Context. The role of feedback in the self-regulation of star formation is a fundamental question in astrophysics. The Orion Nebula is the nearest site of ongoing and recent massive star formation. It is a unique laboratory for the study of stellar feedback. Recent SOFIA [C II] 158 μm observations have revealed an expanding bubble, the Veil shell, that is powered by stellar winds and ionization feedback.
Aims: We have identified a protrusion-like substructure in the northwestern portion of the Orion Veil shell that may indicate additional, highly directional feedback mechanisms. Our goal is to investigate the origin of the protrusion by quantifying its possible driving mechanisms.
Methods: We use the [C II] 158 μm map of the Orion Nebula obtained with the upGREAT instrument on board SOFIA. The spectral and spatial resolution of the observations are 0.3 km s−1 and 16", respectively. The velocity-resolved [C II] observations allow us to construct position-velocity (pv) diagrams to measure the morphology and the expansion velocity of the protrusion. For the morphology, we also use new observations of 12CO and 13CO J = 2-1 (to trace molecular gas), Spitzer 8 μm observations (to trace the far-ultraviolet-illuminated surfaces of photodissociation regions), and Hα observations (to trace ionized gas). For the kinematics, we perform a line-profile analysis of [C II], 13CO, and 12CO at 12 positions, covering the entire protrusion. To quantify the stellar feedback, we estimate the mass of the protrusion by fitting the dust thermal emission. We compare the kinetic energy with the stellar wind of θ1 Ori C and the momentum of the outflows of massive protostars to investigate the driving mechanism of the protrusion.
Results: The pv diagrams reveal two half-shells expanding at velocities of +6 km s−1 and +12 km s−1. We find that the protrusion has a diameter of ~1.3 pc with a ~45 M⊙ shell expanding at +12 km s−1 at the northwestern rim of the Veil. The thickness of the expanding shell is ~0.1 pc. Using the mass in the limb-brightened shell and the maximum expansion velocity, we calculate the kinetic energy and the momentum of the protrusion to be ~7 × 1046 erg and 540 M⊙ km s−1, respectively. We consider three possible origins for this protrusion: fossil outflow cavities created by jets and outflows during the protostellar accretion phase, preexisting "clumpiness" in the OMC-1 core, and the stellar wind during the main-sequence phase. Based on the energetics and the morphology, we conclude that the northwestern part of the preexisting cloud was locally perturbed by outflows ejected from massive protostars in the Trapezium cluster. This suggests that the protrusion of the Veil is the result of mechanical rather than radiative feedback. Furthermore, we argue that the location of the protrusion is a suitable place to break Orion's Veil owing to the photo-ablation from the walls of the protrusion.
Conclusions: We conclude that the outflows of massive protostars can influence the morphology of the future H II region and even cause breakages in the ionization front. Specifically, the interaction of stellar winds of main-sequence stars with the molecular core preprocessed by the protostellar jet is important.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- April 2022
- stars: massive;
- ISM: bubbles;
- ISM: kinematics and dynamics;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- Accepted by A&