Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 446, 2944-2951 (2015/January-3)
Probing X-ray photoevaporative winds through their interaction with ionizing radiation in cluster environments: the case for X-ray proplyds.
CLARKE C.J. and OWEN J.E.
Abstract (from CDS):
We show that if young low-mass stars are subject to vigorous X-ray driven disc winds, then such winds may be rendered detectable in cluster environments through their interaction with ionizing radiation from massive stars. In particular we argue that in the Orion nebula cluster (ONC) one expects to see of order tens of `X-ray proplyds' (i.e. objects with offset ionization fronts detectable through optical imaging) in the range 0.3-0.6 pc from θ1C Ori (the dominant O star in the ONC). Objects at this distance lie outside the central `FUV zone' in the ONC where proplyd structures are instead well explained by neutral winds driven by external far-ultraviolet (FUV) emission from θ1C Ori. We show that the predicted numbers and sizes of X-ray proplyds in this region are compatible with the numbers of proplyds observed and that this may also provide an explanation for at least some of the far flung proplyds observed in the Carina nebula. We compare the sizes of observed proplyds outside the FUV region of the ONC with model predictions based on the current observed X-ray luminosities of these sources (bearing in mind that the current size is actually set by the X-ray luminosity a few hundred years previously, corresponding to the flow time to the ionization front). We discuss whether variability on this time-scale can plausibly explain the proplyd size data on a case-by-case basis. We also calculate the predicted radio free-free emission signature of X-ray proplyds and show that this is readily detectable. Monitoring is, however, required in order to distinguish such emission from non-thermal radio emission from active coronae. We also predict that it is only at distances more than a parsec from θ1C Ori that the free-free emission signature of such offset ionized structures would be clearly distinguishable from an externally driven ionized disc wind. We argue that the fortuitous proximity of massive stars in the ONC can be used as a beacon to light up internally driven X-ray winds and that this represents a promising avenue for observational tests of the X-ray photoevaporation scenario.