The discovery via gravitational waves of binary black hole systems with total masses greater than 60M⊙ has raised interesting questions for stellar evolution theory. Among the most promising formation channels for these systems is one involving a common envelope binary containing a low metallicity, core helium burning star with mass ⁓30 - 40M⊙ and a black hole with mass ⁓30 - 40M⊙. For this channel to be viable, the common envelope binary must eject more than half the giant star's mass and reduce its orbital separation by as much as a factor of 80. We discuss issues faced in numerically simulating the common envelope evolution of such systems and present a 3D AMR simulation of the dynamical inspiral of a low-metallicity red supergiant with a massive black hole companion.
- Pub Date:
- December 2019
- stars: binaries: close;
- stars: evolution;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 6 pages, 3 figures, oral contribution: IAU Symposium 346 "High Mass X-ray Binaries: illuminating the passage from massive binaries to merging compact objects", Vienna, Austria, 27-31 August 2018