Volume 406, Number 1, July IV 2003
|Page(s)||L1 - L4|
|Published online||17 November 2003|
Letter to the Editor
Two-dimensional simulations of the line-driven instability in hot-star winds
Max-Planck Institute für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarschild-Str. 1, 85740 Garching bei München, Germany
2 Bartol Research Institute of the University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corresponding author: L. Dessart, email@example.com
Accepted: 26 May 2003
We report initial results of two-dimensional simulations of the nonlinear evolution of the line-driven instability (LDI) in hot-star winds. The method is based on the Smooth Source Function (SSF) formalism for nonlocal evaluation of the radial line-force, implemented separately within each of a set of radiatively isolated azimuthal grid zones. The results show that radially compressed “shells” that develop initially from the LDI are systematically broken up by Rayleigh-Taylor or thin-shell instabilities as these structures are accelerated outward. Through radial feedback of backscattered radiation, this leads ultimately to a flow structure characterized by nearly complete lateral incoherence, with structure extending down to the lateral grid scale, which here corresponds to angle sizes of order a fifth of a degree. We briefly discuss the implications for interpreting various observational diagnostics of wind structure, but also emphasize the importance of future extensions to include lateral line-drag effects of diffuse radiation, which may set a minimum lateral scale for break-up of flow structure.
Key words: line: formation / radiative transfer / stars: atmospheres / stars: early type / stars: mass loss
© ESO, 2003
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