A comprehensive set of simulations of high-velocity collisions between main-sequence stars

Freitag, Marc; Benz, Willy (2005). A comprehensive set of simulations of high-velocity collisions between main-sequence stars. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 358(4), pp. 1133-1158. Blackwell Publishing Ltd 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.08770.x

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We report on a very large set of simulations of collisions between two main-sequence (MS) stars. These computations were carried out with the smoothed particle hydrodynamics method. Realistic stellar structure models for evolved MS stars were used. In order to sample an extended domain of initial parameters space (masses of the stars, relative velocity and impact parameter), more than 14 000 simulations were carried out. We considered stellar masses ranging between 0.1 and 75 M⊙ and relative velocities up to a few thousand km s−1. To limit the computational burden, a resolution of 1000–32 000 particles per star was used. The primary goal of this study was to build a complete data base from which the result of any collision can be interpolated. This allows us to incorporate the effects of stellar collisions with an unprecedented level of realism into dynamical simulations of galactic nuclei and other dense stellar clusters. We make the data describing the initial condition and outcome (mass and energy loss, angle of deflection) of all our simulations available on the Internet. We find that the outcome of collisions depends sensitively on the stellar structure and that, in most cases, using polytropic models is inappropriate. Published fitting formulae for the collision outcomes, established from a limited set of collisions, prove of limited use because they do not allow robust extrapolation to other stellar structures or relative velocities.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Benz, Willy


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




Blackwell Publishing Ltd




Marceline Brodmann

Date Deposited:

22 Sep 2020 15:00

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:13

Publisher DOI:






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