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Session 21 - Jets, H-H Objects, and Molecular Outflows.
Display session, Monday, January 15
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[21.03] The K-H instability in cooling jets

J. Xu, J. M. Stone (U. Maryland), P. E. Hardee (U. Alabama)

Recent high resolution observations of HH jets in active star forming regions have revealed remarkable structural details. We have studied the Kelvin-Helmholtz (K-H) instability in the beam of cooling jets to examine if it can be responsible for some of the helical patterns and dense knots found inside these jets. The results of an analytic linear stability analysis of the K-H instability in cooling jets is presented. We find the growth rates and wavelengths of the most unstable modes are significantly different compared to adiabatic jets. Hydrodynamical simulations which follow the growth of the instability into the nonlinear regime have been performed using a variety of cooling curves. In the linear regime, our numerical results are consistent with the analytic analysis. In the nonlinear regime, the simulations allow us to study the response of the jet beam to different driving frequencies, the mixing rate of jet and ambient gas, and the disruption of the jet beam into dense knots and filaments. Preliminary comparison of our results to HST images of HH jets are presented.

Program listing for Monday