Disentangling the outflow and protostars in HH 900 in the carina nebula

Megan Reiter, Nathan Smith, Megan M. Kiminki, John Bally, Jay Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


HH 900 is a peculiar protostellar outflow emerging from a small, tadpole-shaped globule in the Carina Nebula. Previous HΑ imaging with Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/Advanced Camera for Surveys showed an ionized outflowwith a wide opening angle that is distinct from the highly collimated structures typically seen in protostellar jets. We present new narrowband near-IR [Fe II] images takenwith theWide Field Camera 3 on the HST that reveal a remarkably different structure than HΑ. In contrast to the unusual broad HΑ outflow, the [Fe II] emission traces a symmetric, collimated bipolar jet with the morphology and kinematics that are more typical of protostellar jets. In addition, new Gemini adaptive optics images reveal near-IR H2 emission coincident with the HΑ emission, but not the [Fe II]. Spectra of these three components trace three separate and distinct velocity components: (1) H2 from the slow, entrained molecular gas, (2) HΑ from the ionized skin of the accelerating outflow sheath, and (3) [Fe II] from the fast, dense, and collimated protostellar jet itself. Together, these data require a driving source inside the dark globule that remains undetected behind a large column density of material. In contrast, HΑ and H2 emission trace the broad outflow of material entrained by the jet, which is irradiated outside the globule. As it get dissociated and ionized, it remains visible for only a short time after it is dragged into the HII region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3429-3441
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 21 2015


  • Haro objects
  • Herbig
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: jets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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