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  1. Abstract

    Gas mass is a fundamental quantity of protoplanetary disks that directly relates to their ability to form planets. Because we are unable to observe the bulk H2content of disks directly, we rely on indirect tracers to provide quantitative mass estimates. Current estimates for the gas masses of the observed disk population in the Lupus star-forming region are based on measurements of isotopologues of CO. However, without additional constraints, the degeneracy between H2mass and the elemental composition of the gas leads to large uncertainties in such estimates. Here, we explore the gas compositions of seven disks from the Lupus sample representing a range of CO-to-dust ratios. With Band 6 and 7 ALMA observations, we measure line emission for HCO+, HCN, and N2H+. We find a tentative correlation among the line fluxes for these three molecular species across the sample, but no correlation with13CO or submillimeter continuum fluxes. For the three disks where N2H+is detected, we find that a combination of high disk gas masses and subinterstellar C/H and O/H are needed to reproduce the observed values. We find increases of ∼10–100× previous mass estimates are required to match the observed line fluxes. This work highlights how multimolecular studies are essentialmore »for constraining the physical and chemical properties of the gas in populations of protoplanetary disks, and that CO isotopologues alone are not sufficient for determining the mass of many observed disks.

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  2. ABSTRACT

    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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  3. Abstract Prestellar cores represent the initial conditions in the process of star and planet formation. Their low temperatures (<10 K) allow the formation of thick icy dust mantles, which will be partially preserved in future protoplanetary disks, ultimately affecting the chemical composition of planetary systems. Previous observations have shown that carbon- and oxygen-bearing species, in particular CO, are heavily depleted in prestellar cores due to the efficient molecular freeze-out onto the surface of cold dust grains. However, N-bearing species such as NH 3 and, in particular, its deuterated isotopologues appear to maintain high abundances where CO molecules are mainly in the solid phase. Thanks to ALMA, we present here the first clear observational evidence of NH 2 D freeze-out toward the L1544 prestellar core, suggestive of the presence of a “complete depletion zone” within a ≃1800 au radius, in agreement with astrochemical prestellar core model predictions. Our state-of-the-art chemical model coupled with a non-LTE radiative transfer code demonstrates that NH 2 D becomes mainly incorporated in icy mantles in the central 2000 au and starts freezing out already at ≃7000 au. Radiative transfer effects within the prestellar core cause the NH 2 D(1 11 − 1 01 ) emission tomore »appear centrally concentrated, with a flattened distribution within the central ≃3000 au, unlike the 1.3 mm dust continuum emission, which shows a clear peak within the central ≃1800 au. This prevented NH 2 D freeze-out from being detected in previous observations, where the central 1000 au cannot be spatially resolved.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  4. Abstract Jets can facilitate the mass accretion onto the protostars in star formation. They are believed to be launched from accretion disks around the protostars by magnetocentrifugal force, as supported by the detections of rotation and magnetic fields in some of them. Here we report a radial flow of the textbook-case protostellar jet HH 212 at the base to further support this jet-launching scenario. This radial flow validates a central prediction of the magnetocentrifugal theory of jet formation and collimation, namely, the jet is the densest part of a wide-angle wind that flows radially outward at distances far from the (small, sub-au) launching region. Additional evidence for the radially flowing wide-angle component comes from its ability to reproduce the structure and kinematics of the shells detected around the HH 212 jet. This component, which can transport material from the inner to outer disk, could account for the chondrules and Ca–Al-rich inclusions detected in the solar system at large distances.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  5. Abstract We present velocity-resolved Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)/upgrade German REceiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies observations of [O i ] and [C ii ] lines toward a Class I protostar, L1551 IRS 5, and its outflows. The SOFIA observations detect [O i ] emission toward only the protostar and [C ii ] emission toward the protostar and the redshifted outflow. The [O i ] emission has a width of ∼100 km s −1 only in the blueshifted velocity, suggesting an origin in shocked gas. The [C ii ] lines are narrow, consistent with an origin in a photodissociation region. Differential dust extinction from the envelope due to the inclination of the outflows is the most likely cause of the missing redshifted [O i ] emission. Fitting the [O i ] line profile with two Gaussian components, we find one component at the source velocity with a width of ∼20 km s −1 and another extremely broad component at −30 km s −1 with a width of 87.5 km s −1 , the latter of which has not been seen in L1551 IRS 5. The kinematics of these two components resemble cavity shocks in molecular outflows and spot shocksmore »in jets. Radiative transfer calculations of the [O i ], high- J CO, and H 2 O lines in the cavity shocks indicate that [O i ] dominates the oxygen budget, making up more than 70% of the total gaseous oxygen abundance and suggesting [O]/[H] of ∼1.5 × 10 −4 . Attributing the extremely broad [O i ] component to atomic winds, we estimate an intrinsic mass-loss rate of (1.3 ± 0.8) × 10 −6 M ⊙ yr −1 . The intrinsic mass-loss rates derived from low- J CO, [O i ], and H i are similar, supporting the model of momentum-conserving outflows, where the atomic wind carries most momentum and drives the molecular outflows.« less
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