Common Envelope Evolution on a Moving Mesh




Hydrodynamics, Common Envelope Evolution, Binary Stars


The common envelope phase in binary star systems is simulated using the 3-D moving-mesh hydrodynamic code MANGA. Improvements to MANGA to improve accuracy and computation time are discussed. Two open questions in the physics of common envelope evolution are investigated. The effects of tidal forces present before the onset of a common envelope phase are explored by comparing simulations in which the giant star is initialized with varying degrees of rotation. The role of hydrogen recombination energy is investigated by using two different equations of state, only one of which includes the effects of recombination. Rotation is shown to increase the final binary separation, while recombination energy decreases the separation. Future improvements to MANGA to capture additional physics present in common envelopes are discussed.


Chamandy, L; Blackman, EG; Frank, A; Carroll-Nellenback, J; Zou, Y; Tu, Y. “How Drag Force Evolves in Global Common Envelope Simulations,” arXiv e-prints, 2019, p. arXiv:1908.06195.

Chang, P; Wadsley, J; Quinn, T. “A Moving Mesh Hydrodynamics Solver for ChaNGa,” accepted to MNRAS, 2017

De, S; MacLeod, M; Everson, RW; Antoni, A; Mandel, I; Ramirez-Ruiz, E. “Common Envelope Wind Tunnel: The Effects of Binary Mass Ratio and Implications for the Accretion-Driven Growth of LIGO Binary Black Holes,” arXiv e-prints, 2019, p. arXiv:1910.13333.

Gianninas, A; Dufour, P; Kilic, M; Brown, WR; Bergeron, P; Hermes, JJ. “Precise Atmospheric Parameters for the Shortest-period Binary White Dwarfs: Gravitational Waves, Metals, and Pulsations,” ApJ, v. 794, 2014, p. 35.

Glanz, H; Perets, HB. “Efficient common-envelope ejection through dust-driven winds,” MNRAS, v. 478, 2018, p. L12–L17.

Ivanova, N. “Common envelope: progress and transients,” preprint (arXiv:1706.07580), 2017.

—. “On the Use of Hydrogen Recombination Energy during Common Envelope Events,” ApJ, v. 858, 2018, p. L24.

Ivanova, N; Justham, S; Chen, X; De Marco, O; Fryer, CL; Gaburov, E; Ge, H; Glebbeek, E; Han, Z; Li, XD; Lu, G; Marsh, T; Podsiadlowski, P; Potter, A; Soker, N; Taam, R; Tauris, TM; van den Heuvel, EPJ; Webbink, RF. “Common envelope evolution: where we stand and how we can move forward,” A&A Rev., v. 21, 2013, p. 59.

Jetley, P; Gioachin, F; Mendes, C; Kale, LV; Quinn, TR. “”massively parallel cosmological simulations with changa”,” Proceedings of IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, 2008

Jetley, P; Wesolowski, F; Gioachin, F; Kale, LV; Quinn, TR. “”scaling hierarchical n-body simulations on gpu clus- ters”,” Proceedings of the 2010 ACM/IEEE International Conference for High Performance Computing, 2010

Lecoanet, D; McCourt, M; Quataert, E; Burns, KJ; Vasil, GM; Oishi, JS; Brown, BP; Stone, JM; O’Leary, RM. “A validated non-linear Kelvin-Helmholtz benchmark for numerical hydrodynamics,” MNRAS, v. 455, 2016, p. 4274–4288.

Livio, M; Soker, N. “The common envelope phase in the evolution of binary stars,” ApJ, v. 329, 1988, p. 764–779.

Lo ́pez-Ca ́mara, D; De Colle, F; Moreno Me ́ndez, E. “Self-regulating jets during the Com- mon Envelope phase,” preprint (arXiv:1806.11115), 2018, p. arXiv:1806.11115.

MacLeod, M; Antoni, A; Murguia-Berthier, A; Macias, P; Ramirez-Ruiz, E. “Common Envelope Wind Tunnel: Coef- ficients of Drag and Accretion in a Simplified Context for Studying Flows around Objects Embedded within Stellar Envelopes,” ApJ, v. 838, 2017, p. 56.

MacLeod, M; Ostriker, EC; Stone, JM. “Runaway Coalescence at the Onset of Common Envelope Episodes,” ApJ, v. 863, 2018, p. 5.

Menon, H; Wesolowski, L; Zheng, G; Jetley, P; Kale, L; Quinn, T; Governato, F. “Adaptive techniques for clustered N-body cosmological simulations,” Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology, v. 2, 2015, p. 1.

Nandez, JLA; Ivanova, N; Lombardi, JC. “Recombination energy in double white dwarf formation,” MNRAS, v. 450, 2015, p. L39–L43.

Nelemans, G; Verbunt, F; Yungelson, LR; Portegies Zwart, SF. “Reconstructing the evolution of double helium white dwarfs: envelope loss without spiral-in,” A&A, v. 360, 2000, p. 1011–1018.

Ohlmann, ST; Ro ̈pke, FK; Pakmor, R; Springel, V. “Hydrodynamic Moving-mesh Simulations of the Common Envelope Phase in Binary Stellar Systems,” ApJ, v. 816, 2016, p. L9.

Passy, JC; De Marco, O; Fryer, CL; Herwig, F; Diehl, S; Oishi, JS; Mac Low, MM; Bryan, GL; Rockefeller, G. “Simulating the Common Envelope Phase of a Red Giant Using Smoothed-particle Hydrodynamics and Uniform- grid Codes,” ApJ, v. 744, 2012, p. 52.

Paxton, B; Bildsten, L; Dotter, A; Herwig, F; Lesaffre, P; Timmes, F. “Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astro- physics (MESA),” ApJS, v. 192, 2011, p. 3.

Paxton, B; Cantiello, M; Arras, P; Bildsten, L; Brown, EF; Dotter, A; Mankovich, C; Montgomery, MH; Stello, D; Timmes, FX; Townsend, R. “Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA): Planets, Oscillations, Rotation, and Massive Stars,” ApJS, v. 208, 2013, p. 4.

Paxton, B; Marchant, P; Schwab, J; Bauer, EB; Bildsten, L; Cantiello, M; Dessart, L; Farmer, R; Hu, H; Langer, N; Townsend, RHD; Townsley, DM; Timmes, FX. “Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA): Binaries, Pulsations, and Explosions,” ApJS, v. 220, 2015, p. 15.

Paxton, B; Schwab, J; Bauer, EB; Bildsten, L; Blinnikov, S; Duffell, P; Farmer, R; Goldberg, JA; Marchant, P; Sorokina, E; Thoul, A; Townsend, RHD; Timmes, FX. “Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA): Convective Boundaries, Element Diffusion, and Massive Star Explosions,” ApJS, v. 234(2), 2018, p. 34.

Paxton, B; Smolec, R; Schwab, J; Gautschy, A; Bildsten, L; Cantiello, M; Dotter, A; Farmer, R; Goldberg, JA; Jermyn, AS; Kanbur, SM; Marchant, P; Thoul, A; Townsend, RHD; Wolf, WM; Zhang, M; Timmes, FX. “Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA): Pulsating Variable Stars, Rotation, Convective Boundaries, and Energy Conservation,” ApJS, v. 243(1), 2019, p. 10.

Prust, LJ; Chang, P. “Common envelope evolution on a moving mesh,” MNRAS, v. 486(4), 2019, p. 5809–5818.

Ricker, PM; Taam, RE. “An AMR Study of the Common-envelope Phase of Binary Evolution,” ApJ, v. 746, 2012, p. 74.

Sabach, E; Hillel, S; Schreier, R; Soker, N. “Energy transport by convection in the common envelope evolution,” MNRAS, v. 472, 2017, p. 4361–4367.

Sandquist, EL; Taam, RE; Chen, X; Bodenheimer, P; Burkert, A. “Double Core Evolution. X. Through the Envelope Ejection Phase,” ApJ, v. 500, 1998, p. 909–922.

Soker, N. “What Planetary Nebulae Can Tell Us about Planetary Systems,” ApJ, v. 460, 1996, p. L53.

Soker, N; Grichener, A; Sabach, E. “Radiating the hydrogen recombination energy during common envelope evolution,” preprint (arXiv:1805.08543), 2018, p. arXiv:1805.08543.

Springel, V. “E pur si muove: Galilean-invariant cosmological hydrodynamical simulations on a moving mesh,” MN- RAS, v. 401, 2010, p. 791–851.

Terman, JL; Taam, RE; Hernquist, L. “Double-core evolution. 5: Three-dimensional effects in the merger of a red giant with a dwarf companion,” ApJ, v. 422, 1994, p. 729–736.

Toro, E. Riemann Solvers and Numerical Methods for Fluid Dynamics: A Practical Introduction, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, ISBN 9783540498346, 2009

Turk, MJ; Smith, BD; Oishi, JS; Skory, S; Skillman, SW; Abel, T; Norman, ML. “yt: A Multi-code Analysis Toolkit for Astrophysical Simulation Data,” The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, v. 192, 2011, p. 9.

Webbink, RF. “Double white dwarfs as progenitors of R Coronae Borealis stars and Type I supernovae,” ApJ, v. 277, 1984, p. 355–360.

Zhu, C; Pakmor, R; van Kerkwijk, MH; Chang, P. “Magnetized Moving Mesh Merger of a Carbon-Oxygen White Dwarf Binary,” ApJ, v. 806, 2015, p. L1.




How to Cite

Prust, L. J. (2020). Common Envelope Evolution on a Moving Mesh. Proceedings of the Wisconsin Space Conference, 1(1).



Astronomy and Cosmology