Ejection of gaseous clumps from gravitationally unstable protostellar disks
1 Department of AstrophysicsUniversity of Vienna, 1180 Vienna, Austria
2 Research Institute of Physics, Southern Federal University, 344090 Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Received: 11 January 2016
Accepted: 23 March 2016
Aims. We investigate the dynamics of gaseous clumps formed via gravitational fragmentation in young protostellar disks, focusing on the fragments that are ejected from the disk via many-body gravitational interaction.
Methods. Numerical hydrodynamics simulations were employed to study the evolution of young protostellar disks that were formed from the collapse of rotating pre-stellar cores.
Results. The protostellar disks that formed in our models undergo gravitational fragmentation driven by continuing mass-loading from parental collapsing cores. Several fragments can be ejected from the disk during the early evolution, but the low-mass fragments (<15 MJup) disperse, which creates spectacular bow-type structures while passing through the disk and collapsing core. The least massive fragment that survived the ejection (21 MJup) straddles the planetary-mass limit, while the most massive ejected fragments (145 MJup) can break up into several pieces, leading to the ejection of wide separation binary clumps in the brown-dwarf mass range. About half of the ejected fragments are gravitationally bound, the majority are supported by rotation against gravity, and all fragments have the specific angular momentum that is much higher than that expected for brown dwarfs. We found that the internal structure of the ejected fragments is distinct from what would be expected for gravitationally contracting clumps formed via molecular cloud fragmentation, which can help in differentiating their origin.
Conclusions. The ejection of fragments is an important process, which is inherent to massive protostellar disks, and which produces freely floating pre-brown dwarf cores, regulates the disk and stellar masses and, potentially, enriches the intracluster medium with processed dust and complex organics.
Key words: stars: protostars / circumstellar matter / brown dwarfs / hydrodynamics
© ESO, 2016