Discovery of the Zeeman effect in the 44 GHz class I methanol (CH3OH) maser line.
SARMA A.P. and MOMJIAN E.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report the discovery of the Zeeman effect in the 44 GHz Class I methanol (CH3OH) maser line. The observations were carried out with 22 antennas of the Expanded Very Large Array toward a star-forming region in OMC-2. Based on our adopted Zeeman splitting factor of z = 1.0 Hz/mG, we detect a line-of-sight magnetic field of 18.4±1.1 mG toward this source. Since such 44 GHz CH3 OH masers arise from shocks in the outflows of star-forming regions, we can relate our measurement of the post-shock magnetic field to field strengths indicated by species tracing pre-shock regions, and thus characterize the large-scale magnetic field. Moreover, since Class I masers trace regions more remote from the star-forming core than Class II masers, and possibly earlier phases, magnetic fields detected in 6.7 GHz Class II and 36 and 44 GHz Class I methanol maser lines together offer the potential of providing a more complete picture of the magnetic field. This motivates further observations at high angular resolution to find the positional relationships between Class I and Class II masers, and masers at various frequencies within each category. In particular, CH3 OH masers are widespread in high- as well as intermediate-mass star-forming regions, and our discovery provides a new method of studying the magnetic field in such regions, by observing small physical scales that are not accessible by any other lines.
ISM: clouds - ISM: magnetic fields - masers - polarization - radio lines: ISM - stars: formation