Near-IR H2 emission of protostars: probing circumstellar environments.
GREENE T.P., BARSONY M. and WEINTRAUB D.A.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present new observations of near-infrared molecular hydrogen (H2) line emission in a sample of 18 Class I and flat-spectrum low-mass protostars, primarily in the Tau-Aur and ρ Oph dark clouds. The line emission is extended by up to several arcseconds (several hundred AU) for most objects, and there is little night-to-night variation in line strength coincident with the continuum point source. Flux ratios of H2 v = 2-1 S(1) and v = 1-0 S(1) lines are consistent with this emission arising in jets or winds in many objects. However, most objects have only small offsets (under 10 km/s) between their H2 and photospheric radial velocities. No objects have line ratios which are clearly caused solely by UV excitation, but the H2emission of several objects may be caused by UV or X-ray excitation in the presence of circumstellar dust. There are several objects in the sample whose observed velocities and line fluxes suggest quiescent, non-mechanical origins for their molecular hydrogen emissions. Overall, we find the H2 emission properties of these protostars to be similar to the T Tauri stars studied in previous surveys.