Letter to the Editor
Protostellar collapse: radiative and magnetic feedbacks on small-scale fragmentation*
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, CRAL, UMR 5574 CNRS, Université de Lyon, 46 allée d'Italie, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France
3 Laboratoire AIM, CEA/DSM – CNRS – Université Paris Diderot, IRFU/SAp, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
4 Laboratoire de radioastronomie, UMR 8112 CNRS, École Normale Supérieure et Observatoire de Paris, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
Accepted: 12 January 2010
Context. Both radiative transfer and magnetic field are understood to have strong impacts on the collapse and the fragmentation of prestellar dense cores, but no consistent calculation exists on these scales.
Aims. We perform the first radiation-magneto-hydrodynamics numerical calculations on a prestellar core scale.
Methods. We present original AMR calculations including that of a magnetic field (in the ideal MHD limit) and radiative transfer, within the flux-limited diffusion approximation, of the collapse of a 1 dense core. We compare the results with calculations performed with a barotropic EOS.
Results. We show that radiative transfer has an important impact on the collapse and the fragmentation, by means of the cooling or heating of the gas, and its importance depends on the magnetic field. A stronger field yields a more significant magnetic braking, increasing the accretion rate and thus the effect of the radiative feedback. Even for a strongly magnetized core, where the dynamics of the collapse is dominated by the magnetic field, radiative transfer is crucial to determine the temperature and optical depth distributions, two potentially accessible observational diagnostics. A barotropic EOS cannot account for realistic fragmentation. The diffusivity of the numerical scheme, however, is found to strongly affect the output of the collapse, leading eventually to spurious fragmentation.
Conclusions. Both radiative transfer and magnetic field must be included in numerical calculations of star formation to obtain realistic collapse configurations and observable signatures. Nevertheless, the numerical resolution and the robustness of the solver are of prime importance to obtain reliable results. When using an accurate solver, the fragmentation is found to always remain inhibited by the magnetic field, at least in the ideal MHD limit, even when radiative transfer is included.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / radiative transfer / stars: formation / stars: low mass / ISM: clouds / ISM: kinematics and dynamics
Appendices A and B are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2010