Magnetic fields in a sample of nearby spiral galaxies.
VAN ECK C.L., BROWN J.C., SHUKUROV A. and FLETCHER A.
Abstract (from CDS):
Both observations and modeling of magnetic fields in the diffuse interstellar gas of spiral galaxies are well developed, but the theory has been confronted with observations for only a handful of individual galaxies. There is now sufficient data to consider the statistical properties of galactic magnetic fields. We have collected data from the literature on the magnetic fields and interstellar media of 20 spiral galaxies, and tested for various physically motivated correlations between magnetic field and interstellar medium parameters. Clear correlations emerge between the total magnetic field strength and molecular gas density as well as the star formation rate. The magnetic pitch angle exhibits correlations with the total gas density, the star formation rate, and the strength of the axisymmetric component of the mean magnetic field. The total and mean magnetic field strengths exhibit a noticeable degree of correlation, suggesting a universal behavior of the degree of order in galactic magnetic fields. We also compare the predictions of galactic dynamo theory to observed magnetic field parameters and identify directions in which theory and observations might be usefully developed.
galaxies: ISM - galaxies: magnetic fields - galaxies: spiral - magnetic fields - magnetohydrodynamics, MHD - radio continuum: ISM