Time-dependent MHD shocks and line emission: the case of the DG Tau jet
Dipartimento di Fisica Generale dell'Università, via Pietro Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, Viale Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese, Italy e-mail: [mignone;bodo]@to.astro.it
Accepted: 21 July 2005
The line emission from a growing number of Herbig-Haro jets can be observed and resolved at angular distances smaller than a few arcseconds from the central source. The interpretation of this emission is problematic, since the simplest model of a cooling jet cannot sustain it. It has been suggested that what one actually observes are shocked regions with a filling factor of ~ . In this framework, up to now, comparisons with observations have been based on stationary shock models. Here we introduce for the first time the self-consistent dynamics of such shocks and we show that considering their properties at different times, i.e. locations, we can reproduce observational data of the DG Tau microjet. In particular, we can interpret the spatial behavior of the [SII]6716/6731 and [NII]/[OI]6583/6300 line intensity ratios adopting a set of physical parameters that yield values of mass loss rates and magnetic fields consistent with previous estimates. We also obtain the values of the mean ionization fraction and electron density along the jet and compare these values with those derived from observations using the sulfur doublet to constrain the electron density.
Key words: ISM: jets and outflows / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / hydrodynamics / stars: early-type
© ESO, 2005