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The Measurement of the Orientation of the Magnetic Field in Molecular Clouds

  • Martin Houde
  • Ruisheng Peng
  • Hiroshige Yoshida
  • Roger H. Hildebrand
  • Thomas G. Phillips
  • C. Darren Dowell
  • Pierre Bastien
  • Jessie L. Dotson
  • John E. Vaillancourt
Chapter

Abstract

We discuss how the combination of polarimetry and ion-to-neutral molecular line width ratio measurements permits the determination of the magnitude and orientation of the magnetic field in the weakly ionized parts of molecular clouds. Polarimetry measurements give the field orientation in the plane of the sky and the ion-to-neutral molecular line width ratio determines the angle between the magnetic field and the line of sight. We show the first results obtained with this technique on the M17 and Orion A star-forming region using Hertz 350 µm polarimetry maps and HCO+-to-HCN molecular line width ratios to provide the first view of the spatial orientation of the magnetic field these molecular clouds.

Keywords

ISM cloud ISM individual (M17) ISM individual (Orion) ISM magnetic field ISM polarization ISM radio lines 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Houde
    • 1
  • Ruisheng Peng
    • 1
  • Hiroshige Yoshida
    • 1
  • Roger H. Hildebrand
    • 2
  • Thomas G. Phillips
    • 3
  • C. Darren Dowell
    • 3
    • 4
  • Pierre Bastien
    • 5
  • Jessie L. Dotson
    • 6
  • John E. Vaillancourt
    • 7
  1. 1.Caltech Submillimeter ObservatoryHiloUSA
  2. 2.Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and Enrico Fermi Institute and Department of PhysicsUniversity of ChicagoUSA
  3. 3.California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  4. 4.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryPasadenaUSA
  5. 5.Département de PhysiqueUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  6. 6.NASA Ames Research CenterMoffet FieldUSA
  7. 7.Physics DepartmentUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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