Self-consistent magnetohydrodynamic simulation of jet launching in a neutron star – white dwarf merger


The merger of a white dwarf (WD) and a neutron star (NS) is a relatively common event that will produce an observable electromagnetic signal. Furthermore, the compactness of these stellar objects makes them an interesting candidate for gravitational wave (GW) astronomy, potentially being in the frequency range of LISA and other missions. To date, three-dimensional simulations of these mergers have not fully modelled the WD disruption, or have used lower resolutions and have not included magnetic fields even though they potentially shape the evolution of the merger remnant. In this work, we simulate the merger of a 1.4M_⊙NS with a 1M_⊙carbon oxygen WD in the magnetohydrodynamic moving mesh code \AREPO. We find that the disruption of the WD forms an accretion disk around the NS, and the subsequent accretion by the NS powers the launch of strongly magnetized, mildly relativistic jets perpendicular to the orbital plane. Although the exact properties of the jets could be altered by unresolved physics around the NS, the event could result in a transient with a larger luminosity than kilonovae. We discuss possible connections to fast blue optical transients (FBOTs) and long-duration gamma-ray bursts. We find that the frequency of GWs released during the merger is too high to be detectable by the LISA mission, but suitable for deci-hertz observatories such as LGWA, BBO or DECIGO.


DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202347555

Research Groups: Physics of Stellar Objects

Publication type: Journal

Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics

Publisher: EDP Sciences

Citation: Astronomy & Astrophysics

Date Published: 5th Jan 2024


Registered Mode: imported from a bibtex file

Authors: J. Moran-Fraile, F. K. Roepke, R. Pakmor, M. A. Aloy, S. T. Ohlmann, F. R. N. Schneider, G. Leidi

Morán-Fraile, J., Röpke, F. K., Pakmor, R., Aloy, M. A., Ohlmann, S. T., Schneider, F. R. N., Leidi, G., & Lioutas, G. (2024). Self-consistent magnetohydrodynamic simulation of jet launching in a neutron star – white dwarf merger. In Astronomy & Astrophysics (Vol. 681, p. A41). EDP Sciences.

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Created: 4th Dec 2023 at 09:32

Last updated: 12th Mar 2024 at 11:52

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