Highly collimated parsec-scale jets, which are generally linked to the presence of an accretion disk, are commonly observed in low-mass young stellar objects1,2. In the past two decades, a few of these jets have been directly (or indirectly) observed from higher-mass (larger than eight solar masses) young stellar objects3,4,5,6,7, adding to the growing evidence that disk-mediated accretion also occurs in high-mass stars8,9,10,11, the formation mechanism of which is still poorly understood. Of the observed jets from massive young stars, none is in the optical regime (massive young stars are typically highly obscured by their natal material), and none is found outside of the Milky Way. Here we report observations of HH 1177, an optical ionized jet that originates from a massive young stellar object located in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The jet is highly collimated over its entire measured length of at least ten parsecs and has a bipolar geometry. The presence of a jet indicates ongoing, disk-mediated accretion and, together with the high degree of collimation, implies that this system is probably formed through a scaled-up version of the formation mechanism of low-mass stars. We conclude that the physics that govern jet launching and collimation is independent of stellar mass.
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R.K. acknowledges financial support from the Emmy Noether Research Program, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under grant number KU 2849/3-1.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Reviewer Information Nature thanks A. Guzman and B. Reipurth for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
Publisher's note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Extended data figures and tables
Co-added spectra of the red lobe of the jet (extracted from a 2-pixel-radius circular aperture centred on the green circles in Fig. 2b), continuum-subtracted and fitted with a three-component Gaussian. The spectrum is shown in black, the fit in red, the single components are plotted in blue and the residuals of the fit are shown below each spectrum (the latter two are shown with an offset on the y axis for better display). The estimated noise N is stated for each spectrum. The best-fit parameters are summarized in Extended Data Table 1. The flux is in units of 10−20 erg s−1 Å−1 cm−2.
Co-added spectra of the blue lobe of the jet (extracted from a 2-pixel-radius circular aperture centred on the green circles in Fig. 2b), continuum-subtracted and fitted with a four-component Gaussian. The spectrum is shown in black, the fit in red, the single components are plotted in blue and the residuals of the fit are shown below each spectrum (the latter two are shown with an offset on the y axis for better display). The estimated noise is stated for each spectrum. The best-fit parameters are summarized in Extended Data Table 2. The flux is in units of 10−20 erg s−1 Å−1 cm−2.
Black curves are the integrated line map intensity profiles along virtual slits perpendicular to the jet axis on the positions of the red (positions 1, 2 and 3) and the blue lobes (positions 5, 6 and 8) marked in Fig. 2b. Red curves are the best-fit Gaussian profiles; blue diamonds are residuals.
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McLeod, A., Reiter, M., Kuiper, R. et al. A parsec-scale optical jet from a massive young star in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Nature 554, 334–336 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature25189
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