Journal Article

Stellar dynamics in a galactic centre surrounded by a massive accretion disc — I. Newtonian description

D. Vokrouhlický and V. Karas

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 298, issue 1, pages 53-66
Published in print July 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.1998.01564.x
Stellar dynamics in a galactic centre surrounded by a massive accretion disc — I. Newtonian description

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Abstract

The long-term evolution of stellar orbits bound to a massive centre is studied in order to understand the cores of star clusters in central regions of galaxies. Stellar trajectories undergo tiny perturbations, the origins of which are twofold: (i) the gravitational field of a thin gaseous disc surrounding the galactic centre, and (ii) cumulative drag arising from successive interactions of the stars with the material of the disc. Both effects are closely related because they depend on the total mass of the disc, assumed to be a small fraction of the central mass. It is shown that, in contrast to previous works, most of the retrograde (with respect to the disc) orbits are captured by the central object, presumably a massive black hole. Initially prograde orbits are also affected, so that statistical properties of the central star cluster in quasi-equilibrium may differ significantly from those deduced in previous analyses.

Keywords: accretion; accretion discs; celestial mechanics; stellar dynamics; galaxies: nuclei

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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