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Magnetic Field Structure of Star Forming Regions: VLBI Spectral Line Results

  • J.A. Garcia-Barreto (a1), B. F. Burke (a1), M. J. Reid (a2), J. M. Moran (a2) and A. D. Haschick (a2)...

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Magnetic fields play a major role in the general dynamics of astronomical phenomena and particularly in the process of star formation. The magnetic field strength in galactic molecular clouds is of the order of few tens of μG. On a smaller scale, OH masers exhibit fields of the order of mG and these can probably be taken as representative of the magnetic field in the dense regions surrounding protostars. The OH molecule has been shown to emit highly circular and linearly polarized radiation. That it was indeed the action of the magnetic field that would give rise to the highly polarized spectrum of OH has been shown by the VLBI observations of Zeeman pairs of the 1720 and 6035 MHz by Lo et. al. and Moran et. al. VLBI observations of W3 (OH) revealed that the OH emission was coming from numerous discrete locations and that all spots fell within the continuum contours of the compact HII region. The most detailed VLBI aperture synthesis experiment of the 1665 MHz emission from W3 (OH) was carried out by Reid et. al. who found several Zeeman pairs and a characteristic maser clump size of 30 mas. In this work, we report the results of a 5 station VLBI aperture synthesis experiment of the 1665 MHz OH emission from W3 (OH) with full polarization information. We produced VLBI synthesis maps of all Stokes parameters of 16 spectral features that showed elliptical polarization. The magnitude and direction of the magnetic field have been obtained by the detection of 7 Zeeman pairs. The three dimensional orientation of the magnetic field can be obtained, following the theoretical arguments of Goldreich et. al., from the observation of π and σ components.

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References

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Magnetic Field Structure of Star Forming Regions: VLBI Spectral Line Results

  • J.A. Garcia-Barreto (a1), B. F. Burke (a1), M. J. Reid (a2), J. M. Moran (a2) and A. D. Haschick (a2)...

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