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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 canmore »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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  2. Abstract We present a comprehensive analysis of the evolution of envelopes surrounding protostellar systems in the Perseus molecular cloud using data from the MASSES survey. We focus our attention to the C 18 O(2–1) spectral line, and we characterize the shape, size, and orientation of 54 envelopes and measure their fluxes, velocity gradients, and line widths. To look for evolutionary trends, we compare these parameters to the bolometric temperature T bol , a tracer of protostellar age. We find evidence that the angular difference between the elongation angle of the C 18 O envelope and the outflow axis direction generally becomes increasingly perpendicular with increasing T bol , suggesting the envelope evolution is directly affected by the outflow evolution. We show that this angular difference changes at T bol = 53 ± 20 K, which includes the conventional delineation between Class 0 and I protostars of 70 K. We compare the C 18 O envelopes with larger gaseous structures in other molecular clouds and show that the velocity gradient increases with decreasing radius ( ∣  ∣ ∼ R − 0.72 ± 0.06 ). From the velocity gradients we show that the specific angular momentum follows a power-law fit Jmore »/ M ∝ R 1.83±0.05 for scales from 1 pc down to ∼500 au, and we cannot rule out a possible flattening out at radii smaller than ∼1000 au.« less

    Telescopes are now able to resolve dust polarization across circumstellar discs at multiple wavelengths, allowing the study of the polarization spectrum. Most discs show clear evidence of dust scattering through their unidirectional polarization pattern typically at the shorter wavelength of $\sim 870 \, \mu$m. However, certain discs show an elliptical pattern at ∼3 mm, which is likely due to aligned grains. With HL Tau, its polarization pattern at ∼1.3 mm shows a transition between the two patterns making it the first example to reveal such transition. We use the T-matrix method to model elongated dust grains and properly treat scattering of aligned non-spherical grains with a plane-parallel slab model. We demonstrate that a change in optical depth can naturally explain the polarization transition of HL Tau. At low optical depths, the thermal polarization dominates, while at high optical depths, dichroic extinction effectively takes out the thermal polarization and scattering polarization dominates. Motivated by results from the plane-parallel slab, we develop a simple technique to disentangle thermal polarization of the aligned grains T0 and polarization due to scattering S using the azimuthal variation of the polarization fraction. We find that, with increasing wavelength, the fractional polarization spectrum of the scattering component Smore »decreases, while the thermal component T0 increases, which is expected since the optical depth decreases. We find several other sources similar to HL Tau that can be explained by azimuthally aligned scattering prolate grains when including optical depth effects. In addition, we explore how spirally aligned grains with scattering can appear in polarization images.

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  4. Abstract We present H -band (1.65 μ m) and SOFIA HAWC+ 154 μ m polarization observations of the low-mass core L483. Our H -band observations reveal a magnetic field that is overwhelmingly in the E–W direction, which is approximately parallel to the bipolar outflow that is observed in scattered IR light and in single-dish 12 CO observations. From our 154 μ m data, we infer a ∼45° twist in the magnetic field within the inner 5″ (1000 au) of L483. We compare these new observations with published single-dish 350 μ m polarimetry and find that the 10,000 au scale H -band data match the smaller-scale 350 μ m data, indicating that the collapse of L483 is magnetically regulated on these larger scales. We also present high-resolution 1.3 mm Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array data of L483 that reveals it is a close binary star with a separation of 34 au. The plane of the binary of L483 is observed to be approximately parallel to the twisted field in the inner 1000 au. Comparing this result to the ∼1000 au protostellar envelope, we find that the envelope is roughly perpendicular to the 1000 au HAWC+ field. Using the data presented, we speculatemore »that L483 initially formed as a wide binary and the companion star migrated to its current position, causing an extreme shift in angular momentum thereby producing the twisted magnetic field morphology observed. More observations are needed to further test this scenario.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  5. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Polarized dust continuum emission has been observed with Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in an increasing number of deeply embedded protostellar systems. It generally shows a sharp transition going from the protostellar envelope to the disc scale, with the polarization fraction typically dropping from ${\sim } 5{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ to ${\sim } 1{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ and the inferred magnetic field orientations becoming more aligned with the major axis of the system. We quantitatively investigate these observational trends using a sample of protostars in the Perseus molecular cloud and compare these features with a non-ideal magnetohydrodynamic disc formation simulation. We find that the gas density increases faster than the magnetic field strength in the transition from the envelope to the disc scale, which makes it more difficult to magnetically align the grains on the disc scale. Specifically, to produce the observed ${\sim } 1{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ polarization at ${\sim } 100\, \mathrm{au}$ scale via grains aligned with the B-field, even relatively small grains of $1\, \mathrm{\mu m}$ in size need to have their magnetic susceptibilities significantly enhanced (by a factor of ∼20) over the standard value, potentially through superparamagnetic inclusions. This requirement is more stringent for larger grains,more »with the enhancement factor increasing linearly with the grain size, reaching ∼2 × 104 for millimetre-sized grains. Even if the required enhancement can be achieved, the resulting inferred magnetic field orientation in the simulation does not show a preference for the major axis, which is inconsistent with the observed pattern. We thus conclude that the observed trends are best described by the model where the polarization on the envelope scale is dominated by magnetically aligned grains and that on the disc scale by scattering.« less
  6. Abstract Star formation primarily occurs in filaments where magnetic fields are expected to be dynamically important. The largest and densest filaments trace the spiral structure within galaxies. Over a dozen of these dense (∼10 4 cm −3 ) and long (>10 pc) filaments have been found within the Milky Way, and they are often referred to as “bones.” Until now, none of these bones has had its magnetic field resolved and mapped in its entirety. We introduce the SOFIA legacy project FIELDMAPS which has begun mapping ∼10 of these Milky Way bones using the HAWC+ instrument at 214 μ m and 18.″2 resolution. Here we present a first result from this survey on the ∼60 pc long bone G47. Contrary to some studies of dense filaments in the Galactic plane, we find that the magnetic field is often not perpendicular to the spine (i.e., the center line of the bone). Fields tend to be perpendicular in the densest areas of active star formation and more parallel or random in other areas. The average field is neither parallel nor perpendicular to the Galactic plane or the bone. The magnetic field strengths along the spine typically vary from ∼20 to ∼100 μmore »G. Magnetic fields tend to be strong enough to suppress collapse along much of the bone, but for areas that are most active in star formation, the fields are notably less able to resist gravitational collapse.« less