Volume 649, May 2021
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||01 June 2021|
The double signature of local cosmic-ray acceleration in star-forming regions
INAF–Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
2 Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier, UMR 5299 du CNRS, Université de Montpellier, Place E. Bataillon, cc072, 34095 Montpellier, France
Accepted: 13 March 2021
Context. Recently, there has been an increased interest in the study of the generation of low-energy cosmic rays (< 1 TeV) in shocks situated on the surface of a protostar or along protostellar jets. These locally accelerated cosmic rays offer an attractive explanation for the high levels of non-thermal emission and ionisation rates observed close to these sources.
Aims. The high ionisation rate observed in some protostellar sources is generally attributed to shock-generated UV photons. The aim of this article is to show that when synchrotron emission and a high ionisation rate are measured in the same spatial region, a locally shock-accelerated cosmic-ray flux is sufficient to explain both phenomena.
Methods. We assume that relativistic protons and electrons are accelerated according to the first-order Fermi acceleration mechanism, and we calculate their emerging fluxes at the shock surface. These fluxes are used to compute the ionisation rate and the non-thermal emission at centimetre wavelengths. We then apply our model to the star-forming region OMC-2 FIR 3/FIR 4. Using a Bayesian analysis, we constrain the parameters of the model and estimate the spectral indices of the non-thermal radio emission, the intensity of the magnetic field, and its degree of turbulence.
Results. We demonstrate that the local cosmic-ray acceleration model makes it possible to simultaneously explain the synchrotron emission along the HOPS 370 jet within the FIR 3 region and the ionisation rate observed near the FIR 4 protocluster. In particular, our model constrains the magnetic field strength (∼250−450 μG), its turbulent component (∼20−40 μG), and the jet velocity in the shock reference frame for the three non-thermal sources of the HOPS 370 jet (between 350 km s−1 and 1000 km s−1).
Conclusions. Beyond the modelling of the OMC-2 FIR 3/FIR 4 system, we show how the combination of continuum observations at centimetre wavelengths and molecular transitions is a powerful new tool for the analysis of star-forming regions: These two types of observations can be simultaneously interpreted by invoking only the presence of locally accelerated cosmic rays, without having to resort to shock-generated UV photons.
Key words: stars: formation / cosmic rays / ISM: jets and outflows / radio continuum: ISM / acceleration of particles
© ESO 2021
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.