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Astron. Astrophys. 357, L61-L64 (2000)

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1. Introduction

Identifying the ejection and collimation mechanisms in jets from young stars remains a major challenge of star formation studies. While their accretion and ejection activity is 10-100 times less intense than in deeply embedded protostars (Hartigan et al.   1995, hereafter HEG95), Classical T Tauri stars (CTTs) are unique in that they have evacuated most of their remnant infalling enveloppe, thereby offering an unobscured line of sight to the central 100 AUs of the jet. Probing the inner wind structure in CTTs, and in particular the degree of jet collimation, is therefore crucial to identify the ejection mechanism in young stars. Long-slit spectroscopic techniques were the first to reveal bipolar forbidden line emission with spatial extents 1-5"  around a dozen CTTs (Hirth et al.   1997, hereafter H97; and references therein). So far, the jets from 2 active TTs only, HH 30 and HL Tau, have been imaged at high spatial resolution in forbidden emission lines (Ray et al.   1996).

In this Letter, we present the first [O I ] and [S II ] images at 0.1" ([FORMULA] 15 AU at d=140 pc) resolution of the jets from CW Tau, DG Tau and RW Aur, obtained using adaptive optics in the visible at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). We briefly discuss the implications brought by these data on jet collimation and time variability models.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 5, 2000