Inertial confinement of astrophysical jets Academic Article uri icon


  • Observations of the X-ray jet of SS433 and of newly formed stars suggest collimation at scales too small for the pressure of an ambient medium to have played a role, since cooling of the necessarily dense confining matter would be rapid on a dynamical timescale. Inertial confinement by material on the compact scale is investigated here using two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations. The results indicate that even modest cooling can spoil collimation for density ratios that would yield good collimation in the non-cooling limit. Collimation of a cooling flow can be obtained if the jet material is sufficiently underdense compared to the ambient confining medium, but the range of parameter space for which the scheme works may be restricted.

publication date

  • January 1, 1995