Impact of magnetic braking on high-mass close binary formation

Naoto Harada, Shingo Hirano, Masahiro N. Machida, Takashi Hosokawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Combining numerical simulations and analytical modelling, we investigate whether close binary systems form by the effect of magnetic braking. Using magnetohydrodynamics simulations, we calculate the cloud evolution with a sink, for which we do not resolve the binary system or binary orbital motion to realize long-term time integration. Then, we analytically estimate the binary separation using the accreted mass and angular momentum obtained from the simulation. In unmagnetized clouds, wide binary systems with separations of >100 au form, in which the binary separation continues to increase during the main accretion phase. In contrast, close binary systems with separations of <100 au can form in magnetized clouds. Since the efficiency of magnetic braking strongly depends on both the strength and configuration of the magnetic field, they also affect the formation conditions of a close binary. In addition, the protostellar outflow has a negative impact on close binary formation, especially when the rotation axis of the prestellar cloud is aligned with the global magnetic field. The outflow interrupts the accretion of gas with small angular momentum, which is expelled from the cloud, while gas with large angular momentum preferentially falls from the side of the outflow on to the binary system and widens the binary separation. This study shows that a cloud with a magnetic field that is not parallel to the rotation axis is a favourable environment for the formation of close binary systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3730-3747
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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