Journal Article

Protostellar discs formed from turbulent cores

S. Walch, T. Naab, A. Whitworth, A. Burkert and M. Gritschneder

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 4, pages 2253-2263
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Protostellar discs formed from turbulent cores

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We investigate the collapse and fragmentation of low-mass, trans-sonically turbulent pre-stellar cores, using smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations. The initial conditions are slightly supercritical Bonnor–Ebert spheres, all with the same density profile, the same mass (MO= 6.1 M) and the same radius (RO= 17 000 au), but having different initial turbulent velocity fields. 400 turbulent velocity fields have been generated, all scaled so that the mean Mach number is . Then, a subset of these (in total 11 setups), having a range of net angular momenta, j, has been evolved. The evolution of these turbulent cores is significantly different from the collapse of a rigidly rotating core. It is not strongly correlated with j. Instead, it is moderated by the formation of filamentary structures due to converging turbulent flows. A high fraction (9 out of 13, ∼69 per cent) of the individual protostars forming from turbulent cores are attended by resolved (R≥ 10 au) protostellar accretion discs, but only a very small fraction (1 out of 9, ∼11 per cent) of these discs is sufficiently cool and extended to develop non-linear gravitational instabilities and fragment. Protostars with discs show two distinct growth modes. They initially grow by direct gravitational collapse, followed by subsequent disc accretion.

Keywords: hydrodynamics; circumstellar matter; stars: formation; infrared: stars

Journal Article.  7114 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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