We present new images of the OMC-1 molecular hydrogen outflow, made using long-slit spectroscopy in order to accurately subtract the underlying continuum emission. These images reveal an extremely clumpy, quasi-spherical inner shell that breaks up at larger radii into bow-shocks and trailing wakes in the north-west, as originally described by Allen & Burton (1993); a fainter counter-finger to the south-east is newly discovered in the present data. While the outflow appears to be broadly bipolar, this is probably due to an interaction between an initially spherical wind from the source and a large-scale density enhancement surrounding it, rather than direct collimation imposed close to the source. The clumpy appearance of the inner shell confirms the prediction of the recent model of Stone, Xu, & Mundy (1995), in which a spherical and time-varying wind fragments a swept-up shell, producing high-velocity shrapnel, which in turn drives bow-shocks into the surrounding gas, resulting in the observed ``fingers''. As an alternative to the single varying source proposed by Stone \etal, we speculate that several young sources in the BN-KL cluster may have been responsible for first sweeping up the shell and then fragmenting it.
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- January 1997
- 21 pages, 5 figures, in press (Astron. J., 1997 January), uses aasms4.sty, also available at http://www.mpia-hd.mpg.de/MPIA/Projects/THEORY/preprints.html#maclow