Astrophys. J., 775, 77 (2013/September-3)
Interpreting the role of the magnetic field from dust polarization maps.
KOCH P.M., TANG Y.-W. and HO P.T.P.
Abstract (from CDS):
Dust polarization observations from the Submillimeter Array (SMA) and the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) are analyzed with the goal of providing a general tool to interpret the role of the magnetic field in molecular clouds. Magnetic field and dust emission gradient orientations are observed to show distinct patterns and features. The angle δ between these two orientations can be interpreted as a magnetic field alignment deviation, assuming the emission gradient orientation to coincide with the density gradient orientation in the magnetohydrodynamics force equation. In SMA high-resolution (collapsing) cores, additional symmetry properties in δ can reveal accretion and outflow zones. All these observational findings suggest the angle δ to be a relevant quantity that can assess the role of the magnetic field. Indeed, when comparing this angle with the (projection-free) magnetic field significance ΣB(introduced by Koch and coworkers in 2012), it is demonstrated that|δ| yields an approximation to the change in ΣB. Thus, changes in the magnetic field alignment deviation δ trace changes in the role of the magnetic field. The angle δ is observationally straightforward to determine, providing a tool to distinguish between zones of minor or significant magnetic field impact. This is exemplified by the CSO M+0.25 + 0.01, Mon R2, CO+0.02 - 0.02, M-0.02 - 0.07 sources and by the SMA high-resolution data from W51 e2, W51 North, Orion BN/KL and g5.89. Additional CSO sources are analyzed, providing further support of this result. Finally, based on the different features found in our sample of 31 sources in total, covering sizes from large-scale complexes to collapsing cores, a schematic evolutionary scenario is proposed. Here, the significance of the magnetic field evolves both with position and scale, and can be assessed with the angle δ.
ISM: clouds - ISM: individual (W51 e2, W51 North, Orion BN/KL, G5.89-0.39, M+0.25+0.01, Mon R2, CO+0.02-0.02, M-0.02-0.07) - ISM: magnetic fields - polarization - techniques: polarimetric
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