Protostellar jets enclosed by low-velocity outflows

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A protostellar jet and outflow are calculated for ∼270 yr following the protostar formation using a three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics simulation, in which both the protostar and its parent cloud are spatially resolved. A high-velocity (∼100 km s-1) jet with good collimation is driven near the disk's inner edge, while a low-velocity (≲ 10 km s-1) outflow with a wide opening angle appears in the outer-disk region. The high-velocity jet propagates into the low-velocity outflow, forming a nested velocity structure in which a narrow high-velocity flow is enclosed by a wide low-velocity flow. The low-velocity outflow is in a nearly steady state, while the high-velocity jet appears intermittently. The time-variability of the jet is related to the episodic accretion from the disk onto the protostar, which is caused by gravitational instability and magnetic effects such as magnetic braking and magnetorotational instability. Although the high-velocity jet has a large kinetic energy, the mass and momentum of the jet are much smaller than those of the low-velocity outflow. A large fraction of the infalling gas is ejected by the low-velocity outflow. Thus, the low-velocity outflow actually has a more significant effect than the high-velocity jet in the very early phase of the star formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL17
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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