A spectroscopic study of the DR 21 outflow source. II. The vibrational H2 line emission

R. P. Garden, T. R. Geballe, I. Gatley, D. Nadeau

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Large-scale mapping and high-spectral resolution profile measurements of the vibrational H2 υ = 1-0 S(1) line are used to investigate the morphology and kinematic structure of the hot, shocked gas associated with the ultraluminous DR 21 young-stellar outflow. It is found that the H2 line profiles at certain locations within the outflow possess high-velocity wings which extend to beyond 100 km s-1 from the DR 21 rest velocity. We argue that the jets, which shock the surrounding molecular cloud medium and produce the bright H2 line emission, are composed primarily of hot atomic gas which is confined by the thermal pressure of the ambient cloud medium. If this is indeed the case, it is then possible that the periodic clumping of the H2 jets arise from the interaction of oblique shocks that are formed inside the jets as a result of sudden changes in the external pressure. Alternatively, if the magnetic field strength within the DR 21 cloud core is significantly greater than 30 μG, it is more likely that the jets are collimated by the magnetic pressure of the ambient cloud medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-483
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 1991
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Interstellar: molecules
  • Nebulae: individual DR 21
  • Nebulae: internal motions
  • Stars : pre-main-sequence


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