Accretion of stellar winds in the galactic centre

J. Cuadra, S. Nayakshin, V. Springel, T. Di Matteo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We report a 3-dimensional numerical study of the accretion of stellar winds onto Sgr A*, the super-massive black hole at the centre of our Galaxy. Compared with previous investigations, we allow the stars to be on realistic orbits, include the recently discovered slow wind sources, and allow for optically thin radiative cooling. We find that the slow winds shock and rapidly cool, forming cold gas clumps and filaments that coexist with the hot X-ray emitting gas. The accretion rate in this case consists of two components: the hot quasi steady-state one, and the cold one that is highly variable on time-scales of tens to hundreds of years. Such variability can in principle lead to a strongly non-linear response through accretion flow physics not resolved here, making Sgr A* an important energy source for the Galactic centre.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRelativistic Astrophysics Legacy and Cosmology - Einstein's
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the MPE/USM/MPA/ESO Joint Astronomy Conference Held in Munich, Germany, 7-11 November 2005
EditorsBernd Aschenbach, Vadim Burwitz, Gunther Hasinger, Bruno Leibundgut
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameESO Astrophysics Symposia
ISSN (Print)1431-2433
ISSN (Electronic)1611-6143


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