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Investigating protostellar accretion and outflow with JWST.

Presentation #207.02 in the session Star Formation Near and Far.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Investigating protostellar accretion and outflow with JWST.

The assembly of stellar masses via accretion primarily occurs in the early, deeply embedded phase of protostellar evolution, and is shaped by powerful accretion-driven outflows. Infrared studies of this early phase requires sensitive observations at wavelengths > 3 microns from space-based platforms. We overview a Cycle I JWST medium sized program, Investigating Protostellar Accretion or IPA (ID1802), to map accretion driven outflows from deeply embedded protostars. This program targets five protostars with luminosities of 0.2 to 10,000 solar luminosities and central, Keplerian derived protostellar masses of 0.12 to 12 solar masses. We present NIRSpec 2.9-5 micron data on the B335 and IRAS 20126 protostars and 2.9-28 micron data on the protostars IRAS 16253-2429, HOPS 153 and HOPS 370. The IFU data cubes map the accretion driven outflows and their interaction with the inner envelopes with spatial resolutions down to 30 au. While the shapes of the outflow cavities are traced in scattered light, the interiors of the cavities show structures in molecular hydrogen. Collimated jets are primarily visible in ionic, atomic and occasionally molecular lines. Yet even in predominately ionic jets, we find knots of molecular emission. We discuss our ongoing efforts to measure the properties of the outflows and their dependence on the masses and accretion luminosities of the protostars.

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