Observing substructure in circumstellar discs around massive young stellar objects
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Simulations of massive star formation predict the formation of discs with significant substructure, such as spiral arms and clumps due to fragmentation. Here, we present a semi-analytic framework for producing synthetic observations of discs with substructure, in order to determine their observability in interferometric observations. Unlike post-processing of hydrodynamical models, the speed inherent to our approach permits us to explore a large parameter space of star and disc parameters, and thus constrain properties for real observations. We compute synthetic dust continuum and molecular line observations probing different disc masses, distances, inclinations, thermal structures, dust distributions, and number and orientation of spirals and fragments. With appropriate spatial and kinematic filtering applied, our models predict that Atacama Large Millimetre Array observations of massive young stellar objects at at <5 kpc distances should detect spirals in both gas and dust in strongly self-gravitating discs (i.e. discs with up to two spiral arms and strong kinematic perturbations). Detecting spirals will be possible in discs of arbitrary inclination, either by directly spatially resolving them for more face-on discs (inclinations up to ~50 deg), or through a kinematic signature otherwise. Clumps resulting from disc fragmentation should be detectable in the continuum, if the clump is sufficiently hotter than the surrounding disc material.
Jankovic , M R , Haworth , T J , Ilee , J D , Forgan , D H , Cyganowski , C J , Walsh , C , Brogan , C L , Hunter , T R & Mohanty , S 2019 , ' Observing substructure in circumstellar discs around massive young stellar objects ' , Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , vol. 482 , no. 4 , pp. 4673-4686 . https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/sty3038
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
© 2018 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/sty3038
DescriptionMRJ is funded by the President’s PhD scholarship of the Imperial College London and the ‘Dositeja’ stipend from the Fund for Young Talents of the Serbian Ministry for Youth and Sport. TJH is funded by an Imperial College Junior Research Fellowship. JDI gratefully acknowledges support from the DISCSIM project, grant agreement 341137, funded by the European Research Council under ERC-2013-ADG and support from the STFC (grant number ST/R000549/1). DF gratefully acknowledges support from the ECOGAL project, grant agreement 291227, funded by the European Research Council under ERC-2011-ADG. CJC acknowledges support from the STFC (grant number ST/M001296/1). CW acknowledges financial support from the University of Leeds.
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