Now showing 1 - 10 of 30
  • Publication
    The Enigma of Jets and Outows from Young Stars
    (Astronomical Society of India, 2011-07-01)
    Research in recent decades has seen many important advances in understanding the role of jets and outflows in the star formation process. Although, many open issues still remain, multi-wavelength high resolution observations have provided unprecedented insights into these bizarre phenomena. An overview of some of the current research is given, in which great strides have been made in addressing fundamental questions such as: how are jets generated? what is the jet acceleration mechanism? how are jets collimated? what is the relationship between accretion and ejection? how does mass accretion proceed? do jets somehow extract angular momentum? and finally, is there a universal mechanism for jet generation on all scales from brown dwarfs to AGNs?
  • 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
    What elements of a community help undergraduates gain confidence?
    Women's underrepresentation in the field of physics continues to be an issue, in part because of the perceptions women may have about their abilities to study physics. In this paper, we will study undergraduate students' perceptions about the required level of competence for studying physics, and how these perceptions may change due to participation in spaces that support competence building. We use a mixed methods approach to look at survey responses collected from students on the Foundations of physics course at University College Dublin, and interviews with physics undergraduate facilitators of an informal program that explore the overlaps of physics and music. We hypothesise, that female students perceive the required level of competence to study physics to be higher than male students. We propose that providing formal and informal spaces that support competence building will improve undergraduate students' perceptions of their competence to study physics.
  • Publication
    The near-UV: The true window on jet rotation
    (Società Astronomica Italiana, 2017-01-01) ; ; ;
    High resolution observations of jet rotation in newly forming stars have the potential to support theories of magneto-centrifugal jet launching. We report a detection of a radial velocity difference across the blue-shifted jet from RY Tau, the direction of which matches the CO disk rotation sense. Now, in 3 of 3 cases, the sense of the near-UV jet gradient matches the disk rotation sense, implying that we are indeed observing jet rotation. It seems the jet core, probed at near-UV wavelengths, is protected by the outer jet layers from kinematic contaminations, and thus represents the only true window on jet rotation.
  • 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
  • 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.
      163Scopus© Citations 27
  • Publication
    EduCube: The 1U Educational CubeSat
    EduCube is a 1U Cubesat developed specifically for educational purposes. It is used in a hands-on training laboratory for Masters students to allow them to gain familiarity with the satellite subsystems found in a Cubesat. The students work in groups, following a set of exercises and also devising their own experiments. EduCube was designed and built in-house and is largely compliant with the Cal Poly standard.
  • Publication
    ALMA Polarimetric Studies of Rotating Jet/Disk Systems
    We have recently obtained polarimetric data at mm wavelengths with ALMA for the young systems DG Tau and CW Tau, for which the rotation properties of jet and disk have been investigated in previous high angular resolution studies. The motivation was to test the models of magneto-centrifugal launch of jets via the determination of the magnetic configuration at the disk surface. The analysis of these data, however, reveals that self-scattering of dust thermal radiation dominates the polarization pattern. It is shown that even if no information on the magnetic field can be derived in this case, the polarization data are a powerful tool for the diagnostics of the properties and the evolution of dust in protoplanetary disks.
  • Publication
    Mirror, mirror on the outflow cavity wall: Near-infrared CO overtone disc emission of the high-mass YSO IRAS 11101-5829
    Aims. The inner regions of high-mass protostars are often invisible in the near-infrared, obscured by thick envelopes and discs. We aim to investigate the inner gaseous disc of IRAS 11101-5829 through scattered light from the outflow cavity walls. Methods. We observed the immediate environment of the high-mass young stellar object IRAS 11101-5829 and the closest knots of its jet, HH135-136, with the integral field unit VLT/SINFONI. We also retrieved archival data from the high-resolution long-slit spectrograph VLT/X-shooter. We analysed imaging and spectroscopic observations to discern the nature of the near-infrared CO emission. Results. We detect the first three bandheads of the υ = 2−0 CO vibrational emission for the first time in this object. It is coincident with continuum and Brγ emission and extends up to ~10 000 au to the north-east and ~10 000 au to the south-west. The line profiles have been modelled as a Keplerian rotating disc assuming a single ring in local thermodynamic equilibrium. The model output gives a temperature of ~3000 K, a CO column density of ~1 × 1022 cm−2, and a projected Keplerian velocity vK sin idisc ~ 25 km s−1, which is consistent with previous modelling in other high-mass protostars. In particular, the low value of vK sin idisc suggests that the disc is observed almost face-on, whereas the well-constrained geometry of the jet imposes that the disc must be close to edge-on. This apparent discrepancy is interpreted as the CO seen reflected in the mirror of the outflow cavity wall. Conclusions. From both jet geometry and disc modelling, we conclude that all the CO emission is seen through reflection by the cavity walls and not directly. This result implies that in the case of highly embedded objects, as for many high-mass protostars, line profile modelling alone might be deceptive and the observed emission could affect the derived physical and geometrical properties; in particular the inclination of the system can be incorrectly interpreted.
      142Scopus© Citations 7
  • Publication
    A combined MUSE/X-Shooter study of the TH28 jet
    (Società Astronomica Italiana, 2017-06-09) ; ; ; ;
    Here we present the first results from a MUSE/X-Shooter study of the jet from the classical T Tauri star TH 28. The combination of MUSE and X-Shooter enables us to take advantage of both spectro-imaging and broadband spectroscopy to comprehensively investigate the TH 28 jet. We present a MUSE spectro-image and PV plot of the Hα emission line and use flux ratios from the X-Shooter spectrum to estimate the mass accretion rate at log(Ṁacc) = -9.4. Future work will focus on diagnostic analyses on both sets of data, including estimating the mass outflow rate (Ṁout) and the extinction of the jet.