INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via Frascati 33, 00040 Monteporzio Catone, Italy
2 Physics Department, The University, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
3 Università degli Studi “Tor Vergata”, via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Roma, Italy
Corresponding author: T. Giannini, email@example.com
Accepted: 27 February 2004
The complete near infrared (0.9–2.5 μm) spectra in three different star forming regions (HH24-26, HH72 and BHR71) are presented and analyzed in the framework of shock excitation models. The spectra are dominated by H2 rovibrational emission (vibrational state , excitation energy K), while emission from ionized material, recognizable from [Fe II] and [S II] lines, is significantly fainter. The analysis of the H2 excitation diagrams points to the existence of two different excitation regimes: whilst condensations observed only in the infrared appear to have temperatures rarely exceeding 3000 K and can be modelled in the framework of steady-state C-shock models, the infrared counterparts of Herbig Haro (HH) objects exhibit a temperature stratification with components up to more than 5000 K. The H2 emission from representative HH objects (HH26A, HH72A and HH320A) has been successfully modelled by planar J-shocks with magnetic precursors, for which the main parameters (pre-shock density, speed) are derived. However, these same models are unable to reproduce the observed atomic and ionic emission, which probably arises from a distinct and perhaps more embedded region with respect to that traced by the H2. Some of the physical parameters of such regions (fractional ionization, density) have been estimated in HH72, on the basis of the observed ionic lines.
Key words: stars: circumstellar matter / infrared: ISM / ISM: Herbig-Haro objects / ISM: jets and outflows / shock waves
© ESO, 2004