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Hydrodynamics of Collisions and Close Encounters between Black Holes and Main-sequence Stars

Presentation #432.03 in the session AGN, TDEs, Black Hole Accretion and Feedback.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Hydrodynamics of Collisions and Close Encounters between Black Holes and Main-sequence Stars

Recent analyses have shown that close encounters between stars and black hole remnants occur frequently in dense star clusters. Depending upon the distance at closest approach, these interactions can lead to dissipating encounters such as tidal captures and disruptions, or direct physical collisions, all of which may be accompanied by bright electromagnetic transients. In this study, we perform a wide range of hydrodynamic simulations of close encounters between black holes and main sequence stars that collectively cover the parameter space of interest. We identify several distinct outcomes: In the case of nearly head-on collisions, the star is completely disrupted with roughly half of the stellar material becoming bound to the black hole. For more distant encounters near the classic tidal disruption radius, the star is only partially disrupted on the first pericenter passage. Depending upon the interaction details, the partially disrupted stellar remnant may be tidally captured by the black hole or become unbound (in some cases, receiving a sufficiently large impulsive kick from asymmetric mass loss to be ejected from its host cluster). In the former case, the star will undergo additional pericenter passages before ultimately being disrupted fully. Based on the properties of the material bound to the black hole at the end of our simulations (in particular, the total bound mass and angular momentum), we comment upon the expected accretion process and associated electromagnetic signatures that are likely to result.

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