Protostellar evolution during time-dependent anisotropic collapse

Mahmoud Aburihan*, Jason D. Fiege, Richard N. Henriksen, Thibaut Lery

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The formation and collapse of a protostar involves the simultaneous infall and outflow of material in the presence of magnetic fields, self-gravity and rotation. We use self-similar techniques to self-consistently model the anisotropic collapse and outflow by using a set of angle-separated self-similar equations. The outflow is quite strong in our model, with the velocity increasing in proportion to radius, and material formally escaping to infinity in the finite time is required for the central singularity to develop. Analytically tractable collapse models have been limited mainly to spherically symmetric collapse, with neither magnetic field nor rotation. Other analyses usually employ extensive numerical simulations, or either perturbative or quasistatic techniques. Our model is unique as an exact solution to the non-stationary equations of self-gravitating magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), which features co-existing regions of infall and outflow. The velocity and magnetic topology of our model is quadrupolar, although dipolar solutions may also exist. We provide a qualitative model for the origin and subsequent evolution of such a state. However, a central singularity forms at late times, and we expect the late-time behaviour to be dominated by the singularity, rather than depend on the details of its initial state. Our solution may, therefore, have the character of an attractor among a much more general class of self-similarity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1217-1227
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Clouds - ISM
  • Formation - ISM
  • MHD - stars
  • Magnetic fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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