Astronomy & Astrophysics highlight: Atomic jet uncovers hidden companion protostar

Disentangling the SMM1 outflows

Jets and outflows around SMM1 in Serpens. Left: CO outflow superimposed on 4.5 micron (IRAC) image. Center: The atomic jet (green contours) pushing the NW-SE CO outflow. Right: Sketch of the disentangled outflow morphology.

The embedded protostar SMM1 is an outstanding source in the Serpens star-forming region, driving powerful and extended bipolar outflows. In a recent study highlighted in the March issue of the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal, we show that SMM1 is a proto-binary source, consisting of the deeply embedded source SMM1-a and a more evolved protostar SMM1-b that drives an atomic jet. With this configuration we can now interpret the complex, large scale outflow morphology associated with the system.