The Cradles of Star and Planet Formation: Disks, Multiplicity, and Stellar Masses of Low to Intermediate-Mass Protostars in Orion

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 3:30pm PST
John Tobin
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The formation of disks is an integral part of star and planet formation. Most stellar mass must be accreted thorugh a disk and disks are the future sites of planet formation, but may also be the sites of binary/multiple star formation. There is growing evidence that a substantial amount of disk evolution takes place during the protostellar phase and that these embedded, protostellar disks may be the true initial conditions of planet formation. Using ALMA and the VLA, we are conducting large surveys (with a molecular lines toward subsets) of protostars in the nearby Perseus and Orion star-forming regions (with 20-30 AU resolution) to characterize the radii and masses of disks throughout the protostellar phase, in addition to the multiplicity of protostellar systems. The molecular line data enable us to measure the masses of the protostars and we are beginning to identify and characterize the formation environments of both low and intermediate mass protostars, with Orion providing most of the intermediate-mass sample. Together with the protostar masses and luminosities, we can understand how rapidly protostars are gaining mass and their mass loss rates from outflows.

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