A global jet/circulation model for young stars

Thibaut Lery*, R. N. Henriksen, J. D. Fiege, T. P. Ray, A. Frank, F. Bacciotti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Powerful, highly collimated jets, surrounded by bipolar molecular outflows, are commonly observed near Young Stellar Objects (YSOs). In the usual theoretical picture of star formation, a jet is ejected from a magnetized accretion disk, with a molecular outflow being driven either by the jet or by a wider wind coming from the disk. Here, we propose an alternative global model for the flows surrounding YSOs. In addition to a central accretion-ejection engine driving the jet, the molecular outflow is powered by the infalling matter and follows a circulation pattern around the central object without necessarily being entrained by a jet. It is shown that the model produces a heated pressure-driven outflow with magneto-centrifugal acceleration and collimation. We report solutions for the three different parts of this self-similar model, i.e. the jet, the infalling envelope and the circulating matter that eventually forms the molecular outflow. This new picture of the accretion/outflow phase provides a possible explanation for several observed properties of YSO outflows. The most relevant ones are the presence of high mass molecular outflows around massive protostars, and a realistic fraction (typically 0.1) of the accretion flow that goes into the jet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-200
Number of pages14
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • Methods: analytical
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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