Collapse and fragmentation of rotating magnetized clouds - II. Binary formation and fragmentation of first cores

Masahiro N. Machida, Tomoaki Matsumoto, Tomoyuki Hanawa, Kohji Tomisaka

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109 Citations (Scopus)


Subsequent to Paper I, the evolution and fragmentation of a rotating magnetized cloud are studied with use of three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic nested grid simulations. After the isothermal runaway collapse, an adiabatic gas forms a protostellar first core at the centre of the cloud. When the isothermal gas is stable for fragmentation in a contracting disc, the adiabatic core often breaks into several fragments. Conditions for fragmentation and binary formation are studied. All the cores which show fragmentation are geometrically thin, as the diameter-to-thickness ratio is larger than 3. Two patterns of fragmentation are found. (1) When a thin disc is supported by centrifugal force, the disc fragments into a ring configuration (ring fragmentation). This is realized in a rapidly rotating adiabatic core as Ω > 0.2τff-1, where Ω and τff represent the angular rotation speed and the free-fall time of the core, respectively. (2) On the other hand, the disc is deformed to an elongated bar in the isothermal stage for a strongly magnetized or rapidly rotating cloud. The bar breaks into 2-4 fragments (bar fragmentation). Even if a disc is thin, the disc dominated by the magnetic force or thermal pressure is stable and forms a single compact body. In either ring or bar fragmentation mode, the fragments contract and a pair of outflows is ejected from the vicinities of the compact cores. The orbital angular momentum is larger than the spin angular momentum in the ring fragmentation. On the other hand, fragments often quickly merge in the bar fragmentation, since the orbital angular momentum is smaller than the spin angular momentum in this case. Comparison with observations is also shown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-402
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 11 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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