Companion-launched jets and their effect on the dynamics of common envelope interaction simulations

Sagiv Shiber*, Roberto Iaconi, Orsola de Marco, Noam Soker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We conduct three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the common envelope binary interaction and show that if the companion were to launch jets while interacting with the giant primary star's envelope, the jets would remove a substantial fraction of the envelope's gas. We use the set-up and numerical code of an earlier common envelope study that did not include jets, with a 0.88-M☉, 83-R☉ red giant star and a 0.3-M☉ companion. The assumption is that the companion star accretes mass via an accretion disc that is responsible for launching the jets which, in the simulations, are injected numerically. For the first time we conduct simulations that include jets as well as the gravitational energy released by the inspiralling core-companion system. We find that simulations with jets unbind approximately three times as much envelope mass than identical simulations that do not include jets, though the total fraction of unbound gas remains below 50 per cent for these particular simulations. The jets generate high-velocity outflows in the polar directions. The jets also increase the final core-companion orbital separation and lead to a kick velocity of the core-companion binary system. Our results show that, if able to form, jets could play a crucial role in ejecting the envelope and in shaping the outflow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5615-5632
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: close
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Methods: numerical
  • Stars: evolution


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