The fate of fallback matter around newly born compact objects

Rosalba Perna, Paul Duffell, Matteo Cantiello, Andrew I. MacFadyen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The presence of fallback disks around young neutron stars (NSs) has been invoked over the years to explain a large variety of phenomena. Here we perform a numerical investigation of the formation of such disks during a supernova (SN) explosion, considering both NS and black hole (BH) remnants. Using the public code MESA, we compute the angular momentum distribution of the pre-SN material, for stars with initial masses M in the range 13-40 M ·, initial surface rotational velocities v surf between 25% and 75% of the critical velocity, and for metallicities Z of 1%, 10%, and 100% of the solar value. These pre-SN models are exploded with energies E varying between 10 50-3 × 1052 erg, and the amount of fallback material is computed. We find that, if magnetic torques play an important role in angular momentum transport, then fallback disks around NSs, even for low-metallicity main-sequence stars, are not an outcome of SN explosions. Formation of such disks around young NSs can only happen under the condition of negligible magnetic torques and a fine-tuned explosion energy. For those stars that leave behind BH remnants, disk formation is ubiquitous if magnetic fields do not play a strong role; however, unlike the NS case, even with strong magnetic coupling in the interior, a disk can form in a large region of the Z, M, v surf, E parameter space. Together with the compact, hyperaccreting fallback disks widely discussed in the literature, we identify regions in the above parameter space that lead to extended, long-lived disks around BHs. We find that the physical conditions in these disks may be conducive to planet formation, hence leading to the possible existence of planets orbiting BHs.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number119
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2014


    • accretion accretion disks
    • stars: evolution
    • stars: neutron
    • supernovae: general

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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