A new code to study structures in collisionally active, perturbed debris discs: application to binaries
LESIA-Observatoire de Paris, CNRS,
UPMC Univ. Paris 06,
Received: 17 August 2011
Accepted: 17 October 2011
Context. Debris discs are traditionally studied using two distinct types of numerical models: statistical particle-in-a-box codes to study their collisional and size distribution evolution, and dynamical N-body models to study their spatial structure. The absence of collisions in N-body codes is in particular a major shortcoming, as collisional processes are expected to significantly alter the results obtained from pure N-body runs.
Aims. We present a new numerical model, to study the spatial structure of perturbed debris discs in both a dynamical and collisional steady-state. We focus on the competing effects of gravitational perturbations by a massive body (planet or star), the collisional production of small grains, and the radiation pressure placing these grains in possibly dynamically unstable regions.
Methods. We consider a disc of parent bodies in a dynamical steady-state, from which small radiation-pressure-affected grains are released in a series of runs, each corresponding to a different orbital position of the perturber, where particles are assigned a collisional destruction probability. These collisional runs produce successive position maps that are then recombined, following a complex procedure, to generate surface density profiles for each orbital position of the perturbing body.
Results. We apply our code to the case of a circumprimary disc in a binary. We find pronounced structures inside and outside the dynamical stability regions. For low eB, the disc’s structure is time varying, with spiral arms in the dynamically “forbidden” region precessing with the companion star. For high eB, the disc is strongly asymmetric but time invariant, with a pronounced density drop in the binary’s periastron direction.
Key words: circumstellar matter / planets and satellites: formation / binaries: general / planet-disk interactions
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