Interferometric view of the circumstellar envelopes of northern FU Orionis-type stars
1 Konkoly Observatory, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 1121 Budapest, Konkoly Thege Miklós út 15-17, Hungary
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2 Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Astronomy, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/A, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
4 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, Niels Bohrweg 2, 2333 CA Leiden, The Netherlands
5 Niels Bohr International Academy, The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 17, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Received: 26 June 2017
Accepted: 21 September 2017
Context. FU Orionis-type objects are pre-main sequence, low-mass stars with large outbursts in visible light that last for several years or decades. They are thought to represent an evolutionary phase during the life of every young star when accretion from the circumstellar disk is enhanced during recurring time periods. These outbursts are able to rapidly build up the star while affecting the physical conditions inside the circumstellar disk and thus the ongoing or future planet formation. In many models, infall from a circumstellar envelope seems to be necessary to trigger the outbursts.
Aims. We characterise the morphology and the physical parameters of the circumstellar material around FU Orionis-type stars using the emission of millimetre-wavelength molecular tracers. The high-spatial-resolution study provides insight into the evolutionary state of the objects, the distribution of parameters in the envelopes and the physical processes forming the environment of these stars.
Methods. We observed the J = 1−0 rotational transition of 13CO and C18O towards eight northern FU Orionis-type stars (V1057 Cyg, V1515 Cyg, V2492 Cyg, V2493 Cyg, V1735 Cyg, V733 Cep, RNO 1B and RNO 1C) and determine the spatial and velocity structure of the circumstellar gas on a scale of a few thousand AU. We derive temperatures and envelope masses and discuss the kinematics of the circumstellar material.
Results. We detected extended CO emission associated with all our targets. Smaller-scale CO clumps were found to be associated with five objects with radii of 2000−5000 AU and masses of 0.02−0.5 M⊙; these are clearly heated by the central stars. Three of these envelopes are also strongly detected in the 2.7 mm continuum. No central CO clumps were detected around V733 Cep and V710 Cas which can be interpreted as envelopes but there are many other clumps in their environments. Traces of outflow activity were observed towards V1735 Cyg, V733 Cep and V710 Cas.
Conclusions. The diversity of the observed envelopes enables us to set up an evolutionary sequence between the objects. We find their evolutionary state to range from early, embedded Class I stage to late, Class II-type objects with very-low-mass circumstellar material. We also find evidence of larger-scale circumstellar material influencing the detected spectral features in the environment of our targets. These results reinforce the idea of FU Orionis-type stars as representatives of a transitory stage between embedded Class I young stellar objects and classical T Tauri stars.
Key words: molecular data / stars: pre-main sequence / stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be / circumstellar matter / ISM: structure
© ESO, 2017