85 research outputs found

    Disk wind feedback from high-mass protostars

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    We perform a sequence of 3D magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of the outflow-core interaction for a massive protostar forming via collapse of an initial cloud core of 60 M60~{M_\odot}. This allows us to characterize the properties of disk wind driven outflows from massive protostars, which can allow testing of different massive star formation theories. It also enables us to assess quantitatively the impact of outflow feedback on protostellar core morphology and overall star formation efficiency. We find that the opening angle of the flow increases with increasing protostellar mass, in agreement with a simple semi-analytic model. Once the protostar reaches 24 M\sim24~{M_\odot} the outflow's opening angle is so wide that it has blown away most of the envelope, thereby nearly ending its own accretion. We thus find an overall star formation efficiency of 50%\sim50\%, similar to that expected from low-mass protostellar cores. Our simulation results therefore indicate that the MHD disk wind outflow is the dominant feedback mechanism for helping to shape the stellar initial mass function from a given prestellar core mass function.Comment: Accepted for publication in Ap

    Outflow-Confined HII regions. II. The Early Break-Out Phase

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    In this series of papers, we model the formation and evolution of the photoionized region and its observational signatures during massive star formation. Here we focus on the early break out of the photoionized region into the outflow cavity. Using results of 3-D magnetohydrodynamic-outflow simulations and protostellar evolution calculations, we perform post-processing radiative-transfer. The photoionized region first appears at a protostellar mass of 10Msun in our fiducial model, and is confined to within 10-100AU by the dense inner outflow, similar to some observed very small hypercompact HII regions. Since the ionizing luminosity of the massive protostar increases dramatically as Kelvin-Helmholz (KH) contraction proceeds, the photoionized region breaks out to the entire outflow region in <10,000yr. Accordingly, the radio free-free emission brightens significantly in this stage. In our fiducial model, the radio luminosity at 10 GHz changes from 0.1 mJy kpc2 at m=11Msun to 100 mJy kpc2 at 16Msun, while the infrared luminosity increases by less than a factor of two. The radio spectral index also changes in the break-out phase from the optically thick value of 2 to the partially optically thin value of 0.6. Additionally, we demonstrate that short-timescale variation in free-free flux would be induced by an accretion burst. The outflow density is enhanced in the accretion burst phase, which leads to a smaller ionized region and weaker free-free emission. The radio luminosity may decrease by one order of magnitude during such bursts, while the infrared luminosity is much less affected, since internal protostellar luminosity dominates over accretion luminosity after KH contraction starts. Such variability may be observable on timescales as short 10-100 yr, if accretion bursts are driven by disk instabilities.Comment: 9 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in Ap

    The Impact of Feedback in Massive Star Formation. II. Lower Star Formation Efficiency at Lower Metallicity

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    We conduct a theoretical study of the formation of massive stars over a wide range of metallicities from 1e-5 to 1Zsun and evaluate the star formation efficiencies (SFEs) from prestellar cloud cores taking into account multiple feedback processes. Unlike for simple spherical accretion, in the case of disk accretion feedback processes do not set upper limits on stellar masses. At solar metallicity, launching of magneto-centrifugally-driven outflows is the dominant feedback process to set SFEs, while radiation pressure, which has been regarded to be pivotal, has only minor contribution even in the formation of over-100Msun stars. Photoevaporation becomes significant in over-20Msun star formation at low metallicities of <1e-2Zsun, where dust absorption of ionizing photons is inefficient. We conclude that if initial prestellar core properties are similar, then massive stars are rarer in extremely metal-poor environments of 1e-5 - 1e-3Zsun. Our results give new insight into the high-mass end of the initial mass function and its potential variation with galactic and cosmological environments.Comment: 13 pages, 9 figures, accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journa

    Massive Protostellar Disks as a Hot Laboratory of Silicate Grain Evolution

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    Typical accretion disks around massive protostars are hot enough for water ice to sublimate. We here propose to utilize the massive protostellar disks for investigating the collisional evolution of silicate grains with no ice mantle, which is an essential process for the formation of rocky planetesimals in protoplanetary disks around lower-mass stars. We for the first time develop a model of massive protostellar disks that includes the coagulation, fragmentation, and radial drift of dust. We show that the maximum grain size in the disks is limited by collisional fragmentation rather than by radial drift. We derive analytic formulas that produce the radial distribution of the maximum grain size and dust surface density in the steady state. Applying the analytic formulas to the massive protostellar disk of GGD27-MM1, where the grain size is constrained from a millimeter polarimetric observation, we infer that the silicate grains in this disk fragment at collision velocities above ~ 10 m/s. The inferred fragmentation threshold velocity is lower than the maximum grain collision velocity in typical protoplanetary disks around low-mass stars, implying that coagulation alone may not lead to the formation of rocky planetesimals in those disks. With future measurements of grain sizes in massive protostellar disks, our model will provide more robust constraints on the sticking property of silicate grains.Comment: 17 pages, 5 figures,accepted for publication to The Astrophysical Journa

    GMC Collisions as Triggers of Star Formation. V. Observational Signatures

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    We present calculations of molecular, atomic and ionic line emission from simulations of giant molecular cloud (GMC) collisions. We post-process snapshots of the magneto-hydrodynamical simulations presented in an earlier paper in this series by Wu et al. (2017) of colliding and non-colliding GMCs. Using photodissociation region (PDR) chemistry and radiative transfer we calculate the level populations and emission properties of 12^{12}CO J=10J=1-0, [CI] 3P13P0^3{\rm P}_1\rightarrow{^3{\rm P}}_0 at 609μ609\,\mum, [CII] 158μ158\,\mum and [OI] 3P13P0^3{\rm P}_1\rightarrow{^3{\rm P}}_0 transition at 63μ63\,\mum. From integrated intensity emission maps and position-velocity diagrams, we find that fine-structure lines, particularly the [CII] 158μ158\,\mum, can be used as a diagnostic tracer for cloud-cloud collision activity. These results hold even in more evolved systems in which the collision signature in molecular lines has been diminished.Comment: 10 pages, 7 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ, comments welcom

    The Detection of Hot Molecular Cores in the Small Magellanic Cloud

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    We report the first detection of hot molecular cores in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a nearby dwarf galaxy with 0.2 solar metallicity. We observed two high-mass young stellar objects in the SMC with ALMA, and detected emission lines of CO, HCO+, H13CO+, SiO, H2CO, CH3OH, SO, and SO2. Compact hot-core regions are traced by SO2, whose spatial extent is about 0.1 pc, and the gas temperature is higher than 100 K based on the rotation diagram analysis. In contrast, CH3OH, a classical hot-core tracer, is dominated by extended (0.2-0.3 pc) components in both sources, and the gas temperature is estimated to be 39+-8 K for one source. Protostellar outflows are also detected from both sources as high-velocity components of CO. The metallicity-scaled abundances of SO2 in hot cores are comparable among the SMC, LMC, and Galactic sources, suggesting that the chemical reactions leading to SO2 formation would be regulated by elemental abundances. On the other hand, CH3OH shows a large abundance variation within SMC and LMC hot cores. The diversity in the initial condition of star formation (e.g., degree of shielding, local radiation field strength) may lead to the large abundance variation of organic molecules in hot cores. This work, in conjunction with previous hot-core studies in the LMC and outer/inner Galaxy, suggests that the formation of a hot core would be a common phenomenon during high-mass star formation across the metallicity range of 0.2-1 solar metallicity. High-excitation SO2 lines will be a useful hot-core tracer in the low-metallicity environments of the SMC and LMC.Comment: Accepted for publication in ApJL, 17 pages, 8 figures, 4 tables. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:2109.1112

    Direct diagnostics of forming massive stars: stellar pulsation and periodic variability of maser sources

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    The 6.7 GHz methanol maser emission, a tracer of forming massive stars, sometimes shows enigmatic periodic flux variations over several 10-100 days. In this Letter, we propose that this periodic variations could be explained by the pulsation of massive protostars growing under rapid mass accretion with rates of Mdot > 10^-3 Msun/yr. Our stellar evolution calculations predict that the massive protostars have very large radius exceeding 100 Rsun at maximum, and we here study the pulsational stability of such the bloated protostars by way of the linear stability analysis. We show that the protostar becomes pulsationally unstable with various periods of several 10-100 days, depending on different accretion rates. With the fact that the stellar luminosity when the star is pulsationally unstable also depends on the accretion rate, we derive the period-luminosity relation log (L/Lsun) = 4.62 + 0.98log(P/100 day), which is testable with future observations. Our models further show that the radius and mass of the pulsating massive protostar should also depend on the period. It would be possible to infer such protostellar properties and the accretion rate with the observed period. Measuring the maser periods enables a direct diagnosis of the structure of accreting massive protostars, which are deeply embedded in dense gas and inaccessible with other observations.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, 1 table, accepted for publication in ApJ

    The SOFIA Massive (SOMA) Star Formation Survey. II. High Luminosity Protostars

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    We present multi-wavelength images observed with SOFIA-FORCAST from \sim10 to 40 μ\mum of seven high luminosity massive protostars, as part of the SOFIA Massive (SOMA) Star Formation Survey. Source morphologies at these wavelengths appear to be influenced by outflow cavities and extinction from dense gas surrounding the protostars. Using these images, we build spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of the protostars, also including archival data from Spitzer, Herschel and other facilities. Radiative transfer (RT) models of Zhang & Tan (2018), based on Turbulent Core Accretion theory, are then fit to the SEDs to estimate key properties of the protostars. Considering the best five models fit to each source, the protostars have masses m1264Mm_{*} \sim 12-64 \: M_{\odot} accreting at rates of m˙104103Myr1\dot{m}_{*} \sim 10^{-4}-10^{-3} \: M_{\odot} \: \rm yr^{-1} inside cores of initial masses Mc100500MM_{c} \sim 100-500 \: M_{\odot} embedded in clumps with mass surface densities Σcl0.13gcm2\Sigma_{\rm cl} \sim 0.1-3 \: \rm g \: cm^{-2} and span a luminosity range of 104106L10^{4} -10^{6} \: L_{\odot}. Compared with the first eight protostars in Paper I, the sources analyzed here are more luminous, and thus likely to be more massive protostars. They are often in a clustered environment or have a companion protostar relatively nearby. From the range of parameter space of the models, we do not see any evidence that Σcl\Sigma_{\rm cl} needs to be high to form these massive stars. For most sources the RT models provide reasonable fits to the SEDs, though the cold clump material often influences the long wavelength fitting. However, for sources in very clustered environments, the model SEDs may not be such a good description of the data, indicating potential limitations of the models for these regions.Comment: 30 pages, 19 figures, Accepted for publication in Ap
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