Evidence for an MHD Disk Wind via Optical Forbidden Line Spectroastrometry

E. T. Whelan, I. Pascucci, U. Gorti, S. Edwards, R. D. Alexander, M. F. Sterzik, C. Melo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Spectroastrometry is used to investigate the low-velocity component (LVC) of the optical forbidden emission from the T Tauri stars RU Lupi and AS 205 N. Both stars also have high-velocity forbidden emission, which is tracing a jet. For AS 205 N, analysis reveals a complicated outflow system. For RU Lupi, the [O i] λ6300 and [S ii]λλ6716,6731 LV narrow component (NC) is offset along the same position angle (PA) as the high-velocity component but with a different velocity gradient than the jet, in that displacement from the stellar position along the rotation axis is decreasing with increasing velocity. From the LVC, NC, PA, and velocity gradient, it is inferred that the NC is tracing a wide-angled magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) disk wind. A photoevaporative wind is ruled out. This is supported by a comparison with a previous spectroastrometric study of the CO fundamental line. The decrease in offset with increasing velocity is interpreted as tracing an increase in the height of the wind with increasing disk radius. This is one of the first measurements of the spatial extent of the forbidden emission line LVC NC (∼40 au, 8 au for RU Lupi in the [S ii] λ6731 and [O i] λ6300 lines) and the first direct confirmation that the LVC narrow component can trace an MHD disk wind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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