Dust In The Wind: The Search for Dust In the Outflows of Low Mass Protostar HH212

Shoemaker, Hannah, Astronomy, University of Virginia
Plunkett, Adele, NRAO

Star formation is a chemically and physically complex process that begins in dense molecular clouds and ends in the formation of planets. During the star formation process some young protostars have been observed with molecular outflows, which are collimated jets of molecular gas. The launching mechanism for these outflows is still unknown, but there are many theories that attempt to describe the launching region in relation to stellar, disk and x-winds. The presence of dust inside protostellar disk winds has been suggested but never observationally confirmed. The observational detection of dust in the region of protostellar disk winds would put constraints upon the dust content of outflows as well as the initial conditions for planet formation around low mass protostars. I am investigating the dust content in the winds emanating from young (Class 0 and Class I) systems. This study began with an archival search using the ALMA Science Archive, resulting in a list of low mass protostellar sources observed with sufficiently high angular resolution. Next, preliminary inspection of the images was done by an affiliated student group to determine the best candidates for the detection of dust. I performed extensive re-imaging of multi-band observations from HH212 to constrain the dust content in outflows. Ongoing work will analyze the characteristics of the dust content, comparing models with observations to explain the mechanism for dust entrainment in protostellar winds.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
HH212, outflow
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