Tentative Evidence for Relativistic Electrons Generated by the Jet of the Young Sun-like Star DG Tau

Rachael E. Ainsworth, Anna M. M. Scaife, Tom P. Ray, Andrew M. Taylor, David A. Green, Jane V. Buckle

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Synchrotron emission has recently been detected in the jet of a massive protostar, providing further evidence that certain jet formation characteristics for young stars are similar to those found for highly relativistic jets from active galactic nuclei. We present data at 325 and 610 MHz taken with the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope of the young, low-mass star DG Tau, an analog of the Sun soon after its birth. This is the first investigation of a low-mass young stellar object at such low frequencies. We detect emission with a synchrotron spectral index in the proximity of the DG Tau jet and interpret this emission as a prominent bow shock associated with this outflow. This result provides tentative evidence for the acceleration of particles to relativistic energies due to the shock impact of this otherwise very low-power jet against the ambient medium. We calculate the equipartition magnetic field strength B min ≈ 0.11 mG and particle energy E min ≈ 4 × 1040 erg, which are the minimum requirements to account for the synchrotron emission of the DG Tau bow shock. These results suggest the possibility of low energy cosmic rays being generated by young Sun-like stars.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-5
    Number of pages5
    JournalThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2014


    • radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
    • stars: individual: DG Tau
    • stars: low-mass
    • stars: mass-loss


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