Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 579A, 130-130 (2015/7-1)
The Orion fingers: Near-IR adaptive optics imaging of an explosive protostellar outflow.
BALLY J., GINSBURG A., SILVIA D. and YOUNGBLOOD A.
Abstract (from CDS):
Adaptive optics (AO) images are used to test the hypothesis that the explosive BN/KL outflow from the Orion OMC1 cloud core was powered by the dynamical decay of a non-hierarchical system of massive stars. Narrow-band H2, [FeII], and broad-band Ks obtained with the Gemini South multi-conjugate AO system GeMS and near-IR imager GSAOI are presented. The images reach resolutions of 0.08 to 0.10", close to the 0.07" diffraction limit of the 8-m telescope at 2.12µm. Comparison with previous AO-assisted observations of sub-fields and other ground-based observations enable measurements of proper motions and the investigation of morphological changes in H2 and [FeII] features with unprecedented precision. The images are compared with numerical simulations of compact, high-density clumps moving ∼103 times their own diameter through a lower density medium at Mach 103. Several sub-arcsecond H2 features and many [FeII] ``fingertips'' on the projected outskirts of the flow show proper motions of ∼300km/s. High-velocity, sub-arcsecond H2 knots (``bullets'') are seen as far as 140" from their suspected ejection site. If these knots propagated through the dense Orion A cloud, their survival sets a lower bound on their densities of order 107cm–3, consistent with an origin within a few au of a massive star and accelerated by a final multi-body dynamic encounter that ejected the BN object and radio source I from OMC1 about 500yr ago. Over 120 high-velocity bow-shocks propagating in nearly all directions from the OMC1 cloud core provide evidence for an explosive origin for the BN/KL outflow triggered by the dynamic decay of a non-hierarchical system of massive stars. Such events may be linked to the origin of runaway, massive stars.