Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ejection of gaseous clumps from gravitationally unstable protostellar disks

Ejection of gaseous clumps from gravitationally unstable protostellar disks


Vorobyov et al


We investigate the dynamics of gaseous clumps formed via gravitational fragmentation in young protostellar disks, focusing on the fragments that are ejected from the disk via many-body gravitational interaction. Numerical hydrodynamics simulations were employed to study the evolution of young protostellar disks formed from the collapse of rotating pre-stellar cores with mass in the 1.1-1.6 M_sun range. Protostellar disks formed in our models undergo gravitational fragmentation driven by continuing mass loading from parental collapsing cores. A few fragments can be ejected from the disk during the early evolution, but the low-mass fragments (less than 15~M_Jup) disperse creating spectacular bow-type structures while passing through the disk and collapsing core. The least massive fragment that survived the ejection (21 M_Jup) straddles the planetary-mass limit, while the most massive ejected fragments (145 M_Jup) can break up into several pieces, leading to the ejection of wide separation binary clumps in the brown-dwarf mass range. About half of the ejected fragments are gravitationally bound, the majority is supported by rotation against gravity, and all fragments have the specific angular momentum that is much higher than that expected for brown dwarfs. We found that the internal structure of the ejected fragments is distinct from what would be expected for gravitationally contracting clumps formed via cloud core fragmentation, which can help to differentiate their origin. The ejection of fragments is an important process inherent to massive protostellar disks, which produces freely-floating pre-brown dwarf cores, regulates the disk and stellar masses, and potentially enriches the intracluster medium with processed dust and complex organics.

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