Reflections on nebulae around young stars. A systematic search for late-stage infall of material onto Class II disks
Context. While it is generally assumed that Class II sources evolve largely in isolation from their environment, many still lie close to molecular clouds and may continue to interact with them. This may result in late accretion of material onto the disk that can significantly influence disk processes and planet formation.
Aims: In order to systematically study late infall of gas onto disks, we identify candidate Class II sources in close vicinity to a reflection nebula (RN) that may be undergoing this process.
Methods: First we targeted Class II sources with known kilo-au scale gas structures - possibly due to late infall of material - and we searched for RNe in their vicinity in optical and near-infrared images. Second, we compiled a catalogue of Class II sources associated with RNe and looked for the large-scale CO structures in archival ALMA data. Using the catalogues of protostars and RNe, we also estimated the probability of Class II sources interacting with surrounding material.
Results: All of the sources with large-scale gas structures also exhibit some reflection nebulosity in their vicinity. Similarly, at least five Class II objects associated with a prominent RNe, and for which adequate ALMA observations are available, were found to have spirals or stream-like structures which may be due to late infall. We report the first detection of these structures around S CrA.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that a non-negligible fraction of Class II disks in nearby star-forming regions may be associated with RNe and could therefore be undergoing late accretion of gas. Surveys of RNe and kilo-au scale gas structures around Class II sources will allow us to better understand the frequency and impact of late-infall phenomena.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- February 2023
- planets and satellites: formation;
- ISM: clouds;
- protoplanetary disks;
- stars: formation;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- Accepted for publication in Astronomy &