Accretion-induced prompt black hole formation in asymmetric neutron star mergers, dynamical ejecta, and kilonova signals

Sebastiano Bernuzzi, Matteo Breschi, Boris Daszuta, Andrea Endrizzi, Domenico Logoteta, Vsevolod Nedora, Albino Perego, David Radice, Federico Schianchi, Francesco Zappa, Ignazio Bombaci, Nestor Ortiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


We present new numerical relativity results of neutron star (NS) mergers with chirp mass 1.188 M0 and mass ratios q = 1.67 and q = 1.8 using finite-temperature equations of state (EOS), approximate neutrino transport, and a subgrid model for magnetohydrodynamics-induced turbulent viscosity. The EOS are compatible with nuclear and astrophysical constraints and include a new microphysical model derived from ab initio calculations based on the Brueckner-Hartree-Fock approach. We report for the first time evidence for accretion-induced prompt collapse in high-mass-ratio mergers, in which the tidal disruption of the companion and its accretion on to the primary star determine prompt black hole (BH) formation. As a result of the tidal disruption, an accretion disc of neutron-rich and cold matter forms with baryon masses ~0.15M0, and it is significantly heavier than the remnant discs in equal-masses prompt-collapse mergers. Massive dynamical ejecta of the order of ~0.01 MG also originate from the tidal disruption. They are neutron-rich and expand from the orbital plane with a crescent-like geometry. Consequently, bright, red, and temporally extended kilonova emission is predicted from these mergers. Our results show that prompt BH mergers can power bright electromagnetic counterparts for high-mass-ratio binaries, and that the binary mass ratio can be, in principle, constrained from multimessenger observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1488-1507
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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