Volume 579, July 2015
|Number of page(s)||17|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||17 July 2015|
The Orion fingers: Near-IR adaptive optics imaging of an explosive protostellar outflow⋆
Department of Astrophysical and Planetary SciencesUniversity of
2 ESO Headquarters, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
3 NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Received: 28 September 2014
Accepted: 5 February 2015
Aims. Adaptive optics (AO) images are used to test the hypothesis that the explosive BN/KL outflow from the Orion OMC1 cloud core was powered by the dynamical decay of a non-hierarchical system of massive stars.
Methods. Narrow-band H2, [Fe ii], and broad-band Ks obtained with the Gemini South multi-conjugate AO system GeMS and near-IR imager GSAOI are presented. The images reach resolutions of 0.08 to 0.10′′, close to the 0.07′′ diffraction limit of the 8-m telescope at 2.12 μm. Comparison with previous AO-assisted observations of sub-fields and other ground-based observations enable measurements of proper motions and the investigation of morphological changes in H2 and [Fe ii] features with unprecedented precision. The images are compared with numerical simulations of compact, high-density clumps moving ~103 times their own diameter through a lower density medium at Mach 103.
Results. Several sub-arcsecond H2 features and many [Fe ii] “fingertips” on the projected outskirts of the flow show proper motions of ~300 km s-1. High-velocity, sub-arcsecond H2 knots (“bullets”) are seen as far as 140′′ from their suspected ejection site. If these knots propagated through the dense Orion A cloud, their survival sets a lower bound on their densities of order 107 cm-3, consistent with an origin within a few au of a massive star and accelerated by a final multi-body dynamic encounter that ejected the BN object and radio source I from OMC1 about 500 yr ago.
Conclusions. Over 120 high-velocity bow-shocks propagating in nearly all directions from the OMC1 cloud core provide evidence for an explosive origin for the BN/KL outflow triggered by the dynamic decay of a non-hierarchical system of massive stars. Such events may be linked to the origin of runaway, massive stars.
Key words: ISM: jets and outflows / ISM: clouds / stars: formation
The final set of FITS files is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/579/A130
© ESO, 2015
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