Searching for radiative instabilites in massive star envelopes

Shangfei Liu, Peking University
Advisors: Mark Krumholz, UCSC, Richard Stancliffe, Monash, Matthias Gritschneder, Peking U.

Abstract: We investigate local radiative hydrodynamic instabilities in the envelopes of massive stars. Two different stellar models are considered, a simple polytropic model and a more realistic stellar evolution code model. For both cases, we compare the local optical depth and radiative flux with analytically derived in- stability criteria. Only a thin outer shell of the star, containing a mass of about 10-6Mstar to 10-5Mstar, can be subjected to this instability. However, the growth rate of the instability is relatively fast (about 10,000s) indicating a possible run-away effect.

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