AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 74 Planets in Binary Star Systems, Young Stars and Jets
Poster, Tuesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 10, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[74.17] Simulation of Magnetohydrodynamic Outbursts in Protostellar Disks

L. G. Book (University of Illinois at U-C), L. Hartmann (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory)

The preferential coupling of a magnetic field to ionized material implies a two-layered structure in protoplanetary accretion disks due to partial activation of the magnetorotational instability. This structure provides a disk instability that is capable of explaining the large fluctuations of brightness in FU Orionis objects, which are often thought to originate in a sudden increase of protostellar disk accretion. In the current work, we determine the importance of the active layer in these phenomena by analyzing the ability of an averaged one-layer model to reproduce outbursts with appropriate timescales and magnitudes. W use the results to determine constraints on protoplanetary disk structure.

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