Spin-orbit misalignment from triple-star common envelope evolution

Noam Soker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


I study the triple-star common envelope evolution (CEE) of a tight binary system that is spiralling in inside a giant envelope and launches jets that spin-up the envelope with an angular momentum component perpendicular to the orbital angular momentum of the triple-star system. This occurs when the orbital plane of the tight binary system and that of the triple-star system are inclined to each other, so the jets are not along the triple-star orbital angular momentum. The merger of the tight binary stars also tilts the envelope spin direction. If the giant is a red supergiant (RSG) star that later collapses to fo a black hole (BH), the BH final spin is misaligned with the orbital angular momentum. Therefore, the CEE of neutron star (NS) or BH tight binaries with each other or with one main-sequence star (MSS) inside the envelope of an RSG, where the jets power a common envelope jets supernova event, might end with an NS/BH-NS/BH close binary system with spin-orbit misalignment. Such binaries can later merge to be gravitational wave sources. I list five triple-star scenarios that might lead to spin-orbit misalignments of NS/BH-NS/BH binary systems, two of which predict that the two spins should be parallel to each other. In the case of a tight binary system of two MSSs inside an asymptotic giant branch star, the outcome is an additional non-spherical component to the mass-loss with the foation of a 'messy' planetary nebula.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2836-2841
Number of pages6
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • binaries
  • close
  • general
  • jets
  • planetary nebulae
  • stars
  • supernovae
  • transients


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