University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Alignment of a Circumbinary Disk around an Eccentric Binary
Observations show that most stars form in relatively dense regions within stellar clusters. The majority of these stars that form are members of eccentric binary star systems. Misaligned circumbinary discs of gas and dust are common around these systems. The misaligned disc evolves towards one of two possible configurations, aligned to the orbital binary plane or aligned polar to the orbital plane. We investigate two parameters that govern the final configuration, the initial tilt of the disc and the eccentricity of the binary. With three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations we show that the alignment process of an initially misaligned disc around an eccentric orbit binary is significantly different than around a circular orbit binary. We apply our findings to two observed eccentric binary systems, KH 15D and 99 Herculis. The former has a low inclined precessing gas disc and the latter has a polar aligned debris disc. Understanding the disc evolution in misaligned systems is critical to explaining properties of exoplanets.
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