[1210.1333] Finite, Intense Accretion Bursts from Tidal Disruption of Stars on Bound Orbits

Authors: Kimitake Hayasaki, Nicholas Stone, Abraham Loeb

Date: 4 Oct 2012

Abstract: We study accretion processes for tidally disrupted stars approaching supermassive black holes on bound orbits, by performing three dimensional Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics simulations with a pseudo-Newtonian potential. We find that there is a critical value of the orbital eccentricity below which all the stellar debris remains bound to the black hole. For high but sub-critical eccentricities, all the stellar mass is accreted onto the black hole in a finite time, causing a significant deviation from the canonical $tˆ{-5/3}$ mass fallback rate. When a star is on a moderately eccentric orbit and its pericenter distance is deeply inside the tidal disruption radius, there can be several orbit crossings of the debris streams due to relativistic precession. This dissipates orbital energy in shocks, allowing for rapid circularization of the debris streams and formation of an accretion disk. The resultant accretion rate greatly exceeds the Eddington rate and differs strongly from the canonical rate of $tˆ{-5/3}$. By contrast, there is little dissipation due to orbital crossings for the equivalent simulation with a purely Newtonian potential. This shows that general relativistic precession is crucial for accretion disk formation via circularization of stellar debris from stars on moderately eccentric orbits.

abs pdf

Oct 04, 2012

1210.1333 (/preprints)
2012-10-04, 18:36 [edit]

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