EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 405, Number 1, July I 2003
Page(s) L1 - L4
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20030758

A&A 405, L1-L4 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030758


Proper motions and velocity asymmetries in the RW Aur jet

L. López-Martín1, 2, S. Cabrit2 and C. Dougados3

1  Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, c/ Vía Láctea s/n 38200, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
2  LERMA, Observatoire de Paris, UMR 8112 du CNRS, 61 Av. de l'Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
3  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire de Grenoble, UMR 5571, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

(Received 4 April 2003 / Accepted 7 May 2003)

We present adaptive optics spectro-imaging observations of the RW Aur jet in optical forbidden lines, at an angular resolution of 0.4 ''. Comparison with HST data taken 2 years later shows that proper motions in the blueshifted and redshifted lobes are in the same ratio as their radial velocities, a direct proof that the velocity asymmetry in this jet is real and not an emissivity effect. The inferred jet inclination to the line of sight is $i = 46\pm 3$°. The inner knot spacing appears best explained by time variability with at least two modes: one irregular and asymmetric (possibly random) on timescales of  $\le$3-10 yr, and another more regular with $\simeq$20 yr period. We also report indirect evidence for correlated velocity and excitation gradients in the redshifted lobe, possibly related to the blue/red velocity and brightness asymmetry in this system.

Key words: techniques: high angular resolution -- stars: pre-main sequence -- stars: individual: RW Aur -- ISM: jets and outflows -- ISM: individual objects: HH229

Offprint request: L. López-Martín, luislm@ll.iac.es

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