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Opening the Envelope on Protostars

5 Aug 2020, 15:52 UTC
Opening the Envelope on Protostars
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Title: ALMA’s Polarized View of 10 Protostars in the Perseus Molecular CloudAuthors: Erin G. Cox, Robert J. Harris, Leslie W. Looney, Zhi-Yun Li, Haifeng Yang, John J. Tobin, Ian StephensFirst Author’s Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignStatus: accepted to Astrophysical Journal, open access on arXiv
Your Protostar Has Been DeliveredProtostars are not quite stars– they have not finished collapsing from a molecular cloud into a hydrogen-burning star. They are, however, a very interesting stage in a star’s life. Protostars are accreting material, building their mass so that at some point they have enough gravitational energy to begin to fuse hydrogen into helium. Protostars gather more mass as material gets pulled in from their outer envelope. The gas and dust gets sucked in by gravity and forms a rotating disk around the protostar, from which it both grows and sometimes ejects material in an outflow. Figure 1 shows the structure of a protostar from Tobin et al 2012.Figure 1. Cartoon of a protostellar system from Tobin et al. 2012. Protostars have an infalling envelope of less dense material and a rotating accretion disk of denser material closer in. They also have outflows of ejected material. The blue and red colors of ...

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