EDP Sciences
Free access
Issue
A&A
Volume 425, Number 3, October III 2004
Page(s) 973 - 980
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041338


A&A 425, 973-980 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041338

On the alignment of Classical T Tauri stars with the magnetic field in the Taurus-Auriga molecular cloud

F. Ménard1 and G. Duchêne1, 2

1  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire de Grenoble, CNRS/UJF UMR 5571, 414 rue de la Piscine, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
    e-mail: menard@obs.ujf-grenoble.fr
2  Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1562, USA
    e-mail: duchene@astro.ucla.edu

(Received 24 May 2004 / Accepted 17 June 2004 )

Abstract
In this paper we readdress the issue of the alignment of Classical T Tauri stars (CTTS) with the magnetic field in the Taurus-Auriga molecular cloud. Previous studies have claimed that the jet axis of active young stellar objects (YSO), projected in the plane of the sky, is aligned preferentially along the projected direction of the local magnetic field. We re-examine this issue in view of the numerous high angular resolution images of circumstellar disks and micro-jets now available. The images show that T Tauri stars as a group are oriented randomly with respect to the local magnetic field, contrary to previous claims. This indicates that the magnetic field may play a lesser role in the final stages of collapse of an individual prestellar core than previously envisioned. The current database also suggests that a subsample of CTTS with resolved disks but without observations of bright and extended outflows have a tendency to align perpendicularly to the magnetic field. We discuss the possibility that this may trace a less favorable topology, e.g., quadrupolar, for the magnetic field in the inner disk, resulting in a weaker collimated outflow.


Key words: stars: formation -- stars: magnetic fields -- stars: winds, outflows -- stars: planetary systems: protoplanetary disks -- stars: pre-main sequence

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