Rocking shadows in broken circumbinary discs

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We use three-dimensional simulations with coupled hydrodynamics and Monte Carlo radiative transfer to show that shadows cast by the inner disc in broken circumbinary discs move within a confined range of position angles on the outer disc. Over time, shadows appear to rock back and forth in azimuth as the inner disc precesses. The effect occurs because the inner disc precesses around a vector that is not the angular momentum vector of the outer disc. We relate our findings to recent observations of shadows in discs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L143-L147
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • binaries: close
  • hydrodynamics
  • methods: numerical
  • protoplanetary discs
  • radiative transfer
  • stars: kinematics and dynamics

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