Eccentric black-hole-neutron-star mergers

Branson C. Stephens, William E. East, Frans Pretorius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Within the next few years gravitational waves (GWs) from merging black holes (BHs) and neutron stars (NSs) may be directly detected, making a thorough theoretical understanding of these systems a high priority. As an additional motivation, these systems may represent a subset of short-duration gamma-ray burst progenitors. BH-NS mergers are expected to result from primordial, quasi-circular inspiral as well as dynamically formed capture binaries. The latter channel allows mergers with high eccentricity, resulting in a richer variety of outcomes. We perform general relativistic simulations of BH-NS interactions with a range of impact parameters, and find significant variation in the properties of these events that have potentially observable consequences, namely, the GW signature, remnant accretion disk mass, and amount of unbound material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL5
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 10 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • black hole physics
  • gamma-ray burst: general
  • gravitation
  • gravitational waves
  • stars: neutron


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