Prof. Looney and Alum John Tobin Lead Study of Protostars

Date

02/17/22

Illinois Prof. Looney was part of the team (led by alum John Tobin) that probed the youngest protostars in Orion at the highest resolution to date. They found that roughly 30% of all systems surveyed contained multiple stars, which shows that binary formation occurs hand in hand with the earliest stages of star formation. Binary separation peaks at two values, 100 au and 3000 au, which suggests two formation mechanisms: gravitational fragmentation of the circumstellar disk and turbulent fragmentation of the core. They posit that companions forming within 500 au likely formed through disk fragmentation and turbulent fragmentation with migration from further out (50/50), while those at larger separations likely only formed due to turbulent fragmentation of the core. Read about it here

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