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Neutron star kicks and their relationship to supernovae ejecta mass
Bray, J. C.; Eldridge, J. J.
AA(Department of Physics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand ), AB(Department of Physics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand)
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 461, Issue 4, p.3747-3759 (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
Astronomy Keywords:
binaries: general, stars: evolution, stars: neutron, supernovae: general
Abstract Copyright:
2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
Bibliographic Code:


We propose a simple model to explain the velocity of young neutron stars. We attempt to confirm a relationship between the amount of mass ejected in the formation of the neutron star and the `kick' velocity imparted to the compact remnant resulting from the process. We assume that the velocity is given by vkick = alpha (Mejecta/Mremnant) + beta . To test this simple relationship, we use the BPASS (Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis) code to create stellar population models from both single and binary star evolutionary pathways. We then use our Remnant Ejecta and Progenitor Explosion Relationship (REAPER) code to apply different alpha and beta values, and three different `kick' orientations then record the resulting velocity probability distributions. We find that while a single star population provides a poor fit to the observational data, the binary population provides an excellent fit. Values of alpha = 70 km s-1 and beta = 110 km s-1 reproduce the Hobbs et al. observed two-dimensional velocities, and alpha = 70 km s-1 and beta = 120 km s-1 reproduce their inferred three-dimensional velocity distribution for nearby single neutron stars with ages less than 3 Myr. After testing isotropic, spin-axis aligned and orthogonal to spin-axis `kick' orientations, we find no statistical preference for a `kick' orientation. While ejecta mass cannot be the only factor that determines the velocity of supernova compact remnants, we suggest that it is a significant contributor and that the ejecta-based `kick' should replace the Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution currently used in many population synthesis codes.
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