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Collapsing massive stars and their EM transients

Agnieszka JaniukNarjes ShahamatDominika Kr\'ol
Jan 2024
We investigate the fate of a collapsing stellar core, which is the final state of evolution of a massive, rotating star of a Wolf-Rayet type. Such stars explode as type I b/c supernovae, which have been observed in association with long gamma ray bursts (GRBs). The core of the star is potentially forming a black hole, which is embedded in a dense, rotating, and possibly highly magnetized envelope. We study the process of collapse using General Relativistic MHD simulations, and we account for the growth of the black hole mass and its spin, as well as related evolution of the spacetime metric. We find that some particular configurations of the initial black hole spin, the content of angular momentum in the stellar core, and the magnetic field configuration and its strength, are favored for producing a bright electromagnetic transient (i.e., a gamma ray burst). On the other hand, most of the typical configurations studied in our models do not lead to a transient electromagnetic explosion and will end up in a direct collapse, accompanied by some residual variability induced by changing accretion rate. We also study the role of self-gravity in the stellar core and quantify the relative strength of the interfacial instabilities, such as Self-Gravity Interfacial (SGI) instability and Rayleigh-Taylor (RT), which may account for the production of an inhomogeneous structure, including spikes and bubbles, through the inner radii of the collapsing core (inside $\sim 200~r_{g}$). %Furthermore, we investigate the axisymmetric modes of gravitational instability based on the generalized Toomre parameter. We find that in self-gravitating collapsars the RT modes cannot grow efficiently. We also conclude that transonic shocks are formed in the collapsing envelope, but they are weaker in magnetized stars.
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