Conditions for circumstellar disc formation - II. Effects of initial cloud stability and mass accretion rate

Masahiro N. Machida, Tomoaki Matsumoto, Shu Ichiro Inutsuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Disc formation in strongly magnetized cloud cores is investigated using a three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulation with a focus on the effects of the initial cloud stability and the mass accretion rate. The initial cloud stability greatly alters the disc formation process even for prestellar clouds with the same mass-to-flux ratio. A high mass accretion rate on to the disc-forming region is realized in initially unstable clouds, and a large angular momentum is introduced into the circumstellar region in a short time. The region around the protostar has both a thin infalling envelope and a weak magnetic field, which both weaken the effect of magnetic braking. The growth of the rotation-supported disc is promoted in such unstable clouds. Conversely, clouds in an initially near-equilibrium state show lower accretion rates of mass and angular momentum. The angular momentum is transported to the outer envelope before protostar formation. After protostar formation, the circumstellar region has a thick infalling envelope and a strong magnetic field that effectively brakes the disc. As a result, disc formation is suppressed when the initial cloud is in a nearly stable state. The density distribution of the initial cloud also affects the disc formation process. Disc growth strongly depends on the initial conditions when the prestellar cloud has a uniform density, whereas there is no significant difference in the disc formation process in prestellar clouds with non-uniform densities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4246-4267
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 21 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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