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Creators/Authors contains: "Segura-Cox, Dominique M."

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  1. 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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  2. Abstract

    Characterizing the physical conditions at disk scales in class 0 sources is crucial for constraining the protostellar accretion process and the initial conditions for planet formation. We use ALMA 1.3 and 3 mm observations to investigate the physical conditions of the dust around the class 0 binary IRAS 16293–2422 A down to ∼10 au scales. The circumbinary material’s spectral index,α, has a median of 3.1 and a dispersion of ∼0.2, providing no firm evidence of millimeter-sized grains therein. Continuum substructures with brightness temperature peaks ofTb∼ 60–80 K at 1.3 mm are observed near the disks at both wavelengths. These peaks do not overlap with strong variations ofα, indicating that they trace high-temperature spots instead of regions with significant optical depth variations. The lower limits to the inferred dust temperature in the hot spots are 122, 87, and 49 K. Depending on the assumed dust opacity index, these values can be several times higher. They overlap with high gas temperatures and enhanced complex organic molecular emission. This newly resolved dust temperature distribution is in better agreement with the expectations from mechanical instead of the most commonly assumed radiative heating. In particular, we find that the temperatures agree with shock heating predictions. This evidence and recent studies highlighting accretion heating in class 0 disks suggest that mechanical heating (shocks, dissipation powered by accretion, etc.) is important during the early stages and should be considered when modeling and measuring properties of deeply embedded protostars and disks.

     
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  3. Abstract Spectral lines of ammonia, NH 3 , are useful probes of the physical conditions in dense molecular cloud cores. In addition to advantages in spectroscopy, ammonia has also been suggested to be resistant to freezing onto grain surfaces, which should make it a superior tool for studying the interior parts of cold, dense cores. Here we present high-resolution NH 3 observations with the Very Large Array and Green Bank Telescope toward a prestellar core. These observations show an outer region with a fractional NH 3 abundance of X (NH 3 ) = (1.975 ± 0.005) × 10 −8 (±10% systematic), but it also reveals that, after all, the X (NH 3 ) starts to decrease above a H 2 column density of ≈2.6 × 10 22 cm −2 . We derive a density model for the core and find that the break point in the fractional abundance occurs at the density n (H 2 ) ∼ 2 × 10 5 cm −3 , and beyond this point the fractional abundance decreases with increasing density, following the power law n −1.1 . This power-law behavior is well reproduced by chemical models where adsorption onto grains dominates the removal of ammonia and related species from the gas at high densities. We suggest that the break-point density changes from core to core depending on the temperature and the grain properties, but that the depletion power law is anyway likely to be close to n −1 owing to the dominance of accretion in the central parts of starless cores. 
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  4. null (Ed.)