It has been recently discovered that spatially separated Herbig-Haro objects, once considered unrelated, are linked within a chain that may extend for parsecs in either direction of the embedded protostar, forming a giant Herbig-Haro jet. Presently, several dozen of these giant flows have been detected, and the best documented example, the HH 34 system, shows a systematic velocity decrease with distance on either side of the source. In this paper, we have modeled giant jets by performing fully three-dimensional simulations of overdense, radiatively cooling jets modulated with long-period (P∼several hundred years) and large-amplitude sinusoidal velocity variability at injection (Δv∼mean jet flow velocity). Allowing them to travel over a distance well beyond the source, we have found that multiple traveling pulses develop, and their velocity indeed falls off smoothly and systematically with distance. This deceleration is fastest if the jet is pressure-confined, in which case the falloff in velocity is roughly consistent with the observations. The deceleration occurs as momentum is transferred by gas expelled sideways from the traveling pulses. The simulation of a pressure-confined, steady state jet with similar initial conditions to those of the pulsed jet shows that the flow in this case experiences acceleration. This result is thus an additional indication that the primary source of deceleration in the giant flows cannot be attributed to braking of the jet head against the external medium.
Hydrodynamics - ISM: Jets and Outflows - Stars: Mass Loss - Stars: Pre-Main-Sequence