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A likely flyby of binary protostar Z CMa caught in action

Abstract : Close encounters between young stellar objects in star-forming clusters are expected to markedly perturb circumstellar disks. Such events are witnessed in numerical simulations of star formation1-3, but few direct observations of ongoing encounters have been made. Here we report sub-0.1″-resolution Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array and Jansky Very Large Array observations towards the million-year-old binary protostar Z Canis Majoris in dust continuum and molecular line emission. A point source ~4,700 au from the binary has been discovered at both millimetre and centimetre wavelengths. It is located along the extension of a ~2,000 au streamer structure previously found in scattered light imaging, whose counterpart in dust and gas emission is also newly identified. Comparison with simulations shows signposts of a rare flyby event in action. Z CMa is a `double burster', as both binary components undergo accretion outbursts4, which may be facilitated by perturbations to the host disk by flybys5-8.
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Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, June 27, 2022 - 9:06:43 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - 3:09:32 AM

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Ruobing Dong, Hauyu Baobab Liu, Nicolás Cuello, Christophe Pinte, Péter Ábrahám, et al.. A likely flyby of binary protostar Z CMa caught in action. Nature Astronomy, 2022, 6, pp.331-338. ⟨10.1038/s41550-021-01558-y⟩. ⟨insu-03705388⟩



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