The two-dimensional structure of thin accretion disks

V. S. Beskin*, R. Yu Kompaneetz, A. D. Tchekhovskoy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The two-dimensional structure of a thin accretion disk in the vicinity of a Schwarzschild black hole after passing a marginally stable orbit (r < 3rg) is discussed in terms of the Grad-Shafranov hydrodynamic equation. The accretion disk is shown to be sharply compressed as the sonic surface is approached, so the mass flow here is no longer radial. As a result, the dynamic forces p[(v∇)v]θ, which are equal in magnitude to the pressure gradient ∇θP on the sonic surface, become significant in vertical balance. Therefore, the disk thickness in the supersonic region (and, in particular, near the black-hole horizon) may be assumed to be determined not by the pressure gradient but by the shape of ballistic trajectories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-552
Number of pages10
JournalAstronomy Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2002


  • Black holes
  • Neutron stars
  • Pulsars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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