Saturday, October 8, 2016

Revolutionizing our View of Protostellar Multiplicity and Disks: The VLA Nascent Disk and Multiplicity (VANDAM) Survey of the Perseus Molecular Cloud


Tobin et al


There is substantial evidence for disk formation taking place during the early stages of star formation and for most stars being born in multiple systems; however, protostellar multiplicity and disk searches have been hampered by low resolution, sample bias, and variable sensitivity. We have conducted an unbiased, high-sensitivity Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) survey toward all known protostars (n = 94) in the Perseus molecular cloud (d~230 pc), with a resolution of ~15 AU (0.06") at 8 mm. We have detected candidate protostellar disks toward 17 sources (with 12 of those in the Class 0 stage) and we have found substructure on < 50AU scales for three Class 0 disk candidates, possibly evidence for disk fragmentation. We have discovered 16 new multiple systems (or new components) in this survey; the new systems have separations < 500 AU and 3 by < 30 AU. We also found a bi-modal distribution of separations, with peaks at ~75 AU and ~3000 AU, suggestive of formation through two distinct mechanisms: disk and turbulent fragmentation. The results from this survey demonstrate the necessity and utility of uniform, unbiased surveys of protostellar systems at millimeter and centimeter wavelengths.

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