H2 Diagnostics of Magnetic Molecular Shocks in Bipolar Outflows
The shock waves associated with molecular outflows may be of continuous (C) type or jump (J) type, depending on conditions in the preshock gas, notably the magnetic field strength and the degree of ionisation. Intermediate situations also exist, in which a J-discontinuity terminates or is embedded in a C-type flow. We show that proper allowance for the departure of the chemistry from equilibrium (particularly the dissociation/reformation of H2) and for the inertia of charged dust grains, is crucial for an accurate treatment of the C to J transition. We illustrate the use of H2 population diagrams and H2 line profiles, in conjunction with our detailed shock model, to constrain conditions in shocks propagating in molecular outflows. We show that H2 pure rotational lines yield evidence for C-type precursors in bipolar outflows from young stars, with transverse magnetic field strengths B similar to those inferred from Zeeman splitting and from the dispersion of dust polarization vectors in dense clouds.
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