Disk masses in the Orion Molecular Cloud-2 (van Terwisga et al.)
Published on 12 August 2019
In section 6. Interstellar and circumstellar matter
Disk masses in the Orion Molecular Cloud-2: distinguishing time and environment
Protoplanetary disks are the parent structures of planetary systems, and their masses represent the amount of material available to form planets around newly-born stars. To predict the variety of planetary systems that can be formed, it is necessary to understand the origin of the distribution of disk masses in a star-forming cloud and its evolution in time. To tackle this problem, van Terwisga et al. determine dust masses for a large sample of disks in the Orion molecular cloud (OMC)-2 region using 3 mm dust-continuum observations carried out with ALMA. They find a distribution of masses that is statistically indistinguishable from that in nearby low-mass star-forming clouds, like Taurus and Lupus. At the same time, they find that disk masses in OMC-2 are a factor of five larger than in the nearby Orion nebula cluster, where photoevaporation by the Trapezium stars significantly limits the mass of the disks. Taken together, these results imply that in isolation, disk formation and evolution proceed similarly, regardless of cloud mass.