Common envelope evolution of massive stars

Paul M. Ricker, Frank X. Timmes, Ronald E. Taam, Ronald F. Webbink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The discovery via gravitational waves of binary black hole systems with total masses greater than 60MEhas raised interesting questions for stellar evolution theory. Among the most promising formation channels for these systems is one involving a common envelope binary containing a low metallicity, core helium burning star with mass "30-40E and a black hole with mass "30-40E. For this channel to be viable, the common envelope binary must eject more than half the giant star's mass and reduce its orbital separation by as much as a factor of 80. We discuss issues faced in numerically simulating the common envelope evolution of such systems and present a 3D AMR simulation of the dynamical inspiral of a low-metallicity red supergiant with a massive black hole companion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-454
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
StateAccepted/In press - 2019


  • hydrodynamics
  • stars: Binaries: Close
  • stars: Evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


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