Companion-driven evolution of massive stellar binaries

Sanaea C. Rose, Smadar Naoz, Aaron M. Geller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At least 70% of massive OBA-type stars reside in binary or higher-order systems. The dynamical evolution of these systems can lend insight into the origins of extreme phenomena such as X-ray binaries and gravitational wave sources. In one such dynamical process, the Eccentric Kozai-Lidov Mechanism, a third companion star alters the secular evolution of a binary system. For dynamical stability, these triple systems must have a hierarchical configuration. We explore the effects of a distant third companion's gravitational perturbations on a massive binary's orbital configuration before significant stellar evolution has taken place (≤ 10 Myr). We include tidal dissipation and general relativistic precession. With large (38; 000 total) Monte-Carlo realizations of massive hierarchical triples, we characterize imprints of the birth conditions on the final orbital distributions. Specifically, we find that the final eccentricity distribution over the range 0:1-0:7 is an excellent indicator of its birth distribution. Furthermore, we find that the period distributions have a similar mapping for wide orbits. Finally, we demonstrate that the observed period distribution for approximately 10 Myr-old massive stars is consistent with EKL evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Mar 28 2019


  • Binaries: Close
  • Binaries: General
  • Stars: Kinematics and dynamics
  • Stars: Massive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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