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Title: Ionised jets associated with massive young stellar objects
Author: Purser, Simon John Derek
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 9486
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis focuses on the phenomena of ionised jets associated with massive young stellar objects. Firstly a study was conducted with the aim to establish a statistical sample of such objects. Radio observations towards a sample of 49 MYSOs resulted in the detection of 28 objects classified as ionised jets. The jets' radio luminosities scaled with their MYSOs' bolometric luminosities in the same way as for low-mass examples. This infers that the jet launching and collimation mechanisms of high-mass jets are very similar to that in their low-mass counterparts and they are ejected for the last < 65000yr of the MYSO phase. Interestingly non-thermal emission was regularly detected towards spatially distinct radio lobes (associated with 50% of the jets), suggesting the presence of synchrotron emission and therefore, magnetic fields. With an average spectral index of -0.55 (indicative of the 1st order Fermi acceleration mechanism) it is concluded these lobes are the result of shocks in the jets' stream. My second science chapter is a study of radio variability, precession and proper motions towards a subset of objects from the first chapter. Over a two year time period, no significant variability and only one example of proper motion (1800+/-600 km/s) was detected. Precession was found to be commonplace however and if it arises as the result of binary interactions, we infer orbital radii between 30 and 1800 au for the binary companions. Lastly, high-resolution, VLA observations at C and Q-bands were analysed to extend the known sample of MYSOs harbouring ionised jets into the northern hemisphere. Only 3 radio sources were detected possessing jet-like characteristics towards the work's sub-sample of 8 IRDCs containing 44 mm-cores (in our field of view), highlighting the radio-quiet (> 30 microJy) nature of this early phase in massive star formation. Towards the RMS survey derived sample of 48 MYSOs, a total of 38 radio sources with jet-like characteristics were detected, of which 14 were bona-fide jets (10 of which were associated with shock-ionised lobes). Comparing the analysis of the MYSO sample to statistical surveys of molecular outflows, it was inferred from their total momenta that the jets alone are mechanically capable of entraining the outflows. Measurement of the physical extent of the radio emission showed no evolution of the opening angle with bolometric luminosity, and that a trapped HII region alone was not enough to explain the radio emission. Most interestingly, jets associated with shock ionised lobes were found to occupy later evolutionary IR colours than those without, suggesting them to be an evolutionary stage in ionised jet, and MYSO, evolution.
Supervisor: Lumsden, Stuart ; Hoare, Melvin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available