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Astron. Astrophys. 319, 547-560 (1997)

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Protostellar binary fragmentation: a comparison of results from two distinct second-order hydrodynamic codes

Leonardo Di G. Sigalotti 1 and Jaime Klapp 2

1 International School for Advanced Studies, SISSA, Via Beirut 2-4, I-34013 Trieste, Italy
2 Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares, ININ, Apartado Postal 18-1027, Mexico 11801 DF

Received 4 March 1996 / Accepted 2 July 1996


A new second-order Eulerian code is compared with a version of the TREESPH code formulated by Hernquist & Katz (1989) for the standard isothermal collapse test. The results indicate that both codes produce a very similar evolution ending with the formation of a protostellar binary system. Contrary to previous first-order calculations, the binary forms by direct fragmentation, i.e., without the occurrence of an intermediate bar configuration. A similar trend was also found in recent second-order Eulerian calculations (Myhill & Boss 1993), suggesting that it is a result of the decreased numerical diffusion associated with the new second-order schemes. The results have also implications on the differences between the finite difference methods and the particle method SPH, raised by Monaghan & Lattanzio (1986) for this problem. In particular, the Eulerian calculation does not result in a run-away collapse of the fragments, and as found in the TREESPH evolution, they also show a clear tendency to get closer together. In agreement with previous SPH calculations (Monaghan & Lattanzio 1986), the results of the long term evolution with code TREESPH show that the gravitational interaction between the two fragments may become important, and eventually induce the binary to coalesce. However, most recent SPH calculations (Bate, Bonnell & Price 1995) indicate that the two fragments, after having reached a minimum separation distance, do not merge but continue to orbit each other.

Key words: hydrodynamics – methods: numerical – stars: formation

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: July 3, 1998