Cepheus a east: Unraveling the mysteries

Jennifer A. Goetz, J. L. Pipher, W. J. Forrest, Dan M. Watson, S. N. Raines, Charles E. Woodward, M. A. Greenhouse, H. A. Smith, V. A. Hughes, J. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


New infrared images of Cep A East are presented that show two regions of shock-excited line emission from separate bipolar flows. We identify the dominant sources powering the outflows and argue that the results support a multiple outflow model (Narayanan & Walker) as opposed to a quadrupolar outflow scenario. The images include near-infrared broadband (k [2.158 μm], L″ [3.81 μm], and M' [4.67 μm]) and spectral line ([Fe II] emission line at 1.644 μm and H2 1-0 S[1] line at 2.122 μm) observations, as well as continuum emission, at 1.644 μm and 2.122 μm Considering our data and other results, we present a unified, self-consistent picture of the disk and shock structure. The northern emission region appears to be the result of the ablation of a dense molecular clump (coincident with HW 6) in the path of a diverting jet from YSO HW 2 and subsequent multiple bow shocks with prompt entrainment arising from the interaction of the jet with the molecular cloud Cep A-2. The southern line emission region near H W 7 resembles the " artillery shell " bow shocks found in Orion and is most likely a J-type shock caused by a jet from another YSO, possibly HW 3(d)ii.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-374
Number of pages16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART I
StatePublished - 1998


  • H II regions
  • ISM: individual (Cepheus A East)
  • ISM: molecules
  • Infrared: stars
  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: pre-main-sequence


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