What Drives Molecular Outflows from Young Stars?
Author: Ray, T.P.
Source: Astrophysics and Space Science, Volume 272, Numbers 1-3, 2000 , pp. 115-125(11)
Abstract:After briefly reviewing observations of molecular outflows from young stars, we discuss current ideas as to how they might be accelerated. Broadly speaking it is thought that such outflows represented either deflected accreted gas, or ambient material that has been pushed by a poorly collimated wind or accelerated by a highly collimated jet. Observations tend to favour the latter model, with jets being the clear favourite at least for the youngest flows. Jets from young stars may accelerate ambient gas either through the development of a boundary layer, where ambient and jet material are turbulently mixed, or at the working surface of the jet, i.e. the bow shock, via the prompt entrainment mechanism. Recently, we (Downes and Ray, 1999) have investigated, through simulations, the efficiency of prompt entrainment in jets from young stars as a means of accelerating ambient molecular gas without causing dissociation. Prompt entrainment was found to be very poor at transferring momentum from the jet to its surroundings in both the case of ``heavy'' (not surprizingly) but also ``equi-density'' (with respect to the ambient environment) jets. Moreover the transfer efficiency decreases with increasing density as the bow shock takes on a more aerodynamic shape. Models, however, in which jets are the ultimate prime movers, do have the advantage that they can reproduce several observational features of molecular outflows. In particular a power law relationship for mass versus velocity, similar to what is observed, is predicted by the simulations and the so-called ``Hubble Law'' for molecular outflows is naturally explained. Pulsing of the jet, i.e. varying its velocity, is found to have little effect on the momentum transfer efficiency at least for the dynamically young jets we have studied.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland
Publication date: 2000