Volume 530, June 2011
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||24 May 2011|
The X-ray puzzle of the L1551 IRS 5 jet
Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
e-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA, USA
Received: 13 December 2010
Accepted: 18 April 2011
Protostars are actively accreting matter and they drive spectacular, dynamic outflows, which evolve on timescales of years. X-ray emission from these jets has been detected only in a few cases and little is known about its time evolution. We present a new Chandra observation of L1551 IRS 5’s jet in the context of all available X-ray data of this object. Specifically, we perform a spatially resolved spectral analysis of the X-ray emission and find that (a) the total X-ray luminosity is constant over almost one decade, (b) the majority of the X-rays appear to be always located close to the driving source, (c) there is a clear trend in the photon energy as a function of the distance to the driving source indicating that the plasma is cooler at larger distances and (d) the X-ray emission is located in a small volume which is unresolved perpendicular to the jet axis by Chandra.
A comparison of our X-ray data of the L1551 IRS 5 jet both with models as well as X-ray observations of other protostellar jets shows that a base/standing shock is a likely and plausible explanation for the apparent constancy of the observed X-ray emission. Internal shocks are also consistent with the observed morphology if the supply of jet material by the ejection of new blobs is sufficiently constant. We conclude that the study of the X-ray emission of protostellar jet sources allows us to diagnose the innermost regions close to the acceleration region of the outflows.
Key words: stars: winds, outflows / X-rays: ISM / Herbig-Haro objects / ISM: jets and outflows / ISM: individual objects: HH 154 / ISM: individual objects: L1551 IRS 5
© ESO, 2011
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