Exact Analytic Solutions for a Ballistic Orbiting Wind

Francis P. Wilkin, Harry Hausner

Union College, University of Wisconsin

Much theoretical and observational work has been done on stellar winds within binary systems. We present a new solution for a ballistic wind launched from a source in a circular orbit. Our method emphasizes the curved streamlines in the corotating frame, where the flow is steady-state, allowing us to obtain an exact solution for the mass density at all pre-shock locations. Assuming an initially isotropic wind, fluid elements launched from the interior hemisphere of the wind will be the first to cross other streamlines, resulting in a spiral structure bounded by two shock surfaces. Streamlines from the outer wind hemisphere later intersect these shocks as well. An analytic solution is obtained for the geometry of the two shock surfaces. Although the inner and outer shock surfaces asymptotically trace Archimedean spirals, our tail solution suggests many crossings where the shocks overlap, beyond which the analytic solution cannot be continued. Our solution can be readily extended to an initially anisotropic wind.

Reference: Published in ApJ July 20, 2017
Status: Manuscript has been accepted

Weblink: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1707.02505.pdf


Email: wilkinf@union.edu