John Capodilupo

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (2)5.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We use the CASA software package to synthetically observe binaries forming as a result of turbulent fragmentation in a radiation-hydrodynamic simulation of a collapsing molecular cloud. By following the evolution of such pairs beginning in the prestellar core stage, we are able to make predictions about the feasibility of observing such fragmentation using the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). We find that while intermediate ALMA configurations may potentially resolve structure with one fourth the integration time of CARMA, both instruments only marginally resolve sub-structure within 25 kyr of the onset of gravitational collapse. In addition, interferometric spatial filtering significantly reduces traces of filamentary gas morphology on < 0.1 pc scales. Thus, even with the improved sub-arcsecond resolution of ALMA, constraining stellar multiplicity at the earliest stages of star formation will be challenging.
    01/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Determining the initial stellar multiplicity is a challenging problem since protostars are faint and deeply embedded at early times; once formed, multiple protostellar systems may significantly dynamically evolve before they are optically revealed. Interferometers such as CARMA and ALMA make it possible to probe the scales at which turbulent fragmentation occurs in dust continuum emission, potentially constraining early stellar multiplicity. In this Letter we present synthetic observations of starless and protostellar cores undergoing fragmentation on scales of a few thousand AU to produce wide binary systems. We show that interferometric observations of starless cores by CARMA should be predominantly featureless at early stages, although wide protostellar companions should be apparent. The enhanced capabilities of ALMA improve the detection of core morphology so that it may be possible to detect substructure at earlier times. In either case, spatial filtering from interferometry reduces the observed core substructure and often eradicates traces of existing filamentary morphology on scales down to 0.025 pc. However, some missing structure may be recaptured by combining data from the ALMA full science and Atacama compact arrays.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 11/2011; 420(1). · 5.52 Impact Factor