Gas Flows Within Cavities of Circumbinary Discs in Eccentric Binary Protostellar Systems

Philipp Mösta*, Ronald E. Taam, Paul C. Duffell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The structure and evolution of gas flows within the cavity of a circumbinary disk (CBD) surrounding the stellar components in eccentric binaries are examined via two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. The degree to which gas fills the cavity between the circumstellar disks (CSDs) and the CBD is found to be greater for highly eccentric systems, in comparison to low-eccentricity systems, reflecting the spatial extent over which mass enters into the cavity throughout the orbit. The pattern of the gas flow in the cavity differs for eccentric binaries from that of binaries in a circular orbit. In particular, the former reveals tightly wound gas streams and figure-eight-like structures for systems characterized by eccentricies, e ≥ 0.4, whereas the latter only reveal relatively loosely bent streams from the CBD to the CSDs. Hence, the description of the stream structures can be a probe of sufficient non-circularity of the binary orbital motion. Given that the inner edge of the CBD is not very well defined for highly eccentric systems due to the complex gas structures, it is suggested that the area of the cavity for high-sensitivity imaging observations may prove to be a more useful diagnostic for probing the effectiveness of CBD clearing in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Dec 19 2018


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