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Protostellar outflows: a window to the past

Rohde, P. F., Walch, S., Seifried, D., Whitworth, A. P. ORCID: and Clarke, S. D. 2022. Protostellar outflows: a window to the past. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 510 (2) , 2552–2571. 10.1093/mnras/stab3572

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During the early phases of low-mass star formation, episodic accretion causes the ejection of high-velocity outflow bullets, which carry a fossil record of the driving protostar’s accretion history. We present 44 SPH simulations of 1M⊙ cores, covering a wide range of initial conditions, and follow the cores for five free-fall times. Individual protostars are represented by sink particles, and the sink particles launch episodic outflows using a sub-grid model. The OPTICS algorithm is used to identify individual episodic bullets within the outflows. The parameters of the overall outflow and the individual bullets are then used to estimate the age and energetics of the outflow, and the accretion events that triggered it, and to evaluate how reliable these estimates are, if observational uncertainties and selection effects (like inclination) are neglected. Of the commonly used methods for estimating outflow ages, it appears that those based on the length and speed of advance of the lobe are the most reliable in the early phases of evolution, and those based on the width of the outflow cavity and the speed of advance are most reliable during the later phases. We describe a new method that is almost as accurate as these methods, and reliable throughout the evolution. In addition, we show how the accretion history of the protostar can be accurately reconstructed from the dynamics of the bullets if each lobe contains at least two bullets. The outflows entrain about 10 times more mass than originally ejected by the protostar.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: Royal Astronomical Society
ISSN: 0035-8711
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 May 2022
Date of Acceptance: 1 December 2021
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 11:12

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