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A survey of the Milky Way disk and the Magellanic System at the wavelengths of the 21-cm atomic hydrogen (H i) line and three 18-cm lines of the OH molecule will be carried out with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The survey will study the distribution of H i emission and absorption with unprecedented angular and velocity resolution, as well as molecular line thermal emission, absorption, and maser lines. The area to be covered includes the Galactic plane (|b| < 10°) at all declinations south of δ = +40°, spanning longitudes 167° through 360°to 79° at b = 0°, plus the entire area of the Magellanic Stream and Clouds, a total of 13 020 deg2. The brightness temperature sensitivity will be very good, typically σT≃ 1 K at resolution 30 arcsec and 1 km s−1. The survey has a wide spectrum of scientific goals, from studies of galaxy evolution to star formation, with particular contributions to understanding stellar wind kinematics, the thermal phases of the interstellar medium, the interaction between gas in the disk and halo, and the dynamical and thermal states of gas at various positions along the Magellanic Stream.
We are undertaking a project (MAGMO) to examine large-scale magnetic fields pervading regions of high-mass star formation. The project will test if the orientations of weak large-scale magnetic fields can be maintained in the contraction (and field amplification) to the high densities encountered in high-mass star forming regions. This will be achieved through correlating targeted observations of ground-state hydroxyl (OH) maser emission towards hundreds of sites of high-mass star formation spread throughout the spiral arms of the Milky Way. Through the Zeeman splitting of the OH maser emission these observations will determine the strength and orientation of the in-situ magnetic field. The completion of the southern hemisphere Methanol Multibeam survey has provided an abundance of targets for ground-state OH maser observations, approximately 1000 sites of high-mass star formation. With this sample, much larger and more homogeneous than previously available, we will have the statistics necessary to outweigh random fluctuations and observe an underlying Galactic magnetic field if it exists. We presented details of the overall progress of the project illustrated by the results of a pilot sample of sources towards the Carina-Sagittarius spiral arm tangent, where a coherent field is implied.
We briefly summarize the survey of HI 21 cm emission lines to search for shocked atomic gas associated with Galactic supernova remnants (SNRs) in the southern sky. For G347.3–0.5, we discuss the distance to the SNR and the implications of the HI results.
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