EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 371, Number 3, June I 2001
Page(s) 1118 - 1122
Section Diffuse matter in space
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010373

A&A 371, 1118-1122 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010373

The structure and kinematics of the HH 444 photoionized jet in the $\sigma$ Orionis region

L. López-Martín1, A. C. Raga1, J. A. López2 and J. Meaburn3

1  Instituto de Astronomía, UNAM, Circuito de la Investigación Científica, 04510 Cd. Universitaria, D. F., Mexico
    e-mail: luislm,raga@astroscu.unam.mx
2  Instituto de Astronomía, UNAM, Km 103 Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada, 22860 Ensenada, B. C., Mexico
    e-mail: jal@astrosen.unam.mx
3  Astronomy Department, University of Manchester, Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9DL, UK

(Received 29 November 2000 / Accepted 2 March 2001 )

HH 444 is a stellar jet which is immersed in the H II region photoionized by $\sigma$ Orionis. Spatially resolved, high spectral resolution observations of the H$\alpha$ and [N II] $\lambda$ $\lambda$6548, 6584 lines have been obtained for this object. These observations reveal for the first time the detailed velocity structure of the stellar jet and its associated bow-shock. The line profiles are modeled with gasdynamic numerical simulations, using a 3D code that also includes the transfer of the ionizing radiation from an external source (i.e., $\sigma$ Orionis for the case of HH 444). In order to reproduce the observed characteristics of the line profiles, we find that an axially peaked initial velocity profile for the jet and a non-zero initial opening angle for the flow with a time-variable ejection velocity is required. With these three ingredients we can reproduce the observed "acceleration" of the material along the jet beam, the rapid H$\alpha$ intensity drop for increasing distances from the source, and the knotty structure of the jet, respectively.

Key words: ISM: jets and outflows -- hydrodynamics -- shock waves -- ISM: individual: HH 444

Offprint request: L. López-Martín, luislm@astroscu.unam.mx

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