Tidal disruption discs formed and fed by stream-stream and stream-disc interactions in global GRHD simulations

Zachary L. Andalman, Matthew T.P. Liska, Alexander Tchekhovskoy, Eric R. Coughlin, Nicholas Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

When a star passes close to a supermassive black hole (BH), the BH's tidal forces rip it apart into a thin stream, leading to a tidal disruption event (TDE). In this work, we study the post-disruption phase of TDEs in general relativistic hydrodynamics (GRHD) using our GPU-accelerated code h-amr. We carry out the first grid-based simulation of a deep-penetration TDE (β = 7) with realistic system parameters: a black hole-to-star mass ratio of 106, a parabolic stellar trajectory, and a non-zero BH spin. We also carry out a simulation of a tilted TDE whose stellar orbit is inclined relative to the BH midplane. We show that for our aligned TDE, an accretion disc forms due to the dissipation of orbital energy with ∼20 per cent of the infalling material reaching the BH. The dissipation is initially dominated by violent self-intersections and later by stream-disc interactions near the pericentre. The self-intersections completely disrupt the incoming stream, resulting in five distinct self-intersection events separated by approximately 12 h and a flaring in the accretion rate. We also find that the disc is eccentric with mean eccentricity e ≈ 0.88. For our tilted TDE, we find only partial self-intersections due to nodal precession near pericentre. Although these partial intersections eject gas out of the orbital plane, an accretion disc still forms with a similar accreted fraction of the material to the aligned case. These results have important implications for disc formation in realistic tidal disruptions. For instance, the periodicity in accretion rate induced by the complete stream disruption may explain the flaring events from Swift J1644+57.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1627-1648
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume510
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • MHD
  • accretion, accretion discs
  • black hole physics
  • software: simulations
  • transients: tidal disruption events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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