Discovery of a 500 au protobinary in the massive prestellar core G11.92-0.61 MM2
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We present high-resolution (< ~160 au) Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) 1.3 mm observations of the high-mass prestellar core candidate G11.92-0.61 MM2, which reveal that this source is in fact a protobinary system with a projected separation of 505 au. The binary components, MM2E and MM2W, are compact (radii < 140 au) sources within the partially optically thick dust emission with α0.9 cm-1.3 mm =2.47-2.94. The 1.3 mm brightness temperatures, Tb=68.4/64.6 K for MM2E/MM2W, imply internal heating and minimum luminosities L* > 24.7 L⊙ for MM2E and L* > 12.6 L⊙ for MM2W. The compact sources are connected by a "bridge" of lower-surface-brightness dust emission and lie within more extended emission that may correspond to a circumbinary disk. The circumprotostellar gas mass, estimated from ~0.2" resolution VLA 0.9 cm observations assuming optically thin emission, is 6.8 ± 0.9 M⊙. No line emission is detected towards MM2E and MM2W in our high-resolution 1.3 mm ALMA observations. The only line detected is 13CO J=2-1, in absorption against the 1.3 mm continuum, which likely traces a layer of cooler molecular material surrounding the protostars. We also report the discovery of a highly asymmetric bipolar molecular outflow that appears to be driven by MM2E and/or MM2W in new deep, ~0.5" resolution (1680 au) ALMA 0.82 mm observations. This outflow, traced by low-excitation CH3OH emission, indicates ongoing accretion onto the protobinary system. Overall, the super-Alfvenic models of Mignon-Risse et al. (2021) agree well with the observed properties of the MM2E/MM2W protobinary, suggesting that this system may be forming in an environment with a weak magnetic field.
Cyganowski , C J , Ilee , J D , Brogan , C L , Hunter , T R , Zhang , S , Harries , T J & Haworth , T J 2022 , ' Discovery of a 500 au protobinary in the massive prestellar core G11.92-0.61 MM2 ' , Astrophysical Journal Letters , vol. 931 , no. 2 , L31 . https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/ac69ca
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Copyright © 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
DescriptionFunding: C.J.C. acknowledges support from the University of St Andrews Restarting Research Funding Scheme (SARRF), which is funded through the SFC grant reference SFC/AN/08/020. J.D.I. acknowledges support from the UK’s STFC under ST/T000287/1. S.Z. is funded by the China Scholarship Council–University of St Andrews Scholarship (PhD programmes, No. 201806190010). T.J.H. is funded by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship.
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