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Magnetic Fields in the Milky Way Halo

  • S. A. Mao (a1) (a2), N. M. McClure-Griffiths (a3), B. M. Gaensler (a4), J. C. Brown (a5), C. L. van Eck (a5), M. Haverkorn (a6), P. P. Kronberg (a7) (a8), J. M. Stil (a5), A. Shukurov (a9) and A. R. Taylor (a5)...

Abstract

We present a study of the Milky Way halo magnetic field, determined from observations of Faraday rotation measure (RM) of extragalactic radio sources (EGS) in Galactic longitude range 100°–117° within 30° of the Galactic plane. We find negative median RMs in both the northern and southern Galactic hemispheres for |b|>15°, outside the latitude range where the disk field dominates. This suggest that the halo magnetic field towards the outer Galaxy does not reverse direction across the mid-plane. An azimuthal magnetic field at heights 0.8−2 kpc above/below the Galactic plane between the local and the Perseus spiral arm can reproduce the observed trend of RM against Galactic latitude. We propose that the Milky Way could have a halo magnetic field similar to that observed in M51.

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Mao, S. A., McClure-Griffiths, N. M., Gaensler, B. M., Brown, J. C., van Eck, C. L., Haverkorn, M., Kronberg, P. P., Stil, J. M., Shukurov, A., & Taylor, A. R. 2012, ApJ 755, 21
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