Astrophysics (Index)About

accretion rate

(rate of addition of mass to an object)

Accretion rate is general term for measures of accretion, typically mass per unit time. The term may be used for any astrophysical example of accretion, e.g., stars, planet formation and black holes.

Regarding black hole accretion rates, a black hole's Eddington accretion rate is a maximum, the rate at which it reaches its Eddington luminosity. This is relevant to active galactic nuclei and quasars which are presumed to be the result of supermassive black hole accretion, and provide hints to the size of the black hole. It appears that such accretion was most widespread in the history of the universe during the period of maximal star formation: the peak star-formation epoch.

The terms accretion and accretion rate are also used in meteorology for growth of water droplets (or other liquid droplets) in the formation of clouds and rain, a usage that may be found in planetary science.

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
autoconversion rate
black hole accretion rate (BHAR)
direct collapse black hole (DCBH)
dwarf nova (DN)
Eddington luminosity
Salpeter timescale