Due to stellar feedback, star formation can lead to bubbles and outflows. Outflows and bubbles affect the overall energy balance of the molecular cloud by introducing momentum and energy into the interstellar medium surrounding it. Higher resolution radio telescopes can resolve molecular bubbles and measure the impact of star formation on molecular clouds.

An international team led by Dr. LI Di of the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) conducted carbon monoxide emission observations in the Taurus molecular clouds using the 30-m telescope of the Institute for Radio Astronomy in the Millimeter Range (IRAM). and James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). They identified a new molecular bubble outflow structure in the carbon monoxide signal from both telescopes.

This finding confirms that molecular outflows and bubbles have a common origin. It improves our understanding of how stellar feedback affects molecular clouds. The discovery of the bubble outflow structure provides new observational evidence of the feedback from the T Tauri stars to the interstellar medium.

Multi-wavelength data has been used to study the spatial structure, energy injection and dynamic time scale. This bubble has a kinetic energy of 5.8 × 1043 erg within the smallest radius of a bubble in Taurus.

According to scientists, the bubble was formed about 70,000 years ago. This unusual new structure is found in regions of low and medium mass star formation.

DUAN Yan, a Ph.D. candidate of NAOC and the study’s first author, said: “Through combined analysis with the Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory (FCRAO) survey of the Taurus molecular cloud, we found an outflow in the center of the molecular bubble.”

Based on Gaia EDR3 data, scientists hypothesized that a pair of T Tauri binaries may have created the molecular bubble. There has only been one other report of a molecular bubble coexisting with an outflow (in Orion A).

Magazine reference:

  1. Yan Duan, Di Li et al. Discovery of a new molecular bubble outflow structure in the Taurus B18 cloud. The Astrophysical Journal. DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aca805