First direct simulation of brown dwarf formation in a compact cloud core

Masahiro N. MacHida, Shu Ichiro Inutsuka, Tomoaki Matsumoto

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Brown dwarf formation and star formation efficiency are studied using a nested grid simulation that covers 5 orders of magnitude in spatial scale (104-0.1 AU). Starting with a rotating magnetized compact cloud with a mass of 0.22 M (225 M Jup), we follow the cloud evolution until the end of the main accretion phase. An outflow of ∼ 5 km s-1 emerges ∼ 100yr before the protostar formation and does not disappear until the end of the calculation. The mass accretion rate declines from 10-6 M yr-1 to 10 -8-10-12 M yr-1 in a short time (∼ 104yr) after the protostar formation. This is because (1) a large fraction of mass is ejected from the host cloud by the protostellar outflow and (2) the gas escapes from the host cloud by the thermal pressure. At the end of the calculation, 74% (167 M Jup) of the total mass (225 M Jup) is outflowing from the protostar, in which 34% (77 M Jup) of the total mass is ejected by the protostellar outflow with supersonic velocity and 40% (90 M Jup) escapes with subsonic velocity. On the other hand, 20% (45 M Jup) is converted into the protostar and 6% (13 M Jup) remains as the circumstellar disk. Thus, the star formation efficiency is ε = 0.2. The resultant protostellar mass is in the mass range of brown dwarfs. Our results indicate that brown dwarfs can be formed in compact cores in the same manner as hydrogen-burning stars, and the magnetic field and protostellar outflow are essential in determining the star formation efficiency and stellar mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L157-L160
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2 PART 2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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