Rotational Stabilization of Astrophysical Jets
University of Wisconsin
Observations of extragalactic jets show highly collimated structures that extend over distances which are many orders of magnitude larger than the central object from which they emanate. An important question for magnetically dominated jets is how they remain robust to the kink-type instability which is observed in pinched laboratory plasma configurations. Here, we present a study of the stability properties of these systems via nonlinear non-relativistic 3D magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) finite element computations. Using a logarithmic mesh to resolve multiple length scales, these simulations produce collimated outflows that are significantly larger than the shearing scale of the accretion disk. Confirmed by an eigenmode analysis, the results show that the Coriolis effect in the rotating jet stabilizes the kink mode.