AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 60. Star Formation - Accretion and Outflow
Display, Tuesday, January 8, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[60.17] Heating, Cooling, and Gravitational Instabilities in Protostellar and Protoplanetary Disks

B. K. Pickett (Purdue University Calumet), A. C. Mejia, R. H. Durisen (Indiana University)

We present three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of protostellar disk models, in order to explore how the interplay between heating and cooling regulates significant gravitational instabilities. Artificial viscosity is used to treat irreversible heating, such as would occur in shocks; volumetric cooling at several different rates is also applied throughout a broad radial region of the disk. We study the evolution of a disk that is already unstable (due to the low value of the Toomre Q parameter), and a marginally unstable disk that is cooled towards instability. The evolutions have implications for the transport of mass and angular momentum in protostellar disks, the effects of gravitational instabilities on the vertical structure of the disks, and the formation of stellar and substellar companions on dynamic time scales due to disk instabilties.

This work is supported by grants from the NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics and Origins of Solar Systems Programs.

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