17,509 research outputs found

    Theoretical studies of mass loss and shock phenomena in cool star envelopes

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    To show the difficulty of producing the blue-shifted emission of (O I) and (S II) from T Tauri stars directly in the stellar wind, an element of gas in a radially expanding stellar wind was followed as it cooled and recombined. Results indicate that T Tauri winds must be heated at large distances from the star to produce the (S II) emission. A shock between the wind and the disk is an attractive mechanism to produce this heating. When the theory is applied to a simple disk model, a number of predictions and implications are evident, for example, that some T Tauri stars eject mass near the equatorial plane. In a second study, spectral energy distributions of T Tauri stars were analyzed to place limits on the amount of accretion which might occur during the early phase of stellar evolution. The best match to H-alpha line profiles is for models in which the turbulent velocity dominates close to the star, while expansion dominates farther out. Such a model predicts, for instance, that a mass loss rate of 1/10,000,000 solar masses per year is required to account for the blue-shifted Na I absorption of some objects

    Theoretical studies of the outer envelopes of young stellar objects

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    With the Monte Carlo code developed by Whitney and Hartmann, a series of models was computed of scattering in disks around young stellar objects. The code calculates scattering by dust, including polarization, in arbitrary geometries. By computing model images, it was found that disk, by themselves, around young stellar objects would be very difficult to detect with present day imaging techniques. In comparing these images to observations of young stellar objects which show diffuse structure, little resemblance was found. A flared disk system will only give high polarization when viewed edge-on, and the position angle is always oriented perpendicular to the disk plane. This suggests that an envelope, perhaps the remnant infalling envelope, must be present to scatter more stellar light than a disk can, and obscure the star at many inclinations. A grid was computed of models of scattering in a disk+envelope system. Evidence is presented that the wind of the pre-main sequence object FU Orionis arises from the surface of the luminous prostellar accretion disk. A disk wind model calculated assuming radiative equilibrium explains the differential behavior of the observed asymmetrical absorption line profiles. The model predicts that strong lines should be asymmetric and blueshifted, while weak lines should be symmetric and doubled peaked due to disk rotation, in agreement with observations

    The Dependence of Star Formation Efficiency on Gas Surface Density

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    Studies by Lada (2010) and Heiderman (2010) have suggested that star formation mostly occurs above a threshold in gas surface density Sigma of Sigma_c = 120 Msun pc^{-2} (A_K = 0.8). Heiderman infer a threshold by combining low-mass star-forming regions, which show a steep increase in the star formation rate per unit area Sigma_SFR with increasing Sigma, and massive cores forming luminous stars which show a linear relation. We argue that these observations do not require a particular density threshold. The steep dependence of Sigma_SFR, approaching unity at protostellar core densities, is a natural result of the increasing importance of self-gravity at high densities along with the corresponding decrease in evolutionary timescales. The linear behavior of Sigma_SFR vs. Sigma in massive cores is consistent with probing dense gas in gravitational collapse, forming stars at a characteristic free-fall timescale given by the use of a particular molecular tracer. The low-mass and high-mass regions show different correlations between gas surface density and the area A spanned at that density, with A=Sigma^{-3} for low-mass regions and A=Sigma^{-1} for the massive cores; this difference, along with the use of differing techniques to measure gas surface density and star formation, suggests that connecting the low-mass regions with massive cores is problematic. We show that the approximately linear relationship between dense gas mass and stellar mass used by Lada similarly does not demand a particular threshold for star formation, and requires continuing formation of dense gas. Our results are consistent with molecular clouds forming by galactic hydrodynamic flows with subsequent gravitational collapse.Comment: 15 pages, 11 figures, ApJ, in pres

    Accretion and Diffusion Timescales in Sheets and Filaments

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    A comparison of accretion and (turbulent) magnetic diffusion timescales for sheets and filaments demonstrates that dense star-forming clouds generally will -- under realistic conditions -- become supercritical due to mass accretion on timescales at least an order of magnitude shorter than ambipolar and/or turbulent diffusion timescales. Thus, ambipolar or turbulent diffusion -- while present -- is unlikely to control the formation of cores and stars.Comment: 12 pages, 6 figures, accepted by MNRA
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