Explaining the variability of WD 1145+017 with simulations of asteroid tidal disruption

Dimitri Veras¹, Philip J Carter², Zoë M Leinhardt² and Boris Gänsicke¹
MNRAS, 465, 1008 (2017)
doi: 10.1093/mnras/stw2748
¹Department of Physics, University of Warwick
²School of Physics, University of Bristol


Below are animations to accompany selected figures in the paper (scroll down for more).

More movies from PKDGRAV simulations can be found here.

Figure 5: Disruption of a homogeneous hexagonal closest packed (HCP) rubble pile from simulation HCP134 (ρ = 2.6 g/cm³, e = 0).
The animation is in the rotating frame, where left is radially towards the white dwarf and the direction of the orbit is towards the top of the page.
The number in the upper right corner is the time in number of orbits.
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Figure 6: Mantle disruption of a differentiated synchronously-spinning rubble pile on a circular orbit with ρ = 3.5 g/cm³ (simulation RandDiff19).
The white particles are mantle particles, and the green core particles underneath remain hidden. After about half of an orbit, mantle particles start streaming from the L1 and L2 Lagrange points.
After about four orbits the streaming becomes intermittent.
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Figure 7: Complete disruption of a differentiated synchronously-spinning rubble pile on an eccentric orbit with e = 0.10 (ρ = 3.5 g/cm³, simulation RandDiff32).
Subsequent to mantle stripping, the core is not dense enough to resist disruption, and both the white mantle particles and green core particles are visible after three orbits.

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Figure 8: Spreading of stripped particles around the white dwarf (located at the centre) for the mantle disruption in Fig. 6 (simulation RandDiff19, ρ = 3.5 g/cm³).
The disrupting rubble pile is at the same position in each panel, centre-right. Rubble pile particles have been inflated to enhance their visibility.
Download Video: mp4