Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Jet rotation investigated in the near-ultraviolet with the Hubble Space Telescope imaging spectrograph
    We present results of the second phase of our near-ultraviolet investigation into protostellar jet rotation using the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. We obtain long-slit spectra at the base of five T Tauri jets to determine if there is a difference in radial velocity between the jet borders which may be interpreted as a rotation signature. These observations are extremely challenging and push the limits of current instrumentation, but have the potential to provide long-awaited observational support for the magnetocentrifugal mechanism of jet launching in which jets remove angular momentum from protostellar systems. We successfully detect all five jet targets (from RW Aur, HN Tau, DP Tau, and CW Tau) in several near-ultraviolet emission lines, including the strong Mg II doublet. However, only RW Aur's bipolar jet presents a sufficiently high signal-to-noise ratio to allow for analysis. The approaching jet lobe shows a difference of 10kms-1 in a direction which agrees with the disk rotation sense, but is opposite to previously published optical measurements for the receding jet. The near-ultraviolet difference is not found six months later, nor is it found in the fainter receding jet. Overall, in the case of RW Aur, differences are not consistent with a simple jet rotation interpretation. Indeed, given the renowned complexity and variability of this system, it now seems likely that any rotation signature is confused by other influences, with the inevitable conclusion that RW Aur is not suited to a jet rotation study. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
      154Scopus© Citations 27
  • Publication
    Unveiling the Role of Jets in Star Formation
    We describe the role of HST in providing the first and long-awaited observational backing for the role of bipolar jets in the star formation process.
  • Publication
    The accretion/ejection paradigm of low mass stars tested with HST
    In the last few years new investigation techniques have allowed us to study in depth the spectacular phenomenon of protostellar jets, and to test the validity of the proposed models for their acceleration. In this contribution we review the current knowledge on the subject, with a special emphasis on the recent achievements obtained thanks to observations at high angular resolution, like those performed at subarcsecond scales with the Hubble Space Telescope. These results have made us able to define more clearly the morphology, kinematics, excitation of the flows on small scales, and, in turn, to derive stringent constraints for the physical processes at work. The novel information acquired puts us in a very good position to plan theoretical and observational studies aimed at understanding if similar accretion/ejection processes are also at work during the formation of Brown Dwarfs. If scaled-down versions of Herbig-Haro jets are found associated to these objects, then it would mean that the wellknown formation scenario of solar–mass stars is truly universal.
  • Publication
    Further indications of jet rotation in new ultraviolet and optical Hubble Space Telescope STIS spectra
    We present survey results that suggest rotation signatures at the base of T Tauri jets. Observations were conducted with the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph at optical and near-ultraviolet (NUV) wavelengths. Results are presented for the approaching jet from DG Tau, CW Tau, HH 30, and the bipolar jet from TH 28. Systematic asymmetries in Doppler shift were detected across the jet, within 100 AU from the star. At optical wavelengths, radial velocity differences were typically (10-25) ± 5 km s-1, while differences in the NUV range were consistently lower, at typically 10 ± 5 km s-1. Results are interpreted as possible rotation signatures. Importantly, there is agreement between the optical and NUV results for DG Tau. Under the assumption of steady magnetocentrifugal acceleration, the survey results lead to estimates for the distance of the jet footpoint from the star, and give values consistent with earlier studies. In the case of DG Tau, for example, we see that the higher velocity component appears to be launched from a distance of 0.2-0.5 AU from the star along the disk plane, while the lower velocity component appears to trace a wider part of the jet launched from as far as 1.9 AU. The results for the other targets are similar. Therefore, if indeed the detected Doppler gradients trace rotation within the jet, then under the assumption of steady MHD ejection, the derived footpoint radii support the existence of magnetized disk winds. However, since we do not resolved the innermost layers of the flow, we cannot exclude the possibility that there also exists an X-wind or stellar wind component. © 2007, The American Astronomical Society, All rights reserved.
      196Scopus© Citations 105
  • Publication
    Jet rotation: Launching region, angular momentum balance and magnetic properties in the bipolar outflow from RW Aur
    Using STIS on board the HST we have obtained a spectroscopic map of the bipolar jet from RW Aur with the slit parallel to the jet axis and moved across the jet in steps of 0″.07. After applying a velocity correction due to uneven slit illumination we find signatures of rotation within the first 300 AU of the jet (1″.5 at the distance of RW Aur). Both lobes rotate in the same direction (i.e. with different helicities), with toroidal velocities in the range 5-30 km s-1 at 20 and 30 AU from the symmetry axis in the blueshifted and redshifted lobes, respectively. The sense of rotation is anti-clockwise looking from the tip of the blue lobe (PA 130° north to east) down to the star. Rotation is more evident in the [OI] and [NII] lines and at the largest sampled distance from the axis. These results are consistent with other STIS observations carried out with the slit perpendicular to the jet axis, and with theoretical simulations. Using current magneto-hydrodynamic models for the launch of the jets, we find that the mass ejected in the observed part of the outflow is accelerated from a region in the disk within about 0.5 AU from the star for the blue lobe, and within 1.6 AU from the star for the red lobe. Using also previous results we estimate upper and lower limits for the angular momentum transport rate of the jet. We find that this can be a large fraction (two thirds or more) of the estimated rate transported through the relevant portion of the disk. The magnetic lever arm (defined as the ratio r A/r0 between the Alfvèn and footpoint radii) is in the range 3.5-4.6 (with an accuracy of 20-25%), or, alternatively, the ejection index ξ = d ln(Ṁacc)/dr is in the range 0.025-0.046 (with similar uncertainties). The derived values are in the range predicted by the models, but they also suggest that some heating must be provided at the base of the flow. Finally, using the general disk wind theory we derive the ratio Bφ/Bp of the toroidal and poloidal components of the magnetic field at the observed location (i.e. about 80-100 AU above the disk). We find this quantity to be 3.8 ± 1.1 at 30 AU from the axis in the red lobe and -8.9 ± 2.7 at 20 AU from the axis in the blue lobe (assuming cylindrical coordinates centred on the star and with positive z along the blue lobe). The toroidal component appears to be dominant, which would be consistent with magnetic collimation of the jet. The field appears to be more tightly wrapped on the blue side. © ESO 2005.
      161Scopus© Citations 85
  • Publication
    Rotation of jets from young stars: New clues from the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph
    We report findings from the first set of data in a current survey to establish conclusively whether jets from young stars rotate. We observed the bipolar jets from the T Tauri stars TH 28 and RW Aur and the blueshifted jet from T Tauri star LkHα 321, using the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. Forbidden emission lines show distinct and systematic velocity asymmetries of 10-25 (±5) km s-1 at a distance of 0″.3 from the source, representing a (projected) distance of ≈40 AU along the jet in the case of RW Aur, ≈50 AU for TH 28, and 165 AU in the case of LkHα 321. These velocity asymmetries are interpreted as rotation in the initial portion of the jet where it is accelerated and collimated. For the bipolar jets, both lobes appear to rotate in the same direction. Values obtained were in agreement with the predictions of MHD disk-wind models. Finally, we determine, from derived toroidal and poloidal velocities, values for the distance from the central axis of the footpoint for the jet's low-velocity component of ≈0.5-2 AU, consistent with the models of magnetocentrifugal launching.
      149Scopus© Citations 145
  • Publication
    The evolution and simulation of the outburst from XZ tauri - A possible EXor?
    We report on multi-epoch HST/WFPC2 images of the XZ Tauri binary, and its outflow, covering the period from 1995 to 2001. Data from 1995 to 1998 have already been published in the literature. Additional images, from 1999, 2000 and 2001 are presented here. These reveal not only further dynamical and morphological evolution of the XZ Tauri outflow but also that the suspected outflow source, XZ Tauri North, has flared in EXor-type fashion, In particular our proper motion studies suggests that the recently discovered bubble-like shock, driven by the the XZ Tauri outflow, is slowing down (its tangential velocity decreasing from 146 km s-1 to 117 km s-1). We also present simulations of the outflow itself, with plausible ambient and outflow parameters, that appear to reproduce not only the dynamical evolution of the flow, but also its shape and emission line luminosity.
      158Scopus© Citations 20