Bipolar jets produced by a spectroscopic binary

Reinhard Mundt, Catrina M. Hamilton, William Herbst, Christopher M. Johns-Krull, Joshua N. Winn

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21 Scopus citations


We present evidence that the spectroscopically identified bipolar jets of the pre-main sequence binary KH 15D (P = 48.4 d, ε 0.6, periastron separation 18 RA , MA = 0.6 M ·, M B = 0.7 M ·) are a common product of the whole binary system, rather than being launched from either star individually. They may be launched from the innermost part of the circumbinary disk (CBD) or may result from the merging of two outflows driven by the individual stars. This evidence is based on high-resolution Hα and [O I]λ6300 line profiles obtained during eclipse phases of this nearly edge-on system. The occultation of star A (the only currently visible star) by the disk strongly suppresses the stellar Hα and continuum emission and allows one to study the faint redshifted and blueshifted emission components of the bipolar jets. The strongest evidence for jet production by the whole binary system comes from the observed radial velocity symmetry of the two jet components relative to the systemic velocity of the binary in combination with current accretion models from the CBD onto a binary system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L5-L8
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Binaries: spectroscopic
  • Circumstellar matter
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Stars: individual (KH15D)
  • Stars: pre-main sequence


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