Volume 437, Number 3, July III 2005
|Page(s)||967 - 976|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||30 June 2005|
Parameter study of star-disc encounters
I. Physikalisches Institut, University of Cologne, Germany
Accepted: 5 April 2005
Interactions between disc-surrounded stars might play a vital role in the formation of planetary systems. Here a first parameter study of the effects of encounters on low-mass discs is presented. The dependence of the mass and angular momentum transport on the periastron distance, the relative mass of the encountering stars and eccentricity of the encounter is investigated in detail. This is done for prograde and retrograde coplanar encounters as well as non-coplanar encounters. For distant coplanar encounters our simulation results agree with the analytical approximation of the angular momentum loss by Ostriker (1994, ApJ, 424, 292). However, for close or high-mass encounters, significant differences to this approximation are found. This is especially so in the case of retrograde encounters, where the analytical result predicts no angular momentum loss regardless of the periastron distance whereas the simulations find up to ~20% loss for close encounters. For the non-coplanar case a more complex dependency on the inclination between orbital path and disc plane is found than for distant encounters. For the coplanar prograde case new fitting formulae for the mass and angular momentum loss are obtained, which cover the whole range from grazing to distant encounters. In addition, the final disc size and the mass exchange between discs is examined, demonstrating that for equal mass stars in encounters as close as 1.5 times the disc radius, the disc size only is reduced by approximately 10%.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / methods: N-body simulations / methods: numerical
© ESO, 2005
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