SCYON Abstract

Received on April 2 2004

A comprehensive set of simulations of high-velocity collisions between main sequence stars

AuthorsMarc Freitag (1), Willy Benz (2)
(1) Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Heidelberg
(2) Universität Bern
Submitted toMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society


We report on a very large set of simulations of collisions between two main sequence (MS) stars. These computations were done with the ``Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics'' method. Realistic stellar structure models for evolved MS stars were used. In order to sample an extended domain of initial parameters space (masses of the stars, relative velocity and impact parameter), more than 15000 simulations were carried out. We considered stellar masses ranging between 0.1 and 75 Msun and relative velocities up to a few thousands km/s. To limit the computational burden, a resolution of 2000-30000 particles per star was used. The primary goal of this study was to build a complete database from which the result of any collision can be interpolated. This allows us to incorporate the effects of stellar collisions with an unprecedented level of realism into dynamical simulations of galactic nuclei and other dense stellar clusters. We make the data describing the initial condition and outcome (mass and energy loss, angle of deflection) of all our simulations freely available on the Internet. We find that the outcome of collisions depends sensitively on the stellar structure and that, in most cases, using polytropic models is inappropriate. Published fitting formulas for the collision outcomes, established from a limited set of collisions, prove of limited use because they do not allow robust extrapolation to other stellar structures or relative velocities.