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Magnetic fields during the early stages of massive star formation – II. A generalized outflow criterion

Authors

  • D. Seifried,

    Corresponding author
    1. Hamburger Sternwarte, Universität Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
    2. Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Universität Heidelberg, Albert-Ueberle-Str. 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
    3. Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M1, Canada
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  • R. E. Pudritz,

    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M1, Canada
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  • R. Banerjee,

    1. Hamburger Sternwarte, Universität Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
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  • D. Duffin,

    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M1, Canada
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  • R. S. Klessen

    1. Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Universität Heidelberg, Albert-Ueberle-Str. 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
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E-mail: dseifried@hs.uni-hamburg.de

ABSTRACT

Numerical simulations of outflows formed during the collapse of 100-M cloud cores are presented. We derive a generalized criterion from magnetohydrodynamical wind theory to analyse the launching mechanism of these outflows. The criterion is successfully applied to the whole outflow structure and cases with sub-Keplerian disc rotation. It allows us to decide whether an outflow is driven centrifugally or by the toroidal magnetic pressure. We show that quantities such as the magnetic field line inclination or the ratio of the toroidal to poloidal magnetic field alone are insufficient to determine the driving mechanism of outflows. By performing 12 simulations with variable initial rotational and magnetic energies, we are able to study the influence of the initial conditions on the properties of outflows and jets around massive protostars in detail. Our simulations reveal a strong effect of the magnetic field strength on the morphology of outflows. In runs with weak fields or high rotational energies, well-collimated, fast jets are observed, whereas for strong fields poorly collimated, low-velocity outflows are found. We show that the occurrence of a fast jet is coupled to the existence of a Keplerian protostellar disc. Despite the very different morphologies, all outflows are launched from the discs by centrifugal acceleration with the toroidal magnetic field increasingly contributing to the gas acceleration further away from the discs. The poor collimation of the outflows in runs with strong magnetic fields is a consequence of the weak hoop stresses. This in turn is caused by the slow build-up of a toroidal magnetic field due to strongly sub-Keplerian disc rotation. The mass and momentum outflow rates are of the order of 10−4 M yr−1 and 10−4 M km s−1 yr−1, respectively. The mass ejection/accretion ratios scatter around a mean of 0.3 in accordance with observational and analytical results. Based on our results, we suggest an evolutionary scenario for the earliest stage of massive star formation in which initially poorly collimated outflows develop, which successively get better collimated during their evolution due to the generation of fast jets.

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