Grand design spiral arms in a young forming circumstellar disk

K. Tomida, M. N. Machida, T. Hosokawa, Y. Sakurai, C. H. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We study formation and long-term evolution of a circumstellar disk using a resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulation. While the formed circumstellar disk is initially small, it grows as accretion continues and its radius becomes as large as 200 AUs toward the end of the Class-I phase. A pair of grand-design spiral arms form due to gravitational instability in the disk, and they transfer angular momentum. Although the spiral arms disappear in a few rotations, new spiral arms form recurrently throughout the Class-0 and I phases as the disk soon becomes unstable again by gas accretion. Using synthetic observation, we compare our model with a recent high-resolution observation of Elias 2-27, whose circumstellar disk has grand design spiral arms, and find good agreement. Our model suggests that the grand design spiral arms around Elias 2-27 are consistent with material arms formed by gravitational instability. If such spiral arms commonly exist in young circumstellar disks, it implies that young circumstellar disks are considerably massive and gravitational instability is the key process of angular momentum transport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-823
Number of pages2
JournalMemorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana - Journal of the Italian Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event2017 Conference Francesco's Legacy: Star Formation in Space and Time - Firenze, Italy
Duration: Jun 5 2017Jun 9 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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