Analytic asymptotic solution to spherical relativistic shock breakout

Almog Yalinewich, Re'em Sari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We investigate the relativistic breakout of a shock wave from the surface of a star. In this process, each fluid shell is endowed with some kinetic and thermal energy by the shock, and then continues to accelerate adiabatically by converting thermal energy into kinetic energy. This problem has been previously studied for a mildly relativistic breakout, where the acceleration ends close to the surface of the star. The current work focuses on the case where the acceleration ends at distances much greater than the radius of the star. We derive an analytic description for the hydrodynamic evolution of the ejecta in this regime and validate it using a numerical simulation.We also provide predictions for the expected light curves and spectra from such an explosion. The relevance to astrophysical explosions is discussed, and it is shown that such events require more energy than is currently believed to result from astrophysical explosions.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number016103
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


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