Co outflows from young stars: Confronting the jet and wind models

Chin Fei Lee, Lee G. Mundy, Bo Reipurth, Eve C. Ostriker, James M. Stone

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We have mapped the CO J = 1-0 emission from molecular outflows associated with five young stellar systems of class O to class II/III using the BIMA array and the FCRAO 14 m antenna. The systems, VLA 05487, HH 212, HH 240/241, HH 111, and RNO 91, are all relatively nearby and of low luminosity, and the majority have H2 emission or optical jet features. The CO outflow generally forms a shell structure around the outflow axis with the higher velocity emission further out from the source. Two distinctive kinematic features are evident in position-velocity (PV) diagrams : a parabolic structure originating at the driving source (e.g., VLA 05487 and HH 111) and a convex spur structure with the high-velocity tip near known H2 bow shocks (e.g., HH 212, HH 240/241 and HH 111). The parabolic PV structure can be produced by a wide-angle-wind model, while the velocity spur structure can be modeled with a jet-driven bow shock model. VLA 05487, which is not associated with any H2 bow shocks, shows only the parabolic structure and kinematics consistent with the wide-angle wind-driven model. HH 212, which is associated with a series of H2 bow shock structures, shows a striking morphological coincidence between the H2 and CO emission and velocity spurs in the PV diagram. It is our best example of the jet-driven bow shock model, and its kinematics can be qualitatively explained in that context. HH 240/241 is similar to HH 212 and shows a close relationship between the H2 and CO emission. The kinematics of its western lobe can also be explained with the jet-driven model. The kinematics of RNO 91 are similar to VLA 05487 and are broadly consistent with a wide-angle wind-driven model. HH 111 has both parabolic and spur PV structures, a combination that is not easily explained in the simplest version of either model. Thus, these observations provide examples of systems that support either the wide-angle wind-driven or jet-driven model in the simplest interpretation. More detailed calculations are needed to understand whether one model might be able to fit all systems. It is crucial to know if time-dependent or long-lived jet-driven bow shock models can produce the observed outflow widths and parabolic PV structures, or if a wide-angle wind can produce the shock features and velocity spur structures in our observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-945
Number of pages21
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 1
StatePublished - Oct 20 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • ISM: individual (VLA 05487, HH 212, HH 240/241, HH 111, RNO 91)
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Stars: formation


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