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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Atomic T Tauri disk winds heated by ambipolar diffusion. I. Thermal structure

P. J. V. Garcia, J. Ferreira, S. Cabrit, L. Binette

Motivated by recent subarcsecond resolution observations of jets from T Tauri stars, we extend the work of citet{Safier93a, Safier93b} by computing the thermal and ionization structure of self-similar, magnetically-driven, atomic disk winds heated by ambipolar diffusion. Improvements over his work include: (1) new magnetized cold jet solutions consistent with the underlying accretion disk citep{Ferreira97}; (2) a more accurate treatment of ionization and ion-neutral momentum exchange rates; and (3) predictions for spatially resolved forbidden line emission (maps, long-slit spectra, and line ratios), presented in a companion paper, cite{Garcia2001b}. As in Safier (1993a), we obtain jets with a temperature plateau around 104 K, but ionization fractions are revised downward by a factor of 10-100. This is due to previous omission of thermal speeds in ion-neutral momentum-exchange rates and to different jet solutions. The physical origin of the hot temperature plateau is outlined. In particular we present three analytical criteria for the presence of a hot plateau, applicable to any given MHD wind solution where ambipolar diffusion and adiabatic expansion are the dominant heating and cooling terms. We finally show that, for solutions favored by observations, the jet thermal structure remains consistent with the usual approximations used for MHD jet calculations (thermalized, perfectly conducting, single hydromagnetic cold fluid calculations).

Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 377, Page 589
October 2001

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