Letter | Published:

Resolved images of a protostellar outflow driven by an extended disk wind

Nature volume 540, pages 406409 (15 December 2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

Young stars are associated with prominent outflows of molecular gas1,2. The ejection of gas is believed to remove angular momentum from the protostellar system, permitting young stars to grow by the accretion of material from the protostellar disk2. The underlying mechanism for outflow ejection is not yet understood2, but is believed to be closely linked to the protostellar disk3. Various models have been proposed to explain the outflows, differing mainly in the region where acceleration of material takes place: close to the protostar itself (‘X-wind’4,5, or stellar wind6), in a larger region throughout the protostellar disk (disk wind7,8,9), or at the interface between the two10. Outflow launching regions have so far been probed only by indirect extrapolation11,12,13 because of observational limits. Here we report resolved images of carbon monoxide towards the outflow associated with the TMC1A protostellar system. These data show that gas is ejected from a region extending up to a radial distance of 25 astronomical units from the central protostar, and that angular momentum is removed from an extended region of the disk. This demonstrates that the outflowing gas is launched by an extended disk wind from a Keplerian disk.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    , & Observations of CO in L1551—evidence for stellar wind driven shocks. Astrophys. J. 239, L17–L22 (1980)

  2. 2.

    et al. Jets and outflows from star to cloud: observations confront theory. Protostars Planets VI, 451–474 (2014)

  3. 3.

    , , & Forbidden-line emission and infrared excesses in T Tauri stars—evidence for accretion-driven mass loss? Astrophys. J. 354, 687–700 (1990)

  4. 4.

    et al. Magnetocentrifugally driven flows from young stars and disks. I. A generalized model. Astrophys. J. 429, 781–796 (1994)

  5. 5.

    , & Jets and bipolar outflows from young stars: theory and observational tests. Protostars Planets V, 261–276 (2007)

  6. 6.

    et al. Angular momentum evolution of young low-mass stars and brown dwarfs: observations and theory. Protostars Planets VI, 433–450 (2014)

  7. 7.

    & Hydromagnetic flows from accretion discs and the production of radio jets. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 199, 883–903 (1982)

  8. 8.

    , , & Disk winds, jets, and outflows: theoretical and computational foundations. Protostars Planets V, 277–294 (2007)

  9. 9.

    Towards a global evolutionary model of protoplanetary disks. Astrophys. J. 821, 80 (2016)

  10. 10.

    & MHD simulations of accretion onto a dipolar magnetosphere. II. Magnetospheric ejections and stellar spin-down. Astron. Astrophys. 550, 99–118 (2013)

  11. 11.

    , , , & Hubble Space Telescope/STIS spectroscopy of the optical outflow from DG Tauri: indications for rotation in the initial jet channel. Astrophys. J. 576, 222–231 (2002)

  12. 12.

    , , , & Further indications of jet rotation in new ultraviolet and optical Hubble Space Telescope STIS spectra. Astrophys. J. 663, 350–364 (2007)

  13. 13.

    , & Which jet launching mechanism(s) in T Tauri stars? Astron. Astrophys. 453, 785–796 (2006)

  14. 14.

    et al. Rotationally-supported disks around Class I sources in Taurus: disk formation constraints. Astron. Astrophys. 562, A77 (2014)

  15. 15.

    & The structure of protostellar envelopes derived from submillimeter continuum images. Astrophys. J. 530, 851–866 (2000)

  16. 16.

    et al. APEX-CHAMP+ high-J CO observations of low-mass young stellar objects. IV. Mechanical and radiative feedback. Astron. Astrophys. 576, A109 (2015)

  17. 17.

    , , , & Compact outflows associated with TMC-1 and TMC-1A. Astrophys. J. 471, 308 (1996)

  18. 18.

    et al. ALMA observations of the transition from infall motion to Keplerian rotation around the late-phase protostar TMC-1A. Astrophys. J. 812, 27 (2015)

  19. 19.

    , & Episodic jets from black holes and protostars. Nature 385, 409–414 (1997)

  20. 20.

    , & Magnetohydrodynamic effects on pulsed young stellar object jets. I. 2.5D simulations. Astrophys. J. 800, 41 (2015)

  21. 21.

    et al. X-winds theory and observations. Protostars Planets IV, 789–813 (2000)

  22. 22.

    et al. Locating the launching region of T Tauri winds: the case of DG Tauri. Astrophys. J. 590, 107–110 (2003)

  23. 23.

    A change of rotation profile in the envelope in the HH 111 protostellar system: a transition to a disk? Astrophys. J. 725, 712–720 (2010)

  24. 24.

    & The evolution of outflow-envelope interactions in low-mass protostars. Astrophys. J. 646, 1070–1085 (2006)

  25. 25.

    et al. PROSAC: a submillimeter array survey of low-mass protostars. I. Overview of program: envelopes, disks, outflows, and hot cores. Astrophys. J. 659, 479–498 (2007)

  26. 26.

    & Outflows and jets from collapsing magnetized cloud cores. Astrophys. J. 641, 949–960 (2006)

  27. 27.

    , , & The formation conditions of chondrules and chondrites. Science 320, 1617–1619 (2008)

  28. 28.

    et al. The absolute chronology and thermal processing of solids in the solar protoplanetary disk. Science 338, 651–655 (2012)

  29. 29.

    & Formation of chondrules in magnetic winds blowing through the proto-asteroid belt. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 327/328, 61–67 (2012)

  30. 30.

    et al. The Spitzer c2d legacy results: star-formation rates and efficiencies; evolution and lifetimes. Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 181, 321–350 (2009)

  31. 31.

    , , , & in Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems Vol. 376 Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series (eds , & ) 127 (2007)

  32. 32.

    Aperture synthesis with a non-regular distribution of interferometer baselines. Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 15, 417–426 (1974)

  33. 33.

    et al. Herschel-HIFI observations of high-J CO and isotopologues in star-forming regions: from low to high mass. Astron. Astrophys. 553, 125–153 (2013)

  34. 34.

    , , , & Testing protostellar disk formation models with ALMA observations. Astron. Astrophys. 577, 22–37 (2015)

  35. 35.

    & Flaring vs. self-shadowed disks: the SEDs of Herbig Ae/Be stars. Astron. Astrophys. 417, 159–168 (2004)

  36. 36.

    , , & The warm gas atmosphere of the HD 100546 disk seen by Herschel. Evidence of a gas-rich, carbon-poor atmosphere? Astron. Astrophys. 541, A91 (2012)

  37. 37.

    et al. Subarcsecond analysis of the infalling-rotating envelope around the class I protostar IRAS 04365+2535. Astrophys. J. 820, L34 (2016)

  38. 38.

    , , , & CO outflows from young stars: confronting the jet and wind models. Astrophys. J. 542, 925–945 (2000)

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank M. Bizzarro and L. Kristensen for suggestions that improved the paper. This research was supported by the Swedish Research Council through contract 637-2013-472 (to P.B.). M.H.D.v.d.W. and J.K.J. acknowledge support by a Lundbeck Foundation Junior Group Leader Fellowship as well as the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement number 646908) through ERC Consolidator Grant ‘S4F’. The Centre for Star and Planet Formation is funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. D.H. is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Schwerpunktprogramm (DFG SPP 1385) ‘The First 10 Million Years of the Solar System—A Planetary Materials Approach’. We also thank the staff at the Nordic ALMA Regional Centre node for assistance with the preparation and calibration of the data. D.H. thanks Leiden Observatory for providing the computing facilities. This paper makes use of ALMA data (see Methods section ‘Data availability’). ALMA is a partnership of the ESO (representing its member states), the NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with the NRC (Canada), the NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and the KASI (South Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by the ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Centre for Star and Planet Formation, Niels Bohr Institute & Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5–7, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark

    • Per Bjerkeli
    • , Matthijs H. D. van der Wiel
    • , Jon P. Ramsey
    •  & Jes K. Jørgensen
  2. Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory, 43992 Onsala, Sweden

    • Per Bjerkeli
  3. ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands

    • Matthijs H. D. van der Wiel
  4. Center for Astronomy, Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, Heidelberg University, Albert-Ueberle-Straße 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

    • Daniel Harsono

Authors

  1. Search for Per Bjerkeli in:

  2. Search for Matthijs H. D. van der Wiel in:

  3. Search for Daniel Harsono in:

  4. Search for Jon P. Ramsey in:

  5. Search for Jes K. Jørgensen in:

Contributions

P.B. and M.H.D.v.d.W. led the project and were responsible for the data reduction, analysis and writing of the observing proposal and manuscript. D.H., J.P.R. and J.K.J. contributed at various stages to the data reduction and analysis, discussed the results and contributed to the proposal and manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Per Bjerkeli.

Reviewer Information Nature thanks Y. Aso, D. Coffey and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Extended data

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nature20600

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.