The NGC 1333 IRAS 4A protobinary was observed in the ammonia (2, 2) and (3, 3) lines and in the 1.3 cm continuum with a high resolution (about 1.0"). The ammonia maps show two compact sources, one for each protostar, and they are probably protostellar accretion disks. The disk associated with IRAS 4A2 is seen nearly edge-on and shows an indication of rotation. The A2 disk is brighter in the ammonia lines but dimmer in the dust continuum than its sibling disk, with the ammonia-to-dust flux ratios different by about an order of magnitude. This difference suggests that the twin disks have surprisingly dissimilar characters, one gas-rich and the other dusty. The A2 disk may be unusually active or hot, as indicated by its association with water vapor masers. The existence of two very dissimilar disks in a binary system suggests that the formation process of multiple systems has a controlling agent lacking in the isolated star formation process and that stars belonging to a multiple system do not necessarily evolve in phase with each other.
Accretion, Accretion Disks - Stars: Binaries: General - ISM: Individual: NGC Number: NGC 1333 IRAS 4A - Stars: Formation