Volume 628, August 2019
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||29 July 2019|
Cloudlet capture by transitional disk and FU Orionis stars
Zentrum für Astronomie, Heidelberg University,
Albert Ueberle Str. 2,
2 Division of Particle and Astrophysical Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8602, Japan
Accepted: 22 June 2019
After its formation, a young star spends some time traversing the molecular cloud complex in which it was born. It is therefore not unlikely that, well after the initial cloud collapse event which produced the star, it will encounter one or more low mass cloud fragments, which we call “cloudlets” to distinguish them from full-fledged molecular clouds. Some of this cloudlet material may accrete onto the star+disk system, while other material may fly by in a hyperbolic orbit. In contrast to the original cloud collapse event, this process will be a “cloudlet flyby” and/or “cloudlet capture” event: A Bondi–Hoyle–Lyttleton type accretion event, driven by the relative velocity between the star and the cloudlet. As we will show in this paper, if the cloudlet is small enough and has an impact parameter similar or less than GM*/v∞2 (with v∞ being the approach velocity), such a flyby and/or capture event would lead to arc-shaped or tail-shaped reflection nebulosity near the star. Those shapes of reflection nebulosity can be seen around several transitional disks and FU Orionis stars. Although the masses in the those arcs appears to be much less than the disk masses in these sources, we speculate that higher-mass cloudlet capture events may also happen occasionally. If so, they may lead to the tilting of the outer disk, because the newly infalling matter will have an angular momentum orientation entirely unrelated to that of the disk. This may be one possible explanation for the highly warped/tilted inner/outer disk geometries found in several transitional disks. We also speculate that such events, if massive enough, may lead to FU Orionis outbursts.
Key words: protoplanetary disks / stars: formation / ISM: clouds
© ESO 2019
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