Shocked H2 and Fe+ Dynamics in the Orion Bullets

Observations of H2 velocity profiles in the two most clearly defined Orion bullets are extremely difficult to reconcile with existing steady-state shock models. We have observed [FeII] 1.644um velocity profiles of selected bullets and H2 1-0 S(1) 2.122um velocity profiles for a series of positions along and across the corresponding bow-shaped shock fronts driven into the surrounding molecular cloud. Integrated [FeII] velocity profiles of the brightest bullets are consistent with theoretical bow shock predictions. However, observations of broad, singly-peaked H2 1-0 S(1) profiles at a range of positions within the most clearly resolved bullet wakes are not consistent with molecular shock modelling. A uniform, collisionally broadened background component which pervades the region in both tracers is inconsistent with fluorescence due to the ionizing radiation of the Trapezium stars alone.

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