BINARY NEUTRON STAR MERGERS: A JET ENGINE for SHORT GAMMA-RAY BURSTS

Milton Ruiz, Ryan N. Lang, Vasileios Paschalidis, Stuart L. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We perform magnetohydrodynamic simulations in full general relativity (GRMHD) of quasi-circular, equal-mass, binary neutron stars that undergo merger. The initial stars are irrotational, n = 1 polytropes and are magnetized. We explore two types of magnetic-field geometries: one where each star is endowed with a dipole magnetic field extending from the interior into the exterior, as in a pulsar, and the other where the dipole field is initially confined to the interior. In both cases the adopted magnetic fields are initially dynamically unimportant. The merger outcome is a hypermassive neutron star that undergoes delayed collapse to a black hole (spin parameter a/M BH ∼ 0.74) immersed in a magnetized accretion disk. About 4000M ∼ 60(M NS/1.625 M o) ms following merger, the region above the black hole poles becomes strongly magnetized, and a collimated, mildly relativistic outflow - an incipient jet - is launched. The lifetime of the accretion disk, which likely equals the lifetime of the jet, is Δ t ∼ 0.1 (M NS/1.625 M o) s. In contrast to black hole-neutron star mergers, we find that incipient jets are launched even when the initial magnetic field is confined to the interior of the stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL6
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume824
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 10 2016

Keywords

  • black hole physics
  • gamma-ray burst: general
  • gravitation
  • gravitational waves
  • stars: neutron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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