five decades of research on common envelope evolution have not yet resulted in a satisfactory understanding of the multi-spatial multi-timescale evolution for the systems that lead to compact binaries. In this paper, we report on the first successful simulations of common envelope ejection leading to binary neutron star formation in 3D hydrodynamics. We simulate the dynamical inspiral phase of the interaction between a 12 M⊙ red supergiant and a 1.4 M⊙ neutron star for different initial separations and initial conditions. For all of our simulations, we find complete envelope ejection and a final orbital separation of ≈1.1 - 2.8R⊙ , leading to a binary neutron star that will merge within 0.01-1 Gyr. We find an αCE -equivalent efficiency of ≈0.1 - 0.4 for the models we study, but this may be specific for these extended progenitors. We fully resolve the core of the star to ≲0.005R⊙ and our 3D hydrodynamics simulations are informed by more »
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NSF-PAR ID:
10299603
Journal Name:
Astronomical Journal
ISSN:
2027-5943
National Science Foundation
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1. ABSTRACT Tidal dissipation due to turbulent viscosity in the convective regions of giant stars plays an important role in shaping the orbits of pre-common-envelope systems. Such systems are possible sources of transients and close compact binary systems that will eventually merge and produce detectable gravitational wave signals. Most previous studies of the onset of common envelope episodes have focused on circular orbits and synchronously rotating donor stars under the assumption that tidal dissipation can quickly spin-up the primary and circularize the orbit before the binary reaches Roche lobe overflow (RLO). We test this assumption by coupling numerical models of the post-main-sequence stellar evolution of massive stars with the model for tidal dissipation in convective envelopes developed in Vick & Lai – a tidal model that is accurate even for highly eccentric orbits with small pericentre distances. We find that, in many cases, tidal dissipation does not circularize the orbit before RLO. For a $10\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ ($15\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$) primary star interacting with a $1.4\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ companion, systems with pericentre distances within 3 au (6 au) when the primary leaves the main sequence will retain the initial orbital eccentricity when the primary grows to the Roche radius. Even inmore »
2. Abstract

Many core-collapse supernovae (SNe) with hydrogen-poor and low-mass ejecta, such as ultra-stripped SNe and type Ibn SNe, are observed to interact with dense circumstellar material (CSM). These events likely arise from the core collapse of helium stars that have been heavily stripped by a binary companion and have ejected significant mass during the last weeks to years of their lives. In helium star models run to days before core collapse we identify a range of helium core masses ≈2.5–3Mwhose envelopes expand substantially due to the helium shell burning while the core undergoes neon and oxygen burning. When modeled in binary systems, the rapid expansion of these helium stars induces extremely high rates of late-stage mass transfer ($Ṁ≳10−2M⊙yr−1$) beginning weeks to decades before core collapse. We consider two scenarios for producing CSM in these systems: either mass transfer remains stable and mass loss is driven from the system in the vicinity of the accreting companion, or mass transfer becomes unstable and causes a common envelope event (CEE) through which the helium envelope is unbound. The ensuing CSM properties are consistent with the CSM masses (∼10−2–1M) and radii (∼1013–1016cm) inferred for ultra-stripped SNe and severalmore »

3. Common-envelope evolution is a stage in binary system evolution in which a giant star engulfs a companion. The standard energy formalism is an analytical framework to estimate the amount of energy transferred from the companion's shrinking orbit into the envelope of the star that engulfed it. We show analytically that this energy transfer is larger than predicted by the standard formalism. As the orbit of the companion shrinks, the mass it encloses becomes smaller, and the companion is less bound than if the enclosed mass had remained constant. Therefore, more energy must be transferred to the envelope for the orbit to shrink further. We derive a revised energy formalism that accounts for this effect, and discuss its consequences in two contexts: the formation of neutron star binaries, and the engulfment of planets and brown dwarfs by their host stars. The companion mass required to eject the stellar envelope is smaller by up to 50% , leading to differences in common-envelope evolution outcomes. The energy deposition in the outer envelope of the star, which is related to the transient luminosity and duration, is up to a factor of ≈7 higher. Common-envelope efficiency values above unity, as defined in the literature, aremore »
4. ABSTRACT

Tidal evolution of eccentric binary systems containing at least one massive main-sequence (MS) star plays an important role in the formation scenarios of merging compact-object binaries. The dominant dissipation mechanism in such systems involves tidal excitation of outgoing internal gravity waves at the convective-radiative boundary and dissipation of the waves at the stellar envelope/surface. We have derived analytical expressions for the tidal torque and tidal energy transfer rate in such binaries for arbitrary orbital eccentricities and stellar rotation rates. These expressions can be used to study the spin and orbital evolution of eccentric binaries containing massive MS stars, such as the progenitors of merging neutron star binaries. Applying our results to the PSR J0045-7319 system, which has a massive B-star companion and an observed, rapidly decaying orbit, we find that for the standard radius of convective core based on non-rotating stellar models, the B-star must have a significant retrograde and differential rotation in order to explain the observed orbital decay rate. Alternatively, we suggest that the convective core may be larger as a result of rapid stellar rotation and/or mass transfer to the B-star in the recent past during the post-MS evolution of the pulsar progenitor.

5. ABSTRACT

Strong dynamical interactions among stars and compact objects are expected in a variety of astrophysical settings, such as star clusters and the disks of active galactic nuclei. Via a suite of three-dimensional hydrodynamics simulations using the moving-mesh code arepo, we investigate the formation of transient phenomena and their properties in close encounters between an $2\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ or $20\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ equal-mass circular binary star and single $20\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ black hole (BH). Stars can be disrupted by the BH during dynamical interactions, naturally producing electromagnetic transient phenomena. Encounters with impact parameters smaller than the semimajor axis of the initial binary frequently lead to a variety of transients whose electromagnetic signatures are qualitatively different from those of ordinary disruption events involving just two bodies. These include the simultaneous or successive disruptions of both stars and one full disruption of one star accompanied by successive partial disruptions of the other star. On the contrary, when the impact parameter is larger than the semimajor axis of the initial binary, the binary is either simply tidally perturbed or dissociated into bound and unbound single stars (‘micro-Hills’ mechanism). The dissociation of $20\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ binaries can produce a runawaymore »