Energizing the last phase of common-envelope removal

Noam Soker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We propose a scenario where a companion that is about to exit a common-envelope evolution (CEE) with a giant star accretes mass from the remaining envelope outside its deep orbit and launches jets that facilitate the removal of the remaining envelope. The jets that the accretion disc launches collide with the envelope and form hot bubbles that energize the envelope. Due to gravitational interaction with the envelope, which might reside in a circumbinary disc, the companion migrates farther in, but the inner boundary of the circumbinary disc continues to feed the accretion disc. While near the equatorial plane mass leaves the system at a very low velocity, along the polar directions velocities are very high. When the primary is an asymptotic giant branch star, this type of flow forms a bipolar nebula with very narrow waists. We compare this envelope-removal process with four other last-phase common-enveloperemoval processes. We also note that the accreted gas from the envelope outside the orbit in the last phase of the CEE might carry with it angular momentum that is anti-aligned to the orbital angular momentum. We discuss the implications to the possibly anti-aligned spins of the merging black hole event GW170104.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4839-4843
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Accretion
  • Accretion discs
  • Binaries: close
  • Stars: AGB and post-AGB

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