Shock dynamics in stellar outbursts. I. Shock formation.
RO S. and MATZNER C.D.
Abstract (from CDS):
Wave-driven outflows and non-disruptive explosions have been implicated in pre-supernova outbursts, supernova impostors, luminous blue variable eruptions, and some narrow-line and superluminous supernovae. To model these events, we investigate the dynamics of stars set in motion by strong acoustic pulses and wave trains, focusing on nonlinear wave propagation, shock formation, and an early phase of the development of a weak shock. We identify the shock formation radius, showing that a heuristic estimate based on crossing characteristics matches an exact expansion around the wave front and verifying both with numerical experiments. Our general analytical condition for shock formation applies to one-dimensional motions within any static environment, including both eruptions and implosions. We also consider the early phase of shock energy dissipation. We find that waves of super-Eddington acoustic luminosity always create shocks, rather than damping by radiative diffusion. Therefore, shock formation is integral to super-Eddington outbursts.