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  1. Abstract

    Millimeter and submillimeter observations of continuum linear dust polarization provide insight into dust grain growth in protoplanetary disks, which are the progenitors of planetary systems. We present the results of the first survey of dust polarization in protoplanetary disks at 870μm and 3 mm. We find that protoplanetary disks in the same molecular cloud at similar evolutionary stages can exhibit different correlations between observing wavelength and polarization morphology and fraction. We explore possible origins for these differences in polarization, including differences in dust populations and protostar properties. For RY Tau and MWC 480, which are consistent with scattering at both wavelengths, we present models of the scattering polarization from several dust grain size distributions. These models aim to reproduce two features of the observational results for these disks: (1) both disks have an observable degree of polarization at both wavelengths; and (2) the polarization fraction is higher at 3 mm than at 870μm in the centers of the disks. For both disks, these features can be reproduced by a power-law distribution of spherical dust grains with a maximum radius of 200μm and high optical depth. In MWC 480, we can also reproduce features (1) and (2) with a model containing large grains (amax= 490μm) near the disk midplane and small grains (amax= 140μm) above and below the midplane.

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  2. Abstract

    We present a statistical characterization of circumstellar disk orientations toward 12 protostellar multiple systems in the Perseus molecular cloud using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array at Band 6 (1.3 mm) with a resolution of ∼25 mas (∼8 au). This exquisite resolution enabled us to resolve the compact inner-disk structures surrounding the components of each multiple system and to determine the projected 3D orientation of the disks (position angle and inclination) to high precision. We performed a statistical analysis on the relative alignment of disk pairs to determine whether the disks are preferentially aligned or randomly distributed. We considered three subsamples of the observations selected by the companion separationsa< 100 au,a> 500 au, anda< 10,000 au. We found for the compact (<100 au) subsample, the distribution of orientation angles is best described by an underlying distribution of preferentially aligned sources (within 30°) but does not rule out distributions with 40% misaligned sources. The wide companion (>500 au) subsample appears to be consistent with a distribution of 40%–80% preferentially aligned sources. Similarly, the full sample of systems with companions (a< 10,000 au) is most consistent with a fractional ratio of at most 80% preferentially aligned sources and rules out purely randomly aligned distributions. Thus, our results imply the compact sources (<100 au) and the wide companions (>500 au) are statistically different.

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    The internal velocity structure within dense gaseous cores plays a crucial role in providing the initial conditions for star formation in molecular clouds. However, the kinematic properties of dense gas at core scales (∼0.01−0.1 pc) has not been extensively characterized because of instrument limitations until the unique capabilities of GBT-Argus became available. The ongoing GBT-Argus Large Program, Dynamics in Star-forming Cores (DiSCo) thus aims to investigate the origin and distribution of angular momentum of star-forming cores. DiSCo will survey all starless cores and Class 0 protostellar cores in the Perseus molecular complex down to ∼0.01 pc scales with <0.05 km s−1 velocity resolution using the dense gas tracer N2H+. Here, we present the first data sets from DiSCo towards the B1 and NGC 1333 regions in Perseus. Our results suggest that a dense core’s internal velocity structure has little correlation with other core-scale properties, indicating these gas motions may be originated externally from cloud-scale turbulence. These first data sets also reaffirm the ability of GBT-Argus for studying dense core velocity structure and provided an empirical basis for future studies that address the angular momentum problem with a statistically broad sample.

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  4. Abstract Crescent-shaped structures in transition disks hold the key to studying the putative companions to the central stars. The dust dynamics, especially that of different grain sizes, is important to understanding the role of pressure bumps in planet formation. In this work, we present deep dust continuum observation with high resolution toward the Oph IRS 48 system. For the first time, we are able to significantly trace and detect emission along 95% of the ring crossing the crescent-shaped structure. The ring is highly eccentric with an eccentricity of 0.27. The flux density contrast between the peak of the flux and its counterpart along the ring is ∼270. In addition, we detect a compact emission toward the central star. If the emission is an inner circumstellar disk inside the cavity, it has a radius of at most a couple of astronomical units with a dust mass of 1.5 × 10 −8 M ⊙ , or 0.005 M ⊕ . We also discuss the implications of the potential eccentric orbit on the proper motion of the crescent, the putative secondary companion, and the asymmetry in velocity maps. 
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  5. Abstract VLA 1623 West is an ambiguous source that has been described as a shocked cloudlet as well as a protostellar disk. We use deep ALMA 1.3 and 0.87 mm observations to constrain its shape and structure to determine its origins better. We use a series of geometric models to fit the uv visibilities at both wavelengths with GALARIO . Although the real visibilities show structures similar to what has been identified as gaps and rings in protoplanetary disks, we find that a modified flat-topped Gaussian model at high inclination provides the best fit to the observations. This fit agrees well with expectations for an optically thick, highly inclined disk. Nevertheless, we find that the geometric models consistently yield positive residuals at the four corners of the disk at both wavelengths. We interpret these residuals as evidence that the disk is flared in the millimeter dust. We use a simple toy model for an edge-on flared disk and find that the residuals best match a disk with flaring that is mainly restricted to the outer disk at R ≳ 30 au. Thus, VLA 1623W may represent a young protostellar disk where the large dust grains have not yet had enough time to settle into the midplane. This result may have implications for how disk evolution and vertical dust settling impact the initial conditions leading to planet formation. 
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  6. Abstract We present Markov Chain Monte Carlo radiative transfer modeling of a joint ALMA 345 GHz and spectral energy distribution data set for a sample of 97 protostellar disks from the VLA and ALMA Nascent Disk and Multiplicity Survey of Orion Protostars. From this modeling, we derive disk and envelope properties for each protostar, allowing us to examine the bulk properties of a population of young protostars. We find that disks are small, with a median dust radius of 29.4 − 2.7 + 4.1 au and a median dust mass of 5.8 − 2.7 + 4.6 M ⊕ . We find no statistically significant difference between most properties of Class 0, Class I, and flat-spectrum sources with the exception of envelope dust mass and inclination. The distinction between inclination is an indication that the Class 0/I/flat-spectrum system may be difficult to tie uniquely to the evolutionary state of protostars. When comparing with Class II disk dust masses in Taurus from similar radiative transfer modeling, we further find that the trend of disk dust mass decreasing from Class 0 to Class II disks is no longer present, though it remains unclear whether such a comparison is fair owing to differences in star-forming region and modeling techniques. Moreover, the disks we model are broadly gravitationally stable. Finally, we compare disk masses and radii with simulations of disk formation and find that magnetohydrodynamical effects may be important for reproducing the observed properties of disks. 
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    The size of dust grains, a, is key to the physical and chemical processes in circumstellar discs, but observational constraints of grain size remain challenging. (Sub)millimetre continuum observations often show a per cent-level polarization parallel to the disc minor axis, which is generally attributed to scattering by ${\sim}100\, \mu{\rm m}$-sized spherical grains (with a size parameter x ≡ 2$\pi$a/λ < 1, where λ is the wavelength). Larger spherical grains (with x greater than unity) would produce opposite polarization direction. However, the inferred size is in tension with the opacity index β that points to larger mm/cm-sized grains. We investigate the scattering-produced polarization by large irregular grains with a range of x greater than unity with optical properties obtained from laboratory experiments. Using the radiation transfer code, RADMC-3D, we find that large irregular grains still produce polarization parallel to the disc minor axis. If the original forsterite refractive index in the optical is adopted, then all samples can produce the typically observed level of polarization. Accounting for the more commonly adopted refractive index using the DSHARP dust model, only grains with x of several (corresponding to ∼mm-sized grains) can reach the same polarization level. Our results suggest that grains in discs can have sizes in the millimetre regime, which may alleviate the tension between the grain sizes inferred from scattering and other means. Additionally, if large irregular grains are not settled to the mid-plane, their strong forward scattering can produce asymmetries between the near and far side of an inclined disc, which can be used to infer their presence.

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  8. Abstract In this work, we present 299 candidate young stellar objects (YSOs) in 30 Doradus discovered using Spitzer and Herschel point-source catalogs, 276 of which are new. We study the parental giant molecular clouds in which these YSO candidates form using recently published Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Cycle 7 observations of 12 CO and 13 CO. The threshold for star formation in 30 Doradus inferred by the LTE-based mass surface density is 178 M ⊙ pc −2 , 40% higher than the threshold for star formation in the Milky Way. This increase in star formation threshold in comparison to the Milky Way and increase in line width seen in clumps 11 pc away in comparison to clumps 45 pc away from the R136 super star cluster could be due to injected turbulent energy, increase in interstellar medium pressure, and/or local magnetic field strength. Of the 299 YSO candidates in this work, 62% are not associated with 12 CO molecular gas. This large fraction can be explained by the fact that 75%–97% of the H 2 gas is not traced by CO. We fit a Kroupa initial mass function to the YSO candidates and find that the total integrated stellar mass is 18,000 M ⊙ and that the region has a star formation rate (SFR) of 0.18 M ⊙ yr −1 . The initial mass function determined here applies to the four 150″ × 150″ (37.5 pc × 37.5 pc) subfields and one 150″ × 75″ (37.5 pc × 18.8 pc) subfield observed with ALMA. The SFR in 30 Doradus has increased in the past few million years. 
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  9. Abstract

    We present Very Large Array observations toward the Class 0 protostar L1157 MMS at 6.8 and 9 mm with a resolution of ∼0.″04 (14 au). We detect two sources within L1157 MMS and interpret these sources as a binary protostar with a separation of ∼16 au. The material directly surrounding the binary system within the inner 50 au radius of the system has an estimated mass of 0.11M, calculated from the observed dust emission. We interpret the observed binary system in the context of previous observations of its flattened envelope structure, low rates of envelope rotation from 5000 to 200 au scales, and an ordered, poloidal magnetic field aligned with the outflow. Thus, L1157 MMS is a prototype system for magnetically regulated collapse, and the presence of a compact binary within L1157 MMS demonstrates that multiple star formation can still occur within envelopes that likely have dynamically important magnetic fields.

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  10. Abstract Constraining the physical and chemical structure of young embedded disks is crucial for understanding the earliest stages of planet formation. As part of the Early Planet Formation in Embedded Disks Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array Large Program, we present high spatial resolution (∼0.″1 or ∼15 au) observations of the 1.3 mm continuum and 13 CO J = 2–1, C 18 O J = 2–1, and SO J N = 6 5 –5 4 molecular lines toward the disk around the Class I protostar L1489 IRS. The continuum emission shows a ring-like structure at 56 au from the central protostar and tenuous, optically thin emission extending beyond ∼300 au. The 13 CO emission traces the warm disk surface, while the C 18 O emission originates from near the disk midplane. The coincidence of the radial emission peak of C 18 O with the dust ring may indicate a gap-ring structure in the gaseous disk as well. The SO emission shows a highly complex distribution, including a compact, prominent component at ≲30 au, which is likely to originate from thermally sublimated SO molecules. The compact SO emission also shows a velocity gradient along a direction tilted slightly (∼15°) with respect to the major axis of the dust disk, which we interpret as an inner warped disk in addition to the warp around ∼200 au suggested by previous work. These warped structures may be formed by a planet or companion with an inclined orbit, or by a gradual change in the angular momentum axis during gas infall. 
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