A multi-scale exploration of a massive young stellar object - a transition disk around G305.20+0.21?

11 Mar 2019  ·  Frost A. J., Oudmaijer R. D., de Wit W. J., Lumsden S. L. ·

The rarity of young massive stars combined with the fact that they are often deeply embedded has limited the understanding of their formation. Ground based mid-infrared (IR) interferometry is one way of securing the spatial resolution required to study massive young stellar objects (MYSOs) and as the spatial-frequency coverage of such observations is often incomplete, direct-imaging can be supplementary to such a dataset... By consolidating these observations with modelling, the features of a massive protostellar environment can be constrained. This work simultaneously fits the aforementioned observations and a spectral energy distribution (SED) with a 2.5D radiative transfer model, providing an extensive view of the physical characteristics of the accreting regions of the MYSO G305.20+0.21. The high-resolution observations were obtained using the Very Large Telescope's MIDI and VISIR instruments, producing visibilities in the N-band and near-diffraction-limited imaging in the Q-band respectively. A model including a central protostar with a luminosity of $\sim$5$\times$10$^{4}$L$_{\odot}$ surrounded by a low-density bipolar cavity, a flared 1M$_{\odot}$ disk and an envelope provides a sufficient fit all three types of observation. The need to include a disk in the model implies that this MYSO follows a scaled-up version of the low-mass star formation process. The weak silicate absorption feature within the SED requires low-density envelope cavities to be successfully fit and is an atypical characteristic in comparison to previously studied MYSOs. Additionally, the inner radius of the disk must be three times the dust sublimation radius to satisfy the MIDI visibilities. The low density, low extinction environment implies the object is a more evolved MYSO and this combined with large inner radius of the disk suggests that it could be an example of a transitional disk around an MYSO. read more

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics Astrophysics of Galaxies