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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Probing the close environment of massive young stars with spectro-astrometry

J. M. C. Grave, M. S. N. Kumar


Aims. We test the technique of spectro-astrometry to investigate the close environment of massive young stellar objects (MYSOs).
Methods. Archival VLT near infrared K band spectra (R = 8900) of three massive young stellar objects and one Wolf-Rayet star are examined for spectro-astrometric signatures. The young stellar objects display emission lines such as Brγ, CO 2–0 and CO 3–1 that are characteristic of ionised regions and molecular disks respectively. Two of the sample sources also display emission lines such as NIII and MgII that are characteristic of high temperatures.
Results. Most of the emission lines show spectro-astrometric signal at various levels resulting in different positional displacements. The shapes and magnitudes of the positional displacements imply the presence of large disks/envelopes in emission and expanding shells of ionised gas. The results obtained for the source 18006-2422nr766 in particular provide larger estimates (>300 AU) for CO emitting regions, indicating that in MYSOs, CO may also arise from inner regions of extended dense envelopes.
Conclusions. The overall results from this study demonstrate the utility of spectro-astrometry to constrain the sizes of physical entities such as disks/envelopes, UCHII regions and/or ionised shells in the close environment of a massive young star.

techniques: spectroscopic – stars: formation – ISM: HII regions – line: profiles – methods: observational

Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 462, Page L37
February 2007

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