EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 453, Number 3, July III 2006
Page(s) 785 - 796
Section Astrophysical processes
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20054231

A&A 453, 785-796 (2006)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20054231

Which jet launching mechanism(s) in T Tauri stars?

J. Ferreira1, C. Dougados1 and S. Cabrit2

1  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex, France
    e-mail: Jonathan.Ferreira@obs.ujf-grenoble.fr
2  Observatoire de Paris, LERMA, UMR 8112 du CNRS, 61 avenue de l'Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France

(Received 20 September 2005 / Accepted 24 March 2006)

Aims.We examine whether ejection phenomena from accreting T Tauri stars can be described by only one type of self-collimated jet model.
Methods.We present analytical kinematic predictions valid soon after the Alfvén surface for all types of steady magnetically self-confined jets.
Results.We show that extended disc winds, X-winds, and stellar winds occupy distinct regions in the poloidal speed vs. specific angular momentum plane. Comparisons with current observations of T Tauri jets yield quantitative constraints on the range of launching radii, magnetic lever arms, and specific energy input in disc and stellar winds. Implications on the origin of jet asymmetries and disc magnetic fields are outlined.
Conclusions.We argue that ejection phenomena from accreting T Tauri stars most likely include three dynamical components: (1) an outer self-collimated steady disc wind carrying most of the mass-flux in the optical jet (when present); confining (2) a pressure-driven coronal stellar wind; and (3) a hot inner flow made of blobs sporadically ejected from the magnetopause. If the stellar magnetic moment is parallel to the disc magnetic field, then the highly variable inner flow resembles a "Reconnection X-wind", that has been proven to efficiently brake down an accreting and contracting young star. If the magnetic moment is anti-parallel, then larger versions of the solar coronal mass ejections are likely to occur. The relative importance of these three components in the observed outflows and the range of radii involved in the disc wind are expected to vary with time, from the stage of embedded source to the optically revealed T Tauri star phase.

Key words: accretion, accretion disks -- magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -- stars: pre-main sequence -- ISM: jets and outflows

© ESO 2006