Common envelope evolution of massive stars

Paul M. Ricker, Frank X. Timmes, Ronald E. Taam, Ronald F. Webbink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The discovery via gravitational waves of binary black hole systems with total masses greater than 60M☉ has raised interesting questions for stellar evolution theory. Among the most promising formation channels for these systems is one involving a common envelope binary containing a low metallicity, core helium burning star with mass ∼ 80 − 90M☉ and a black hole with mass ∼ 30 − 40M☉. For this channel to be viable, the common envelope binary must eject more than half the giant star's mass and reduce its orbital separation by as much as a factor of 80. We discuss issues faced in numerically simulating the common envelope evolution of such systems and present a 3D AMR simulation of the dynamical inspiral of a low-metallicity red supergiant with a massive black hole companion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-454
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • hydrodynamics
  • stars: binaries: close
  • stars: evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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