Institute of Astronomy

Common Envelope Interactions from Observation to Theory and Back

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Orsola de Marco26 July 2016Binary Stars Talks


What are the observations that can provide useable constraints for common envelope (CE) models? There are several ways to use post-CE binaries to impose some constraints on the physics of the interaction, but even more telling could be observations of the outflows caused by CE interactions. Among these, particularly useful are observations of classes known to be reasonably homogeneous, such as post-CE planetary nebulae, i.e., PN with a post-CE binary at their core, as well as of novae, for which the emergence of an outflow can be monitored and measured in real time. Both can provide energetics of the interaction from mass and energy measurements of the outflows. I will review these as well as other observations such as white dwarf binaries and other post-CE, post-giant, intermediate mass binaries to investigate their usability as model (particularly hydrodynamics model) constraints. I will also integrate these observations in the landscape of simulations, highlighting those simulation aspects that remain the most elusive.