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The Galactic Magnetic Field's Effect In Star-Forming Regions

Stephens, Ian W. and Looney, Leslie W. and Dowell, C. Darren and Vaillancourt, John E. and Tassis, Konstantinos (2011) The Galactic Magnetic Field's Effect In Star-Forming Regions. Astrophysical Journal, 728 . Art. No. 99. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We investigate the effect of the Milky Way’s magnetic field in star-forming regions using archived 350μm polarization data on 52 Galactic star formation regions from the Hertz polarimeter module. The polarization angles and percentages for individual telescope beams were combined in order to produce a large-scale average for each source and for complexes of sources. In more than 80% of the sources, we find a meaningful mean magnetic field direction, implying the existence of an ordered magnetic field component at the scale of these sources. The average polarization angles were analyzed with respect to the Galactic coordinates in order to test for correlations between polarization percentage, polarization angle, intensity, and Galactic location. No correlation was found, which suggests that the magnetic field in dense molecular clouds is decoupled from the large-scale Galactic magnetic field. Finally, we show that the magnetic field directions in the complexes are consistent with a random distribution on the sky.

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Additional Information:© 2011 American Astronomical Society. Received 2010 September 6; accepted 2010 December 13; published 2011 January 25. Part of this work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. L.W.L. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation under grant no. AST-07- 09206. We also acknowledge Richard M. Crutcher for extensive discussions.
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Subject Keywords:ISM: clouds – ISM: magnetic fields – polarization – stars: formation – submillimeter: ISM
Classification Code:PACS: 98.35.Eg, 95.30.Gv, 98.38.Dq
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110321-102826137
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Official Citation:Ian W. Stephens et al. 2011 ApJ 728 99 doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/728/2/99
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23009
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:21 Mar 2011 20:19
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:42

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