Modeling The Spatial Distribution Of Fragments Formed From Tidally Disrupted Stars
Roughly once every 104 years, a star passes close enough to the supermassive black hole Sgr A* at the center of the Milky Way to be pulled apart by the black holes tidal forces. The star is then spaghettified into a long stream of mass, with approximately one half being bound to Sgr A* and the other half unbound. Hydrodynamical simulations of this process have revealed that within this stream, the local self-gravity dominates the tidal field of Sgr A*. This residual self-gravity allows for
... ity allows for planetary-mass fragments to form along the stream that are then shot out into the galaxy at velocities determined by a spread of binding energies. We develop a Monte Carlo code in Python that models and plots the evolving position of these fragments for a variety of initial conditions that are likely realized in nature. This code utilizes an n-body integrator based in Mathematica to differentially solve for the position, velocity, and acceleration of each fragment at every time step. From the produced data we determine the probability distribution of bound and unbound fragments, along with a possible fraction of fragments end up within a 8 kpc shell around the galactic center. This enables the calculation of the distance at which the nearest fragment to our sun could potentially lie, which turns out to be approximately 200 parsecs.