Context. Carbon monoxide is an excellent tracer of the physical conditions of gas in molecular outflows from young stars.
Aims: To understand the outflow mechanism we need to investigate the origin of the molecular emission and the structure and interaction of the outflowing molecular gas. Deriving the physical parameters of the gas will help us to trace and understand the various gas components in the flow.
Methods: We observed CO (12-11) line emission at various positions along the L1157 bipolar outflow with GREAT aboard SOFIA.
Results: Comparing these new data with CO (2-1), we find basically constant line ratios along the outflow and even at the position of the source. These line ratios lead us to estimates of 105 to 106 cm-3 for the gas density and 60 to 100 K for the gas temperature of the outflowing gas.
Conclusions: The constrained density and temperature values indicate that we are mostly tracing a low-velocity gas component everywhere along the outflow, which is intermediate between the already known cold gas component, which gets entrained into the flow, and the hot gas, which gets shocked in the outflow.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- June 2012
- ISM: jets and outflows;
- stars: formation;
- stars: pre-main sequence;
- stars: low-mass;
- infrared: ISM;
- stars: mass-loss;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics