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Planck intermediate results. XXXV. Probing the role of the magnetic field in the formation of structure in molecular clouds

Ade, P. A. R. and Bock, J. J. and Crill, B. P. and Doré, O. and Helou, G. and Hildebrandt, S. R. and Rocha, G. (2016) Planck intermediate results. XXXV. Probing the role of the magnetic field in the formation of structure in molecular clouds. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 586 . Art. No. A138. ISSN 0004-6361.

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Within ten nearby (d <  450 pc) Gould belt molecular clouds we evaluate statistically the relative orientation between the magnetic field projected on the plane of sky, inferred from the polarized thermal emission of Galactic dust observed by Planck at 353 GHz, and the gas column density structures, quantified by the gradient of the column density, N_H. The selected regions, covering several degrees in size, are analysed at an effective angular resolution of 10′ FWHM, thus sampling physical scales from 0.4 to 40 pc in the nearest cloud. The column densities in the selected regions range from N_H≈ 10^(21) to10^(23) cm^(-2), and hence they correspond to the bulk of the molecular clouds. The relative orientation is evaluated pixel by pixel and analysed in bins of column density using the novel statistical tool called “histogram of relative orientations”. Throughout this study, we assume that the polarized emission observed by Planck at 353 GHz is representative of the projected morphology of the magnetic field in each region, i.e., we assume a constant dust grain alignment efficiency, independent of the local environment. Within most clouds we find that the relative orientation changes progressively with increasing N_H, from mostly parallel or having no preferred orientation to mostly perpendicular. In simulations of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in molecular clouds this trend in relative orientation is a signature of Alfvénic or sub-Alfvénic turbulence, implying that the magnetic field is significant for the gas dynamics at the scales probed by Planck. We compare the deduced magnetic field strength with estimates we obtain from other methods and discuss the implications of the Planck observations for the general picture of molecular cloud formation and evolution.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ade, P. A. R.0000-0002-5127-0401
Bock, J. J.0000-0002-5710-5212
Crill, B. P.0000-0002-4650-8518
Doré, O.0000-0002-5009-7563
Helou, G.0000-0003-3367-3415
Rocha, G.0000-0002-4150-8076
Additional Information:© 2016 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received 13 February 2015; Accepted 25 May 2015. Published online 09 February 2016. The development of Planck has been supported by: ESA; CNES and CNRS/INSU-IN2P3-INP (France); ASI, CNR, and INAF (Italy); NASA and DoE (USA); STFC and UKSA (UK); CSIC, MICINN, JA, and RES (Spain); Tekes, AoF, and CSC (Finland); DLR and MPG (Germany); CSA (Canada); DTU Space (Denmark); SER/SSO (Switzerland); RCN (Norway); SFI (Ireland); FCT/MCTES (Portugal); and PRACE (EU). A description of the Planck Collaboration and a list of its members, including the technical or scientific activities in which they have been involved, can be found at The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement No. 267934.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Space Agency (ESA)UNSPECIFIED
Institut national du patrimoine (INP)UNSPECIFIED
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Tekes and CSC (Finland)UNSPECIFIED
Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
Research Council of NorwayUNSPECIFIED
Science Foundation, IrelandUNSPECIFIED
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)267934
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)UNSPECIFIED
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)UNSPECIFIED
Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior (MCTES)UNSPECIFIED
Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules (IN2P3)UNSPECIFIED
Institut national des sciences de l'Univers (INSU)UNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)UNSPECIFIED
Junta de AndalucíaUNSPECIFIED
Academy of FinlandUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:ISM: general – ISM: magnetic fields – ISM: clouds – dust, extinction – submillimeter: ISM – infrared: ISM
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150918-114746985
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Planck intermediate results - XXXV. Probing the role of the magnetic field in the formation of structure in molecular clouds Planck Collaboration, P. A. R. Ade, N. Aghanim, M. I. R. Alves, M. Arnaud, D. Arzoumanian, M. Ashdown, J. Aumont, C. Baccigalupi, A. J. Banday, R. B. Barreiro, N. Bartolo, E. Battaner, K. Benabed, A. Benoît, A. Benoit-Lévy, J.-P. Bernard, M. Bersanelli, P. Bielewicz, J. J. Bock, L. Bonavera, J. R. Bond, J. Borrill, F. R. Bouchet, F. Boulanger, A. Bracco, C. Burigana, E. Calabrese, J.-F. Cardoso, A. Catalano, H. C. Chiang, P. R. Christensen, L. P. L. Colombo, C. Combet, F. Couchot, B. P. Crill, A. Curto, F. Cuttaia, L. Danese, R. D. Davies, R. J. Davis, P. de Bernardis, A. de Rosa, G. de Zotti, J. Delabrouille, C. Dickinson, J. M. Diego, H. Dole, S. Donzelli, O. Doré, M. Douspis, A. Ducout, X. Dupac, G. Efstathiou, F. Elsner, T. A. Enßlin, H. K. Eriksen, D. Falceta-Gonçalves, E. Falgarone, K. Ferrière, F. Finelli, O. Forni, M. Frailis, A. A. Fraisse, E. Franceschi, A. Frejsel, S. Galeotta, S. Galli, K. Ganga, T. Ghosh, M. Giard, E. Gjerløw, J. González-Nuevo, K. M. Górski, A. Gregorio, A. Gruppuso, J. E. Gudmundsson, V. Guillet, D. L. Harrison, G. Helou, P. Hennebelle, S. Henrot-Versillé, C. Hernández-Monteagudo, D. Herranz, S. R. Hildebrandt, E. Hivon, W. A. Holmes, A. Hornstrup, K. M. Huffenberger, G. Hurier, A. H. Jaffe, T. R. Jaffe, W. C. Jones, M. Juvela, E. Keihänen, R. Keskitalo, T. S. Kisner, J. Knoche, M. Kunz, H. Kurki-Suonio, G. Lagache, J.-M. Lamarre, A. Lasenby, M. Lattanzi, C. R. Lawrence, R. Leonardi, F. Levrier, M. Liguori, P. B. Lilje, M. Linden-Vørnle, M. López-Caniego, P. M. Lubin, J. F. Macías-Pérez, D. Maino, N. Mandolesi, A. Mangilli, M. Maris, P. G. Martin, E. Martínez-González, S. Masi, S. Matarrese, A. Melchiorri, L. Mendes, A. Mennella, M. Migliaccio, M.-A. Miville-Deschênes, A. Moneti, L. Montier, G. Morgante, D. Mortlock, D. Munshi, J. A. Murphy, P. Naselsky, F. Nati, C. B. Netterfield, F. Noviello, D. Novikov, I. Novikov, N. Oppermann, C. A. Oxborrow, L. Pagano, F. Pajot, R. Paladini, D. Paoletti, F. Pasian, L. Perotto, V. Pettorino, F. Piacentini, M. Piat, E. Pierpaoli, D. Pietrobon, S. Plaszczynski, E. Pointecouteau, G. Polenta, N. Ponthieu, G. W. Pratt, S. Prunet, J.-L. Puget, J. P. Rachen, M. Reinecke, M. Remazeilles, C. Renault, A. Renzi, I. Ristorcelli, G. Rocha, M. Rossetti, G. Roudier, J. A. Rubiño-Martín, B. Rusholme, M. Sandri, D. Santos, M. Savelainen, G. Savini, D. Scott, J. D. Soler, V. Stolyarov, R. Sudiwala, D. Sutton, A.-S. Suur-Uski, J.-F. Sygnet, J. A. Tauber, L. Terenzi, L. Toffolatti, M. Tomasi, M. Tristram, M. Tucci, G. Umana, L. Valenziano, J. Valiviita, B. Van Tent, P. Vielva, F. Villa, L. A. Wade, B. D. Wandelt, I. K. Wehus, N. Ysard, D. Yvon and A. Zonca A&A, 586 (2016) A138 DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:60324
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:18 Sep 2015 19:23
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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