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  1. Abstract

    We present Atacama Large Millimeter Array band 6/7 (1.3 mm/0.87 mm) and Very Large Array Ka-band (9 mm) observations toward NGC 2071 IR, an intermediate-mass star-forming region. We characterize the continuum and associated molecular line emission toward the most luminous protostars, i.e., IRS1 and IRS3, on ∼100 au (0.″2) scales. IRS1 is partly resolved in the millimeter and centimeter continuum, which shows a potential disk. IRS3 has a well-resolved disk appearance in the millimeter continuum and is further resolved into a close binary system separated by ∼40 au at 9 mm. Both sources exhibit clear velocity gradients across their disk major axes in multiple spectral lines including C18O, H2CO, SO, SO2, and complex organic molecules like CH3OH,13CH3OH, and CH3OCHO. We use an analytic method to fit the Keplerian rotation of the disks and give constraints on physical parameters with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo routine. The IRS3 binary system is estimated to have a total mass of 1.4–1.5M. IRS1 has a central mass of 3–5Mbased on both kinematic modeling and its spectral energy distribution, assuming that it is dominated by a single protostar. For both IRS1 and IRS3, the inferred ejection directions from different tracers, including radio jet, watermore »maser, molecular outflow, and H2emission, are not always consistent, and for IRS1 these can be misaligned by ∼50°. IRS3 is better explained by a single precessing jet. A similar mechanism may be present in IRS1 as well but an unresolved multiple system in IRS1 is also possible.

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  2. Abstract

    We characterize protostellar multiplicity in

    Current address: Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5–7, DK-1350, Copenhagen K, Denmark.

    the Orion molecular clouds using Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array 0.87 mm and Very Large Array 9 mm continuum surveys toward 328 protostars. These observations are sensitive to projected spatial separations as small as ∼20 au, and we consider source separations up to 104au as potential companions. The overall multiplicity fraction (MF) and companion fraction (CF) for the Orion protostars are 0.30 ± 0.03 and 0.44 ± 0.03, respectively, considering separations from 20 to 104au. The MFs and CFs are corrected for potential contamination by unassociated young stars using a probabilistic scheme based on the surface density of young stars around each protostar. The companion separation distribution as a whole is double peaked and inconsistent with the separation distribution of solar-type field stars, while the separation distribution of Flat Spectrum protostars is consistent solar-type field stars. The multiplicity statistics and companion separation distributions of the Perseus star-forming region are consistent with those of Orion. Based on the observed peaks in the Class 0 separations at ∼100 au and ∼103au, we argue that multiples with separations <500 au are likely produced bymore »both disk fragmentation and turbulent fragmentation with migration, and those at ≳103au result primarily from turbulent fragmentation. We also find that MFs/CFs may rise from Class 0 to Flat Spectrum protostars between 100 and 103au in regions of high young stellar object density. This finding may be evidence for the migration of companions from >103au to <103au, and that some companions between 103and 104au must be (or become) unbound.

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    We present the first results of high-spectral resolution (0.023 km s−1) N2H+ observations of dense gas dynamics at core scales (∼0.01 pc) using the recently commissioned Argus instrument on the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). While the fitted linear velocity gradients across the cores measured in our targets nicely agree with the well-known power-law correlation between the specific angular momentum and core size, it is unclear if the observed gradients represent core-scale rotation. In addition, our Argus data reveal detailed and intriguing gas structures in position–velocity (PV) space for all five targets studied in this project, which could suggest that the velocity gradients previously observed in many dense cores actually originate from large-scale turbulence or convergent flow compression instead of rigid-body rotation. We also note that there are targets in this study with their star-forming discs nearly perpendicular to the local velocity gradients, which, assuming the velocity gradient represents the direction of rotation, is opposite to what is described by the classical theory of star formation. This provides important insight on the transport of angular momentum within star-forming cores, which is a critical topic on studying protostellar disc formation.

  4. ABSTRACT Despite the rich observational results on interstellar magnetic fields in star-forming regions, it is still unclear how dynamically significant the magnetic fields are at varying physical scales, because direct measurement of the field strength is observationally difficult. The Davis–Chandrasekhar–Fermi (DCF) method has been the most commonly used method to estimate the magnetic field strength from polarization data. It is based on the assumption that gas turbulent motion is the driving source of field distortion via linear Alfvén waves. In this work, using MHD simulations of star-forming clouds, we test the validity of the assumption underlying the DCF method by examining its accuracy in the real 3D space. Our results suggest that the DCF relation between turbulent kinetic energy and magnetic energy fluctuation should be treated as a statistical result instead of a local property. We then develop and investigate several modifications to the original DCF method using synthetic observations, and propose new recipes to improve the accuracy of DCF-derived magnetic field strength. We further note that the biggest uncertainty in the DCF analysis may come from the linewidth measurement instead of the polarization observation, especially since the line-of-sight gas velocity can be used to estimate the gas volume density,more »another critical parameter in the DCF method.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 11, 2023
  5. 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
  6. Abstract We present 870 μ m Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array polarization observations of thermal dust emission from the iconic, edge-on debris disk β Pic. While the spatially resolved map does not exhibit detectable polarized dust emission, we detect polarization at the ∼3 σ level when averaging the emission across the entire disk. The corresponding polarization fraction is P frac = 0.51% ± 0.19%. The polarization position angle χ is aligned with the minor axis of the disk, as expected from models of dust grains aligned via radiative alignment torques (RAT) with respect to a toroidal magnetic field ( B -RAT) or with respect to the anisotropy in the radiation field ( k -RAT). When averaging the polarized emission across the outer versus inner thirds of the disk, we find that the polarization arises primarily from the SW third. We perform synthetic observations assuming grain alignment via both k -RAT and B -RAT. Both models produce polarization fractions close to our observed value when the emission is averaged across the entire disk. When we average the models in the inner versus outer thirds of the disk, we find that k -RAT is the likely mechanism producing the polarized emission in βmore »Pic. A comparison of timescales relevant to grain alignment also yields the same conclusion. For dust grains with realistic aspect ratios (i.e., s > 1.1), our models imply low grain-alignment efficiencies.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  7. Abstract Misalignment between rotation and magnetic fields has been suggested to be one type of physical mechanism that can ease the effects of magnetic braking during the collapse of cloud cores leading to the formation of protostellar disks. However, its essential factors are poorly understood. Therefore, we perform a more detailed analysis of the physics involved. We analyze existing simulation data to measure the system torques, mass accretion rates, and Toomre Q parameters. We also examine the presence of shocks in the system. While advective torques are generally the strongest, we find that magnetic and gravitational torques can play substantial roles in how angular momentum is transferred during the disk formation process. Magnetic torques can shape the accretion flows, creating two-armed magnetized inflow spirals aligned with the magnetic field. We find evidence of an accretion shock that is aligned according to the spiral structure of the system. Inclusion of ambipolar diffusion as explored in this work has shown a slight influence in the small-scale structures but not in the main morphology. We discuss potential candidate systems where some of these phenomena could be present.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  8. 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
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  9. Abstract Magnetic fields have an important role in the evolution of interstellar medium and star formation 1,2 . As the only direct probe of interstellar field strength, credible Zeeman measurements remain sparse owing to the lack of suitable Zeeman probes, particularly for cold, molecular gas 3 . Here we report the detection of a magnetic field of +3.8 ± 0.3 microgauss through the H  I narrow self-absorption (HINSA) 4,5 towards L1544 6,7 —a well-studied prototypical prestellar core in an early transition between starless and protostellar phases 8–10 characterized by a high central number density 11 and a low central temperature 12 . A combined analysis of the Zeeman measurements of quasar H  I absorption, H  I emission, OH emission and HINSA reveals a coherent magnetic field from the atomic cold neutral medium (CNM) to the molecular envelope. The molecular envelope traced by the HINSA is found to be magnetically supercritical, with a field strength comparable to that of the surrounding diffuse, magnetically subcritical CNM despite a large increase in density. The reduction of the magnetic flux relative to the mass, which is necessary for star formation, thus seems to have already happened during the transition from the diffuse CNM to the molecular gasmore »traced by the HINSA. This is earlier than envisioned in the classical picture where magnetically supercritical cores capable of collapsing into stars form out of magnetically subcritical envelopes 13,14 .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 6, 2023