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Astron. Astrophys. 357, 951-956 (2000)

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1. Introduction

RW Aur is a classical T Tauri star (CTTS) with [FORMULA] Å (Fernandez et al. 1995). The optical spectrum of the star contains numerous emission and absorption lines with a complex structure. Relative intensities and profiles vary with time (Gahm 1970; Appenzeller & Wolf 1982; Hartmann 1982; Mundt & Giampapa 1982; Grinin et al. 1985). It was recognized that the lines form in regions with different physical conditions and velocity fields: a clear evidence of mass outflow and inflow was found. The physical parameters and geometry of the stellar wind and accretion flow was still unknown.

Ultraviolet (UV) spectra can help to solve the problem. RW Aur was observed with the IUE satellite and it was found that its UV spectrum roughly resembles the solar chromosphere one, with fluxes about 200 times greater (Imhoff & Giampapa 1980). The fluxes of different lines varied in different way and some lines were transformed from emission to absorption with the increasing of RW Aur visual brightness (Imhoff & Giampapa 1983). The aim of our paper is to analyze UV spectra of the star obtained by Hubble Space Telescope (HST). An important fraction of the paper is devoted to line identification.

RW Aur is a triple star system with the brightest component, RW Aur A, separated by [FORMULA] from the close binary, RW Aur B-C, of separation [FORMULA] (Ghez et al. 1993). During HST observations RW Aur A was almost always in the center of the 2" aperture. Bearing in mind that contribution of RW Aur B-C to the flux below 3 000 Å is negligible (Ghez et al. 1997), our analysis of RW Aur UV spectra refers only to the primary.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 5, 2000