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Title: Bondi-Hoyle accretion in an isothermal magnetized plasma

In regions of star formation, protostars and newborn stars will accrete mass from their natal clouds. These clouds are threaded by magnetic fields with a strength characterized by the plasma β—the ratio of thermal and magnetic pressures. Observations show that molecular clouds have β ≲ 1, so magnetic fields have the potential to play a significant role in the accretion process. We have carried out a numerical study of the effect of large-scale magnetic fields on the rate of accretion onto a uniformly moving point particle from a uniform, non-self-gravitating, isothermal gas. We consider gas moving with sonic Mach numbers of up to M≈45; magnetic fields that are either parallel, perpendicular, or oriented 45° to the flow; and β as low as 0.01. Our simulations utilize adaptive mesh refinement in order to obtain high spatial resolution where it is needed; this also allows the boundaries to be far from the accreting object to avoid unphysical effects arising from boundary conditions. Additionally, we show that our results are independent of our exact prescription for accreting mass in the sink particle. We give simple expressions for the steady-state accretion rate as a function of β and M for the parallel and perpendicularmore » orientations. Using typical molecular cloud values of M∼5 and β ∼ 0.04 from the literature, our fits suggest that a 0.4 M {sub ☉} star accretes ∼4 × 10{sup –9} M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1}, almost a factor of two less than accretion rates predicted by hydrodynamic models. This disparity can grow to orders of magnitude for stronger fields and lower Mach numbers. We also discuss the applicability of these accretion rates versus accretion rates expected from gravitational collapse, and under what conditions a steady state is possible. The reduction in the accretion rate in a magnetized medium leads to an increase in the time required to form stars in competitive accretion models, making such models less efficient than predicted by Bondi-Hoyle rates. Our results should find application in numerical codes, enabling accurate sub-grid models of sink particles accreting from magnetized media.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Astronomy, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, P.O. Box 808, L-23, Livermore, CA 94550 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22351351
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 783; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BOUNDARY CONDITIONS; GRAVITATIONAL COLLAPSE; HYDRODYNAMIC MODEL; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; MASS; NUMERICAL ANALYSIS; PLASMA; PROTOSTARS; SIMULATION; SPATIAL RESOLUTION; STARS; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS