Time variability in the Chamaeleontis II outflows
Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Sternwarte 5, 07778 Tautenburg, Germany e-mail: [caratti;jochen]@tls-tautenburg.de
2 Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 31 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2, Ireland e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NH, UK e-mail: email@example.com
4 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via Frascati 33, 00040 Monte Porzio, Italy e-mail: [nisini;giannini;calzoletti]@oa-roma.inaf.it
Accepted: 27 April 2009
Context. Kinematical and time variability studies of protostellar jets are fundamental for understanding the dynamics and the physics of these objects. Such studies remain very sporadic, since they require long baselines before they can be accomplished.
Aims. We present for the first time a multi-epoch (20 years baseline) kinematical investigation of HH 52, 53, and 54 at optical and near-IR wavelengths, along with medium (optical) and high resolution (NIR) spectroscopic analyses, probing the kinematical and physical time variability conditions of the gas along the flows.
Methods. By means of multi-epoch and multi-wavelength narrow-band images, we derived proper motions (PMs), tangential velocities, velocity and flux variability of the knots. Radial velocities and physical parameters of the gas were derived from spectroscopy. Finally, spatial velocities and inclination of the flows were obtained by combining both imaging and spectroscopy.
Results. The PM analysis reveals three distinct, partially overlapping outflows. Spatial velocities of the knots vary from 50 km s-1 to 120 km s-1. The inclinations of the three flows are 58 ± 3°, 84 ± 2°, and 67 ± 3° (HH 52, HH 53, and HH 54 flows, respectively). In 20 years, about 60% of the observed knots show some degree of flux variability. Our set of observations apparently indicates acceleration and deceleration in a variety of knots along the jets. For about 20% of the knots, mostly coincident with working surfaces or interacting knots along the flows, a relevant variability in both flux and velocity is observed. We argue that both variabilities are related and that all or part of the kinetic energy lost by the interacting knots is successively radiated. The physical parameters derived from the diagnostics are quite homogeneous along and among the three outflows. The analysis indicates the presence of very light (NH ~ 103 cm-3), ionised (Xe ~ 0.2-0.6), and hot (Te ~ 14 000-26 000 K) flows, impacting a denser medium. Several knots are deflected, especially in the HH 52 flow. At least for a couple of them (HH 54 G and G0), the deflection originates from the collision of the two. For the more massive parts of the flow, the deflection is likely the result of the flow collision with a dense cloud or with clumps. Finally, we discuss the possible driving sources of the flows.
Key words: stars: pre-main sequence / ISM: jets and outflows / ISM: Herbig-Haro objects / ISM: kinematics and dynamics
© ESO, 2009