3 years ago

MHD simulations of the formation and propagation of protostellar jets to observational length scales.

Jon P. Ramsey, David A. Clarke

We present 2.5-D global, ideal MHD simulations of magnetically and rotationally driven protostellar jets from Keplerian accretion discs, wherein only the initial magnetic field strength at the inner radius of the disc, $B_{\rm i}$, is varied. Using the AMR-MHD code AZEUS, we self-consistently follow the jet evolution into the observational regime (%CONTENT%gt;10^3\,\mathrm{AU}$) with a spatial dynamic range of $\sim6.5\times10^5$. The simulations reveal a three-component outflow: 1) A hot, dense, super-fast and highly magnetised 'jet core'; 2) a cold, rarefied, trans-fast and highly magnetised 'sheath' surrounding the jet core and extending to a tangential discontinuity; and 3) a warm, dense, trans-slow and weakly magnetised shocked ambient medium entrained by the advancing bow shock. The simulations reveal power-law relationships between $B_{\rm i}$ and the jet advance speed, $v_{\rm jet}$, the average jet rotation speed, $\langle v_\varphi\rangle$, as well as fluxes of mass, momentum, and kinetic energy. Quantities that do not depend on $B_{\rm i}$ include the plasma-$\beta$ of the transported material which, in all cases, seems to asymptote to order unity. Jets are launched by a combination of the 'magnetic tower' and 'bead-on-a-wire' mechanisms, with the former accounting for most of the jet acceleration---even for strong fields---and continuing well beyond the fast magnetosonic point. At no time does the leading bow shock leave the domain and, as such, these simulations generate large-scale jets that reproduce many of the observed properties of protostellar jets including their characteristic speeds and transported fluxes.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1901.02845

DOI: arXiv:1901.02845v1

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