Mapping water in protostellar outflows with Herschel⋆
PACS and HIFI observations of L1448-C⋆⋆
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via di Frascati 33, 00040
Monte Porzio Catone,
2 INAF – Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Roma, Italy
3 INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
4 Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory, 439 92 Onsala, Sweden
5 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional (IGN), Alfonso XII 3, 28014 Madrid, Spain
6 LERMA, Observatoire de Paris, UMR 8112 CNRS, 61 Av. de l’Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
7 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
8 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
9 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
10 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS 42, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
11 Max Planck Institut fur Extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
Accepted: 26 October 2012
Context. Water is a key probe of shocks and outflows from young stars because it is extremely sensitive to both the physical conditions associated with the interaction of supersonic outflows with the ambient medium and the chemical processes at play.
Aims. Our goal is to investigate the spatial and velocity distribution of H2O along outflows, its relationship with other tracers, and its abundance variations. In particular, this study focuses on the outflow driven by the low-mass protostar L1448-C, which previous observations have shown to be one of the brightest H2O emitters among the class 0 outflows.
Methods. To this end, maps of the o-H2O 110–101 and 212–101 transitions taken with the Herschel-HIFI and PACS instruments, respectively, are presented. For comparison, complementary maps of the CO(3–2) and SiO(8–7) transitions, obtained at the JCMT, and the H2 S(0) and S(1) transitions, taken from the literature, were used as well. Physical conditions and H2O column densities were inferred using large velocity gradient radiative transfer calculations.
Results. The water distribution appears to be clumpy, with individual peaks corresponding to shock spots along the outflow. The bulk of the 557 GHz line is confined to radial velocities in the range ±10–50 km s-1, but extended emission at extreme velocities (up to vr ~ 80 km s-1) is detected and is associated with the L1448-C extreme high-velocity (EHV) jet. The H2O 110–101/CO(3–2) ratio shows strong variations as a function of velocity that likely reflect different and changing physical conditions in the gas that is responsible for the emissions from the two species. In the EHV jet, a low H2O/SiO abundance ratio is inferred, which could indicate molecular formation from dust-free gas directly ejected from the proto-stellar wind. The ratio between the two observed H2O lines and the comparison with H2 indicate averaged Tkin and n(H2) values of ~300–500 K and 5 × 106 cm-3, respectively, while a water abundance with respect to H2 of about 0.5–1 × 10-6 along the outflow is estimated, in agreement with results found by previous studies. The fairly constant conditions found all along the outflow imply that evolutionary effects on the timescales of outflow propagation do not play a major role in the H2O chemistry.
Conclusions. The results of our analysis show that the bulk of the observed H2O lines comes from post-shocked regions where the gas, after being heated to high temperatures, has already been cooled down to a few hundred K. The relatively low derived abundances, however, call for some mechanism that diminishes the H2O gas in the post-shock region. Among the possible scenarios, we favor H2O photodissociation, which requires the superposition of a low-velocity nondissociative shock with a fast dissociative shock able to produce a far-ultraviolet field of sufficient strength.
Key words: stars: formation / stars: winds, outflows / ISM: abundances / ISM: molecules / ISM: jets and outflows / ISM: individual objects: L1448
Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2012