Star-Disk Collisions in the Galactic Center
Kieffer, Thomas F.
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Recent observations of the Galactic Center (GC) have revealed that there is a relative paucity of Red Giant (RG) stars within the central parsec. However, these observations conflict with our current theoretical understanding. We would expect the GC to have formed a segregated cusp of late-type stars. A recent explanation for this theoretical issue is that the outer envelopes of RG stars may have been stripped due to collisions with a fragmenting accretion disk in the GC. Both numerical and analytic models of star-disk collisions have been considered by several authors prior to this work, but a majority of the literature has focused on either the envelope stripping of a Main-Sequence (MS) star or other phenomena associated with this particular interaction. Here we investigate the envelope stripping of a RG star of radius R* = 10 R and mass M* = 1M colliding with the dense regions of a fragmenting disk. From our simulations, we are able to conclude that a RG star is likely to be stripped of its outer envelope and, occasionally, disrupted.