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Title: Morphology and Mach Number Dependence of Subsonic Bondi–Hoyle Accretion

We carry out three-dimensional computations of the accretion rate onto an object (of sizeRsinkand massm) as it moves through a uniform medium at a subsonic speedv. The object is treated as a fully absorbing boundary (e.g., a black hole). In contrast to early conjectures, we show that for an accretor withRsinkRA=2Gm/v2in a gaseous medium with adiabatic indexγ= 5/3, the accretion rate is independent of Mach number and is determined only bymand the gas entropy. Our numerical simulations are conducted using two different numerical schemes via the Athena++ and Arepo hydrodynamics solvers, which reach nearly identical steady-state solutions. We find that pressure gradients generated by the isentropic compression of the flow near the accretor are sufficient to suspend much of the surrounding gas in a near-hydrostatic equilibrium, just as predicted from the spherical Bondi–Hoyle calculation. Indeed, the accretion rates for steady flow match the Bondi–Hoyle rate, and are indicative of isentropic flow for subsonic motion where no shocks occur. We also find that the accretion drag may be predicted using the Safronov number, Θ =RA/Rsink, and is much less than the dynamical friction for sufficiently small accretors (RsinkRA).

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Medium: X Size: Article No. 103
["Article No. 103"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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