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2-D hydrodynamical simulations of wind compressed disks

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We present results of 2-D hydrodynamical simulations of a radiatively driven stellar wind from a rapidly rotating Be-star. These generally confirm predictions of the semi-analytic “Wind-Compressed-Disk” model recently proposed by Bjorkman and Cassinelli to explain the circumstellar disks inferred observationally to exist around such rapidly rotating stars. However, our numerical simulations are able to incorporate several important effects not accounted for in the simple model, including a dynamical treatment of the outward radiative driving and gas pressure, as well as a rotationally distorted, oblate stellar surface. This enables us to model quantitatively the compressed wind and shock that forms the equatorial disk. The simulation results thus do differ in several important details from the simple model, showing, for example, an inner diskinflow not possible in the heuristic approach of assuming a fixed outward velocity law. There is also no evidence for the predicted detachment of the disk that arises in the fixed outflow picture. The peak equatorward velocity in the dynamical models is furthermore about a factor of two smaller than the analytically predicted value of ∼ 50% the stellar equatorial rotation speed. As a result, the dynamical disks are somewhat weaker than predicted, with a wider opening angle, lower disk/pole density ratio, and smaller shock velocity jump (each by roughly the same factor of two).

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Owocki, S.P., Cranmer, S.R. & Blondin, J.M. 2-D hydrodynamical simulations of wind compressed disks. Astrophys Space Sci 221, 455–458 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01091175

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  • Density Ratio
  • Heuristic Approach
  • Opening Angle
  • Stellar Wind
  • Wide Opening