Ejecting the envelope of red supergiant stars with jets launched by an inspiralling neutron star

Oded Papish, Noam Soker*, Inbal Bukay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We study the properties of jets launched by a neutron star (NS) spiralling inside the envelope and core of a red supergiant (RSG).We propose that Thorne- Z˙ytkowobjects (TZO) are unlikely to be formed via common envelope (CE) evolution if accretion on to the NS can exceed the Eddington rate with much of the accretion energy directed into jets that subsequently dissipate within the giant envelope. We use the jet-feedback mechanism, where energy deposited by the jets drives the ejection of the entire envelope and part of the core, and find a very strong interaction of the jets with the core material at late phases of the CE evolution. Following our results, we speculate on two rare processes that might take place in the evolution of massive stars. (1) Recent studies have claimed that the peculiar abundances of the HV2112 RSG star can be explained if this star is a TZO. We instead speculate that the rich-calcium envelope comes from a supernova (SN) explosion of a stellar companion that was only slightly more massive than HV2112, such that during its explosion HV2112 was already a giant that intercepted a relatively large fraction of the SN ejecta. (2) We raise the possibility that strong r-process nucleosynthesis, where elements with high atomic weight of A ≥ 130 are formed, occurs inside the jets that are launched by the NS inside the core of the RSG star.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-295
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: close
  • Stars: AGB and post-AGB
  • Stars: neutron

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