Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 527A, 48-48 (2011/3-1)
The structure of the magnetic field in the massive star-forming region W75N.
SURCIS G., VLEMMINGS W.H.T., CURIEL S., HUTAWARAKORN KRAMER B., TORRELLES J.M. and SARMA A.P.
Abstract (from CDS):
A debated topic in star formation theory is the role of magnetic fields during the protostellar phase of high-mass stars. It is still unclear how magnetic fields influence the formation and dynamics of massive disks and outflows. Most current information on magnetic fields close to high-mass protostars comes from polarized maser emissions, which allows us to investigate the magnetic field on small scales by using very long-baseline interferometry. The massive star-forming region W75N contains three radio continuum sources (VLA1, VLA2, and VLA3), at three different evolutionary stages, and associated masers, while a large-scale molecular bipolar outflow is also present. Very recently, polarization observations of the 6.7GHz methanol masers at milliarsecond resolution have been able to probe the strength and structure of the magnetic field over more than 2000 AU around VLA1. The magnetic field is parallel to the outflow, suggesting that VLA1 is its powering source. The observations of H2O masers at 22GHz can give more information about the gas dynamics and the magnetic fields around VLA1 and VLA2. The NRAO Very Long Baseline Array was used to measure the linear polarization and the Zeeman-splitting of the 22GHz water masers in the star-forming region W75N. We detected 124 water masers, 36 around VLA1 and 88 around VLA2 of W75N, which indicate two different physical environments around the two sources, where VLA1 is in a more evolved state. The linear polarization of the masers confirms the tightly ordered magnetic field around VLA1, which is aligned with the large-scale molecular outflow, and also reveals an ordered magnetic field around VLA2, which is not parallel to the outflow. The Zeeman-splitting measured on 20 of the masers indicates strong magnetic fields around both sources (the averaged values are |BVLA1|∼700mG and |BVLA2|∼1700mG). The high values of the magnetic field strengths, which come from the shock compression of the gas, are consistent with the methanol and OH magnetic field strengths. Moreover, by studying the maser properties we were also able to determine that the water masers are pumped in C-shocks in both sources.
stars: formation - masers - polarization - magnetic fields - ISM: individual objects: W75N
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