A Keck high-resolution spectroscopic study of the Orion nebula proplyds.
HENNEY W.J. and O'DELL C.R.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the results of spectroscopy of four bright proplyds in the Orion Nebula obtained at a velocity resolution of 6 km.s–1. After careful isolation of the proplyd spectra from the confusing nebular radiation, the emission-line profiles are compared with those predicted by realistic dynamic/photoionization models of the objects. The spectral line widths show a clear correlation with ionization potential, which is consistent with the free expansion of a transonic, ionization-stratified, photoevaporating flow. Fitting models of such a flow simultaneously to our spectra and HST emission-line imaging provides direct measurements of the proplyd size, ionized density, and outflow velocity. These measurements confirm that the ionization front in the proplyds is approximately D-critical and provide the most accurate and robust estimate to date of the proplyd mass-loss rate. Values of (0.7-1.5)x10–6M☉.yr–1 are found for our spectroscopic sample, although extrapolating our results to a larger sample of proplyds implies that 0.4x10–6M☉.yr–1 is more typical of the proplyds as a whole. In view of the reported limits on the masses of the circumstellar disks within the proplyds, the length of time that they can have been exposed to ionizing radiation should not greatly exceed 104 yr – a factor of 30 less than the mean age of the proplyd stars. We review the various mechanisms that have been proposed to explain this situation, and conclude that none can plausibly work unless the disk masses are revised upward by a substantial amount.
ISM: H II Regions - ISM: Individual: Name: Orion Nebula - Stars: Formation