Saturday, February 18, 2017

Grand Design Spiral Arms in A Young Forming Circumstellar Disk

Grand Design Spiral Arms in A Young Forming Circumstellar Disk


Tomida et al


We study formation and long-term evolution of a circumstellar disk in a collapsing molecular cloud core using a resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulation. While the formed circumstellar disk is initially small, it grows as accretion continues and its radius becomes as large as 200 AUs toward the end of the Class-I phase. A pair of grand-design spiral arms form due to gravitational instability in the disk, and they transfer angular momentum in the highly resistive disk. Although the spiral arms disappear in a few rotations as expected in a classical theory, new spiral arms form recurrently as the disk soon becomes unstable again by gas accretion. Such recurrent spiral arms persist throughout the Class-0 and I phase. We then perform synthetic observations and compare our model with a recent high-resolution observation of a young stellar object Elias 2-27, whose circumstellar disk has grand design spiral arms. We find an excellent agreement between our theoretical model and the observation. Our model suggests that the grand design spiral arms around Elias 2-27 are consistent with material arms formed by gravitational instability. It also implies that the age of Elias 2-27 can be younger than the previous estimate.

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