PROJECT-J: PROtostellar JEt's Cradle Tested with JWST
Jets are intimately related to the process of star formation, representing the most prominent observational phenomenon during the early protostellar stage. However, little is known about their powering mechanism at the time of their formation, i.e. in embedded (Class0/I) sources, mostly due to the lack of sensitivity and angular resolution at IR wavelengths. We propose here to obtain spectral maps with MIRI and NIRSpec of the inner region of the HH46 IRS protostellar system, a well-studied, prototypical example of a jet surrounded by a cavity excavated by a wide-angle flow. With these observations, we will probe the deeply embedded HH46 outflow engine with the same accuracy as has been achieved with HST in evolved T Tauri jets. A variety of atomic and molecular lines will be detected in the covered spectral range. They will be used to provide a full characterisation of the innermost jet structure and connect it to the wide angle flow impinging on the cavity walls. These observations will also yield insight into the other components of the system, i.e. the proto-star itself and its accretion disk, providing, for the first time, a full picture of the star-disk interaction region well before planetary systems are formed.
JWST Proposal. Cycle 1
- Pub Date:
- March 2021