Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013
[Fe II] Emission Tracing Massive, Irradiated Jets from Intermediate-Mass Protostars in the Carina Nebula
Reiter, Megan (University of Arizona)
Smith, Nathan (University of Arizona)
We present new spectroscopy and HST and ground-based AO imaging of five protostellar jets in the Carina nebula. Near-IR [Fe II] emission traces dense gas in the jet that is self-shielded from Lyman continuum photons from nearby O-type stars, but is excited by non-ionizing FUV photons that penetrate the ionization front within the jet. New near-IR [Fe II] images reveal a substantial mass of dense, neutral gas that is not seen in Halpha emission from these jets, leading to densities and mass-loss rate estimates an order of magnitude higher than those derived from the Halpha emission measure. Higher jet mass-loss rates require higher accretion rates, implying that these jets are driven by intermediate-mass (~2-8 Msun) protostars. For two of the sources, mid-IR luminosities of the driving sources are clearly consistent with intermediate-mass protostars, while the other two driving sources are more deeply embedded and require imaging at longer wavelengths with high spatial resolution to confirm their luminosity. Tangential velocities from new proper motion measurements exceed velocities typical for lower-luminosity sources (100-200 km/s). In addition, these outflows are highly collimated, with opening angles of only a few degrees, similar to low-mass protostars. We propose that these jets reflect essentially the same outflow phenomenon seen in low-mass protostars, but that the collimated atomic jet core is irradiated and rendered observable. Thus, the jets in Carina constitute a new view of collimated jets from intermediate-mass protostars that exists in a feedback dominated environment, and offer strong additional evidence that stars up to ~8 Msun form by the same accretion mechanisms as low-mass stars.
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