Nonradial and nonpolytropic astrophysical outflows
IX. Modeling T Tauri jets with a low mass-accretion rate
Laboratoire Univers et Théories, Observatoire de Paris, UMR 8102 du CNRS,
Université Paris Diderot,
2 Centrum voor Plasma Astrofysica, Celestijnenlaan 200B bus 2400, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
3 Centro de Astrofísica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal
4 Departamento de Física e Astronomia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, 687, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
5 IASA and Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy & Mechanics, Department of Physics, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis 157 84, Zografos, Greece
Accepted: 3 May 2011
Context. A large sample of T Tauri stars exhibits optical jets, approximately half of which rotate slowly, only at ten per cent of their breakup velocity. The disk-locking mechanism has been shown to be inefficient to explain this observational fact.
Aims. We show that low mass accreting T Tauri stars may have a strong stellar jet component that can effectively brake the star to the observed rotation speed.
Methods. By means of a nonlinear separation of the variables in the full set of the MHD equations we construct semi-analytical solutions describing the dynamics and topology of the stellar component of the jet that emerges from the corona of the star.
Results. We analyze two typical solutions with the same mass loss rate but different magnetic lever arms and jet radii. The first solution with a long lever arm and a wide jet radius effectively brakes the star and can be applied to the visible jets of T Tauri stars such as RY Tau. The second solution with a shorter lever arm and a very narrow jet radius may explain why similar stars, either weak line T Tauri stars (WTTS) or classical T Tauri stars (CTTS) do not all have visible jets. For instance, RY Tau itself seems to have different phases that probably depend on the activity of the star.
Conclusions. First, stellar jets seem to be able to brake pre-main sequence stars with a low mass accreting rate. Second, jets may be visible only part time owing to changes in their boundary conditions. We also suggest a possible scenario for explaining the dichotomy between CTTS and WTTS, which rotate faster and do not have visible jets.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / stars: pre-main sequence / stars: winds, outflows / ISM: jets and outflows / stars: mass-loss / stars: rotation
© ESO, 2011