The magnetic collimation of bipolar outflows. I. Adiabatic simulations

James McLellan Stone, Michael L. Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The collimation of an isotropic, nonmagnetic protostellar wind by an ordered magnetic field in the ambient medium is investigated using self-consistent magnetohydrodynamic simulations in two dimensions. The strong protostellar wind inflates a low-density bubble in the ambient medium. The growth of this bubble is confined along the direction of the ambient magnetic field when the gas pressure in the interior drops to the level of the magnetic pressure at the surface. For typical molecular cloud conditions, collimation of the protostellar wind into a bipolar outflow occurs on time scales of 104-105 yr. When a self-consistent model for a magnetically supported cloud is used as a more realistic initial condition, the wind-blown bubble can "blowout" along diverging field lines in the direction of the steepest density gradient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 10 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Radio lines: molecular: circumstellar
  • Stars: pre-main-sequence


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