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  1. Context. Protostellar jets are an important agent of star formation feedback, tightly connected with the mass-accretion process. The history of jet formation and mass ejection provides constraints on the mass accretion history and on the nature of the driving source. Aims. We characterize the time-variability of the mass-ejection phenomena at work in the class 0 protostellar phase in order to better understand the dynamics of the outflowing gas and bring more constraints on the origin of the jet chemical composition and the mass-accretion history. Methods. Using the NOrthern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA) interferometer, we have observed the emission of themore »CO 2–1 and SO N J = 5 4 –4 3 rotational transitions at an angular resolution of 1.0″ (820 au) and 0.4″ (330 au), respectively, toward the intermediate-mass class 0 protostellar system Cep E. Results. The CO high-velocity jet emission reveals a central component of ≤400 au diameter associated with high-velocity molecular knots that is also detected in SO, surrounded by a collimated layer of entrained gas. The gas layer appears to be accelerated along the main axis over a length scale δ 0 ~ 700 au, while its diameter gradually increases up to several 1000 au at 2000 au from the protostar. The jet is fragmented into 18 knots of mass ~10 −3 M ⊙ , unevenly distributed between the northern and southern lobes, with velocity variations up to 15 km s −1 close to the protostar. This is well below the jet terminal velocities in the northern (+ 65 km s −1 ) and southern (−125 km s −1 ) lobes. The knot interval distribution is approximately bimodal on a timescale of ~50–80 yr, which is close to the jet-driving protostar Cep E-A and ~150–20 yr at larger distances >12″. The mass-loss rates derived from knot masses are steady overall, with values of 2.7 × 10 −5 M ⊙ yr −1 and 8.9 × 10 −6 M ⊙ yr −1 in the northern and southern lobe, respectively. Conclusions. The interaction of the ambient protostellar material with high-velocity knots drives the formation of a molecular layer around the jet. This accounts for the higher mass-loss rate in the northern lobe. The jet dynamics are well accounted for by a simple precession model with a period of 2000 yr and a mass-ejection period of 55 yr.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. We performed a comprehensive demographic study of the CO extent relative to dust of the disk population in the Lupus clouds in order to find indications of dust evolution and possible correlations with other disk properties. We increased the number of disks of the region with measured R CO and R dust from observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array to 42, based on the gas emission in the 12 CO J = 2−1 rotational transition and large dust grains emission at ~0.89 mm. The CO integrated emission map is modeled with an elliptical Gaussian or Nuker function, depending onmore »the quantified residuals; the continuum is fit to a Nuker profile from interferometric modeling. The CO and dust sizes, namely the radii enclosing a certain fraction of the respective total flux (e.g., R 68% ), are inferred from the modeling. The CO emission is more extended than the dust continuum, with a R 68% CO / R 68% dust median value of 2.5, for the entire population and for a subsample with high completeness. Six disks, around 15% of the Lupus disk population, have a size ratio above 4. Based on thermo-chemical modeling, this value can only be explained if the disk has undergone grain growth and radial drift. These disks do not have unusual properties, and their properties spread across the population’s ranges of stellar mass ( M ⋆ ), disk mass ( M disk ), CO and dust sizes ( R CO , R dust ), and mass accretion of the entire population. We searched for correlations between the size ratio and M ⋆ , M disk , R CO , and R dust : only a weak monotonic anticorrelation with the R dust is found, which would imply that dust evolution is more prominent in more compact dusty disks. The lack of strong correlations is remarkable: the sample covers a wide range of stellar and disk properties, and the majority of the disks have very similar size ratios. This result suggests that the bulk of the disk population may behave alike and be in a similar evolutionary stage, independent of the stellar and disk properties. These results should be further investigated, since the optical depth difference between CO and dust continuum might play a major role in the observed size ratios of the population. Lastly, we find a monotonic correlation between the CO flux and the CO size. The results for the majority of the disks are consistent with optically thick emission and an average CO temperature of around 30 K; however, the exact value of the temperature is difficult to constrain.« less
  3. While planets are commonly discovered around main-sequence stars, the processes leading to their formation are still far from being understood. Current planet population synthesis models, which aim to describe the planet formation process from the protoplanetary disk phase to the time exoplanets are observed, rely on prescriptions for the underlying properties of protoplanetary disks where planets form and evolve. The recent development in measuring disk masses and disk-star interaction properties, i.e., mass accretion rates, in large samples of young stellar objects demand a more careful comparison between the models and the data. We performed an initial critical assessment of themore »assumptions made by planet synthesis population models by looking at the relation between mass accretion rates and disk masses in the models and in the currently available data. We find that the currently used disk models predict mass accretion rate in line with what is measured, but with a much lower spread of values than observed. This difference is mainly because the models have a smaller spread of viscous timescales than what is needed to reproduce the observations. We also find an overabundance of weakly accreting disks in the models where giant planets have formed with respect to observations of typical disks. We suggest that either fewer giant planets have formed in reality or that the prescription for planet accretion predicts accretion on the planets that is too high. Finally, the comparison of the properties of transition disks with large cavities confirms that in many of these objects the observed accretion rates are higher than those predicted by the models. On the other hand, PDS70, a transition disk with two detected giant planets in the cavity, shows mass accretion rates well in line with model predictions.« less
  4. We present new 890 μ m continuum ALMA observations of five brown dwarfs (BDs) with infrared excess in Lupus I and III, which in combination with four previously observed BDs allowed us to study the millimeter properties of the full known BD disk population of one star-forming region. Emission is detected in five out of the nine BD disks. Dust disk mass, brightness profiles, and characteristic sizes of the BD population are inferred from continuum flux and modeling of the observations. Only one source is marginally resolved, allowing for the determination of its disk characteristic size. We conduct a demographicmore »comparison between the properties of disks around BDs and stars in Lupus. Due to the small sample size, we cannot confirm or disprove a drop in the disk mass over stellar mass ratio for BDs, as suggested for Ophiuchus. Nevertheless, we find that all detected BD disks have an estimated dust mass between 0.2 and 3.2 M ⊙ ; these results suggest that the measured solid masses in BD disks cannot explain the observed exoplanet population, analogous to earlier findings on disks around more massive stars. Combined with the low estimated accretion rates, and assuming that the mm-continuum emission is a reliable proxy for the total disk mass, we derive ratios of Ṁ acc ∕ M disk that are significantly lower than in disks around more massive stars. If confirmed with more accurate measurements of disk gas masses, this result could imply a qualitatively different relationship between disk masses and inward gas transport in BD disks.« less