6 research outputs found

    Global dynamics of radiatively inefficient accretion flows: advection versus convection

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    We obtain global solutions of radiatively inefficiently accretion flows around black holes. Whether and where convection develops in a flow are self-consistently determined with the mixing-length theory. The solutions can be divided into three types according to the strength of normal viscosity. Type I solution corresponds to large viscosity parameter \alpha \ga 0.1, which is purely advection-dominated and with no convection, and has been extensively studied in the literature. Type II solution is for moderate α∌0.01\alpha \sim 0.01, which has a three-zone structure. The inner zone is advection-dominated, the middle zone is convection-dominated and ranges from a few tens to a few thousands of gravitational radii, and the outer zone is convectively stable and matches outward a Keplerian disc. The net energy flux throughout the flow is inward as in type I solution. Type III solution which is for small \alpha \la 0.001 consists of two zones as Abramowicz et al. suggested previously: an inner advection-dominated zone and an outer convection-dominated zone, separated at a radius of a few tens of gravitational radii. This type of solution has an outward net energy flux. In both type II and III solutions the radial density profile is between the 1/2 law of self-similar convection-dominated accretion flow model and the 3/2 law of self-similar advection-dominated accretion flow model, and the efficiency of energy release is found to be extremely low. Our results are in good agreement with those of recent numerical simulations.Comment: 13 pages, 2 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    Stellar dynamical evidence against a cold disc origin for stars in the Galactic Centre

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    Observations of massive stars within the central parsec of the Galaxy show that, while most stars orbit within a well-defined disc, a significant fraction have large eccentricities and / or inclinations with respect to the disc plane. Here, we investigate whether this dynamically hot component could have arisen via scattering from an initially cold disc -- the expected initial condition if the stars formed from the fragmentation of an accretion disc. Using N-body methods, we evolve a variety of flat, cold, stellar systems, and study the effects of initial disc eccentricity, primordial binaries, very massive stars and intermediate mass black holes. We find, consistent with previous results, that a circular disc does not become eccentric enough unless there is a significant population of undetected 100--1000 Msun objects. However, since fragmentation of an eccentric disc can readily yield eccentric stellar orbits, the strongest constraints come from inclinations. We show that_none_ of our initial conditions yield the observed large inclinations, regardless of the initial disc eccentricity or the presence of massive objects. These results imply that the orbits of the young massive stars in the Galactic Centre are largely primordial, and that the stars are unlikely to have formed as a dynamically cold disc.Comment: 5 pages, 6 colour figures. MNRAS Letters in press. (v2: very minor changes

    The shortest period field contact binary

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    Photometric and spectroscopic results for the contact binary GSC 01387-00475 (ASAS 083128+1953.1) are presented. The existence of this binary with the orbital period of P = 0.2178 d strengthens the argument that the cut-off of the period distribution for contact binaries - until now defined by CC Comae - is very sharp. The only case of a still shorter period is known in a globular cluster where more compact contact configurations are in fact expected. While the spectroscopic orbit of GSC 01387-00475 is well defined, the low orbital inclination of the binary and the presence of a spectroscopic companion contributing about 1/3 of the total light conspire to reduce the photometric variability to ~0.09 mag. The photometric data are currently inadequate to identify the source of the small amplitude (0.02 - 0.03 mag) intrinsic variability of the system.Comment: to appear in MNRA

    OGLE 2003-BLG-235/MOA 2003-BLG-53: A planetary microlensing event

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    We present observations of the unusual microlensing event OGLE 2003-BLG-235/MOA 2003-BLG-53. In this event a short duration (~7 days) low amplitude deviation in the light curve due a single lens profile was observed in both the MOA and OGLE survey observations. We find that the observed features of the light curve can only be reproduced using a binary microlensing model with an extreme (planetary) mass ratio of 0.0039 +/- (11, 07) for the lensing system. If the lens system comprises a main sequence primary, we infer that the secondary is a planet of about 1.5 Jupiter masses with an orbital radius of ~3 AU.Comment: 13 pages, 3 colour figures. To appear in Astrophysical Journal Letters (May 2004

    Discovery of a Cool Planet of 5.5 Earth Masses Through Gravitational Microlensing

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    In the favoured core-accretion model of formation of planetary systems, solid planetesimals accumulate to build up planetary cores, which then accrete nebular gas if they are sufficiently massive. Around M-dwarf stars (the most common stars in our Galaxy), this model favours the formation of Earth-mass to Neptune-mass planets with orbital radii of 1 to 10 astronomical units (AU), which is consistent with the small number of gas giant planets known to orbit M-dwarf host stars. More than 170 extrasolar planets have been discovered with a wide range of masses and orbital periods, but planets of Neptune's mass or less have not hitherto been detected at separations of more than 0.15 AU from normal stars. Here we report the discovery of a 5.5 (+5.5/-2.7) M_earth planetary companion at a separation of 2.6 (+1.5/-0.6) AU from a 0.22 (+0.21/-0.11) M_solar M-dwarf star. (We propose to name it OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, indicating a planetary mass companion to the lens star of the microlensing event.) The mass is lower than that of GJ876d, although the error bars overlap. Our detection suggests that such cool, sub-Neptune-mass planets may be more common than gas giant planets, as predicted by the core accretion theory