1000 au exterior arcs connected to the protoplanetary disk around HL Tauri

Hsi Wei Yen, Shigehisa Takakuwa, You Hua Chu, Naomi Hirano, Paul T.P. Ho, Kazuhiro D. Kanagawa, Chin Fei Lee, Hauyu Baobab Liu, Sheng Yuan Liu, Tomoaki Matsumoto, Satoki Matsushita, Takayuki Muto, Kazuya Saigo, Ya Wen Tang, Alfonso Trejo, Chun Ju Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims. The protoplanetary disk around HL Tau is the youngest candidate of planet formation known to date, and it is still embedded in a protostellar envelope with a size of thousands of au. In this work, we study the gas kinematics in the envelope and its possible influence on the embedded disk. Methods. We present our new ALMA cycle 3 observational results of HL Tau in the 13CO (2-1) and C18O (2-1) emission at resolutions of 0.? 8 (110 au), and we compare the observed velocity pattern with models of different types of gas motion. Results. The 13CO and C18O emission lines both show a central compact component with a size of 2″ (280 au) that traces the protoplanetary disk. The disk is clearly resolved and shows Keplerian motion, based on which, the protostellar mass of HL Tau is estimated to be 1.8 ± 0.3 M, assuming the inclination angle of the disk to be 47° from the plane of the sky. The 13CO emission shows two arc structures with sizes of 1000-2000 au and masses of 3 × 10-3M connected to the central disk. One is blueshifted and stretches from the northeast to the northwest, and the other is redshifted and stretches from the southwest to the southeast. We find that simple kinematical models of infalling and (counter-)rotating flattened envelopes cannot fully explain the observed velocity patterns in the arc structures. The gas kinematics of the arc structures can be better explained with three-dimensional infalling or outflowing motions. Nevertheless, the observed velocity in the northwestern part of the blueshifted arc structure is ~60-70% higher than the expected free-fall velocity. We discuss two possible origins of the arc structures: (1) infalling flows externally compressed by an expanding shell driven by XZ Tau; and (2) outflowing gas clumps caused by gravitational instabilities in the protoplanetary disk around HL Tau.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA134
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • ISM: Kinematics and dynamics
  • Protoplanetary disks
  • Stars: Formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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