Circumbinary discs: Numerical and physical behaviour⋆
1 Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 10, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
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2 Universitäts-Sternwarte, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Scheinerstr. 1, 81679 München, Germany
Received: 21 February 2017
Accepted: 26 April 2017
Aims. Discs around a central binary system play an important role in star and planet formation and in the evolution of galactic discs. These circumbinary discs are strongly disturbed by the time varying potential of the binary system and display a complex dynamical evolution that is not well understood. Our goal is to investigate the impact of disc and binary parameters on the dynamical aspects of the disc.
Methods. We study the evolution of circumbinary discs under the gravitational influence of the binary using two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. To distinguish between physical and numerical effects we apply three hydrodynamical codes. First we analyse in detail numerical issues concerning the conditions at the boundaries and grid resolution. We then perform a series of simulations with different binary parameters (eccentricity, mass ratio) and disc parameters (viscosity, aspect ratio) starting from a reference model with Kepler-16 parameters.
Results. Concerning the numerical aspects we find that the length of the inner grid radius and the binary semi-major axis must be comparable, with free outflow conditions applied such that mass can flow onto the central binary. A closed inner boundary leads to unstable evolutions. We find that the inner disc turns eccentric and precesses for all investigated physical parameters. The precession rate is slow with periods (Tprec) starting at around 500 binary orbits (Tbin) for high viscosity and a high aspect ratio H/R where the inner hole is smaller and more circular. Reducing α and H/R increases the gap size and Tprec reaches 2500 Tbin. For varying binary mass ratios qbin the gap size remains constant, whereas Tprec decreases with increasing qbin. For varying binary eccentricities ebin we find two separate branches in the gap size and eccentricity diagram. The bifurcation occurs at around ecrit ≈ 0.18 where the gap is smallest with the shortest Tprec. For ebin lower and higher than ecrit, the gap size and Tprec increase. Circular binaries create the most eccentric discs.
Key words: hydrodynamics / methods: numerical / planets and satellites: formation / protoplanetary disks / binaries: close
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