Confronting three-dimensional time-dependent jet simulations with Hubble Space Telescope observations

Jan E. Staff, Brian P. Niebergal, Rachid Ouyed, Ralph E. Pudritz, Kai Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


We perform state-of-the-art, three-dimensional, time-dependent simulations of magnetized disk winds, carried out to simulation scales of 60 AU, in order to confront optical Hubble Space Telescope observations of protostellar jets. We "observe" the optical forbidden line emission produced by shocks within our simulated jets and compare these with actual observations. Our simulations reproduce the rich structure of time-varying jets, including jet rotation far from the source, an inner (up to 400 km s⁻¹) and outer (less than 100 km s⁻¹) component of the jet, and jet widths of up to 20 AU in agreement with observed jets. These simulations when compared with the data are able to constrain disk wind models. In particular, models featuring a disk magnetic field with a modest radial spatial variation across the disk are favored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1332
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • Methods: numerical
  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: pre-main sequence


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