The Impact of Shocks on the Vertical Structure of Eccentric Disks
Abstract
Accretion disks whose matter follows eccentric orbits can arise in multiple astrophysical situations. Unlike circular orbit disks, the vertical gravity in eccentric disks varies around the orbit. In this paper, we investigate some of the dynamical effects of this varying gravity on the vertical structure using 1D hydrodynamics simulations of individual gas columns assumed to be mutually noninteracting. We find that timedependent gravitational pumping generically creates shocks near pericenter; the energy dissipated in the shocks is taken from the orbital energy. Because the kinetic energy per unit mass in vertical motion near pericenter can be large compared to the net orbital energy, the shocked gas can be heated to nearly the virial temperature, and some of it becomes unbound. These shocks affect larger fractions of the disk mass for larger eccentricity and/or disk aspect ratio. If the orbit can be maintained despite orbital energy loss, diverse initial structures evolve in only a few orbits so that they follow a limit cycle characterized by a lowentropy midplane and a much higher entropy outer layer. In favorable cases (such as the tidal disruption of stars by supermassive black holes), these effects could be a potentially important energy dissipation and massloss mechanism.
 Publication:

The Astrophysical Journal
 Pub Date:
 October 2021
 DOI:
 10.3847/15384357/ac185a
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2105.09434
 Bibcode:
 2021ApJ...920..130R
 Keywords:

 Accretion;
 Hydrodynamical simulations;
 black hole physics;
 Gravitation;
 14;
 767;
 159;
 661;
 Astrophysics  High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
 Astrophysics  Astrophysics of Galaxies
 EPrint:
 17 pages, 11 figures and 1 table. Accepted for publication in ApJ