Measuring the ionisation fraction in a jet from a massive protostar
Journal article, 2019

It is important to determine if massive stars form via disc accretion, like their low-mass counterparts. Theory and observation indicate that protostellar jets are a natural consequence of accretion discs and are likely to be crucial for removing angular momentum during the collapse. However, massive protostars are typically rarer, more distant and more dust enshrouded, making observational studies of their jets more challenging. A fundamental question is whether the degree of ionisation in jets is similar across the mass spectrum. Here we determine an ionisation fraction of ~5–12% in the jet from the massive protostar G35.20-0.74N, based on spatially coincident infrared and radio emission. This is similar to the values found in jets from lower-mass young stars, implying a unified mechanism of shock ionisation applies in jets across most of the protostellar mass spectrum, up to at least ~10 solar masses.

Author

R. Fedriani

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

University College Dublin

A. Caratti o. Garatti

University College Dublin

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

S. J.D. Purser

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

A. Sanna

Max Planck Society

Jonathan Tan

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Astronomy and Plasmaphysics, Galactic Astrophysics

University of Virginia

R. Garcia-Lopez

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

T. P. Ray

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Deirdre Coffey

University College Dublin

Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

B. Stecklum

Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg

M. G. Hoare

University of Leeds

Nature Communications

2041-1723 (ISSN)

Vol. 10 1 3630

Subject Categories

Subatomic Physics

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics

DOI

10.1038/s41467-019-11595-x

More information

Latest update

11/7/2019