Hydrodynamical studies of wind accretion onto compact objects: Two-dimensional calculations

J. S. Benensohn*, D. Q. Lamb, R. E. Taam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We present the results of hydrodynamical simulations of nonaxisymmetric gas flow past a gravitating compact object in two dimensions. Calculations were performed with uniform flow as well as with transverse velocity and density gradients. We find that the flow is highly nonsteady, exhibiting the "flip-flop" behavior seen in previous studies, in which accretion disks form with alternating directions of rotation. We investigate the periodicity of the flip-flop behavior and study the effects of spatial resolution on the results. We find that the flip-flop motion creates accretion torques that, in some cases, may be large enough to explain the erratic spin behavior observed in Be-type X-ray pulsars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-733
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART I
StatePublished - 1997


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Instabilities
  • Stars: mass loss
  • X-rays: stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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