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  1. The majority of Sun-like stars form with binary companions, and their dynamical impact profoundly shapes the formation and survival of their planetary systems. Demographic studies have shown that close binaries (a < 100 au) have suppressed planet-occurrence rates compared to single stars, yet a substantial minority of planets do form and survive at all binary separations. To identify the conditions that foster planet formation in binary systems, we have obtained high-angular-resolution, mm interferometry for a sample of disk-bearing binary systems with known orbital solutions. In this poster, we present the case study of a young binary system, FO Tau (a ~ 22 au). Our ALMA observations resolve dust continuum (1.3 mm) and gas (CO J=2-1) from each circumstellar disk allowing us to trace the dynamical interaction between the binary orbit and the planet-forming reservoir. With these data we determine individual disk orientations and masses, while placing these measurements in the context of a new binary orbital solution. Our findings suggest that the FO Tau system is relatively placid, with observations consistent with alignment between the disks and the binary orbital plane. We compare these findings to models of binary formation and evolution, and their predictions for disk retention and planet formation. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  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 We use 3 mm continuum NOrthern Extended Millimeter Array and NH 3 Very Large Array observations toward the First Hydrostatic Core (FHSC) candidate CB 17 MMS in order to reveal the dust structure and gas properties to 600–1100 au scales and to constrain its evolutionary stage. We do not detect any compact source at the previously identified 1.3 mm point source, despite expecting a minimum signal-to-noise ratio of 9. The gas traced by NH 3 exhibits subsonic motions, with an average temperature of 10.4 K. A fit of the radial column density profile derived from the ammonia emission finds a flat inner region of radius ∼1800 au and a central density of ∼6 × 10 5 cm −3 . Virial and density structure analysis reveals the core is marginally bound ( α vir = 0.73). The region is entirely consistent with that of a young starless core, hence ruling out CB 17 MMS as an FHSC candidate. Additionally, the core exhibits a velocity gradient aligned with the major axis, showing an arc-like structure in the position–velocity diagram and an off-center region with high velocity dispersion, caused by two distinct velocity peaks. These features could be due to interactions with the nearby outflow, which appears to deflect due to the dense gas near the NH 3 column density peak. We investigate the specific angular momentum profile of the starless core, finding that it aligns closely with previous studies of similar radial profiles in Class 0 sources. This similarity to more evolved objects suggests that motions at 1000 au scales are determined by large-scale dense cloud motions, and may be preserved throughout the early stages of star formation. 
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  4. 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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    Context. Recent years have seen building evidence that planet formation starts early, in the first ~0.5 Myr. Studying the dust masses available in young disks enables us to understand the origin of planetary systems given that mature disks are lacking the solid material necessary to reproduce the observed exoplanetary systems, especially the massive ones. Aims. We aim to determine if disks in the embedded stage of star formation contain enough dust to explain the solid content of the most massive exoplanets. Methods. We use Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Band 6 (1.1–1.3 mm) continuum observations of embedded disks in the Perseus star-forming region together with Very Large Array (VLA) Ka -band (9 mm) data to provide a robust estimate of dust disk masses from the flux densities measured in the image plane. Results. We find a strong linear correlation between the ALMA and VLA fluxes, demonstrating that emission at both wavelengths is dominated by dust emission. For a subsample of optically thin sources, we find a median spectral index of 2.5 from which we derive the dust opacity index β = 0.5, suggesting significant dust growth. Comparison with ALMA surveys of Orion shows that the Class I dust disk mass distribution between the two regions is similar, but that the Class 0 disks are more massive in Perseus than those in Orion. Using the DIANA opacity model including large grains, with a dust opacity value of κ 9 mm = 0.28 cm 2 g −1 , the median dust masses of the embedded disks in Perseus are 158 M ⊕ for Class 0 and 52 M ⊕ for Class I from the VLA fluxes. The lower limits on the median masses from ALMA fluxes are 47 M ⊕ and 12 M ⊕ for Class 0 and Class I, respectively, obtained using the maximum dust opacity value κ 1.3 mm = 2.3 cm 2 g −1 . The dust masses of young Class 0 and I disks are larger by at least a factor of ten and three, respectively, compared with dust masses inferred for Class II disks in Lupus and other regions. Conclusions. The dust masses of Class 0 and I disks in Perseus derived from the VLA data are high enough to produce the observed exoplanet systems with efficiencies acceptable by planet formation models: the solid content in observed giant exoplanets can be explained if planet formation starts in Class 0 phase with an efficiency of ~15%. A higher efficiency of ~30% is necessary if the planet formation is set to start in Class I disks. 
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