Volume 542, June 2012
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||18 June 2012|
The evolution of the X-ray emission of HH 2
Investigating heating and cooling processes
1 Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
2 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Received: 7 December 2011
Accepted: 12 May 2012
Young stellar objects often drive powerful bipolar outflows, which evolve on timescales of a few years. An increasing number of these outflows has been detected in X-rays implying the existence of million degree plasma almost co-spatial with the lower temperature gas observed in the optical and near-infrared. The details of the heating and cooling processes of the X-ray emitting part of these so-called Herbig-Haro objects are still ambiguous, e.g., whether the cooling is dominated by expansion, radiation, or thermal conduction. We present a second epoch Chandra observation of the first X-ray detected Herbig-Haro object (HH 2) and derive the proper-motion of the X-ray emitting plasma and its cooling history. We argue that the most likely explanation for the constancy of the X-ray luminosity, the alignment with the optical emission and the proper-motion is that the cooling is dominated by radiative losses leading to cooling times exceeding a decade. We explain that a strong shock caused by fast material ramming into slower gas in front of it about ten years ago can explain the X-ray emission while being compatible with the available multi-wavelength data of HH 2.
Key words: Herbig-Haro objects / ISM: jets and outflows / ISM: individual objects: HH 2 / X-rays: ISM / stars: winds, outflows
© ESO, 2012
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