The Eccentric Nature of Eccentric Tidal Disruption Events

M. Cufari, Eric R. Coughlin, C. J. Nixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Upon entering the tidal sphere of a supermassive black hole, a star is ripped apart by tides and transformed into a stream of debris. The ultimate fate of that debris, and the properties of the bright flare that is produced and observed, depends on a number of parameters, including the energy of the center of mass of the original star. Here we present the results of a set of smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations in which a 1M o˙, γ = 5/3 polytrope is disrupted by a 106 M o˙ supermassive black hole. Each simulation has a pericenter distance of r p = r t (i.e., β ≡ r t/r p = 1 with r t the tidal radius), and we vary the eccentricity e of the stellar orbit from e = 0.8 up to e = 1.20 and study the nature of the fallback of debris onto the black hole and the long-term fate of the unbound material. For simulations with eccentricities e ≲ 0.98, the fallback curve has a distinct, three-peak structure that is induced by self-gravity. For simulations with eccentricities e ⪆ 1.06, the core of the disrupted star reforms following its initial disruption. Our results have implications for, e.g., tidal disruption events produced by supermassive black hole binaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume924
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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