On the Alignment of T Tauri Stars with the Local Magnetic Field in the Taurus Molecular Cloud Complex

  • Francois Ménard
  • Gaspard Duchêne


Magnetic field is believed to play an important role in the collapse of a molecular cloud. In particular, due to the properties of magnetic forces, collapse should be easier along magnetic field lines. This is supported by the large-scale sheet-like structures observed in the Taurus giant molecular cloud for instance. Here we investigate whether such a preferred orientation for collapse is present at a much smaller scale, that of individual objects, i.e., about 100AU. We use recent high-angular resolution images of T Tauri stars located in the Taurus star-forming region to find the orientation of the symmetry axis of each star+jet+disk system and compare it with that of the local magnetic field. We find that (i) T Tauri stars that are associated to a jet or an outflow are generally oriented parallel to the magnetic field, as previously demonstrated. More surprising, given our current knowledge of these objects, we also find that (ii) T Tauri stars that are not at present believed to be associated to a jet or an outflow are oriented very differently, i.e., mostly perpendicular to the magnetic field. We present some implications of this puzzling new result.


T Tauri stars magnetic field orientation disks jets 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francois Ménard
    • 1
  • Gaspard Duchêne
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de GrenobleGrenoble Cedex 9France
  2. 2.Department of Physics & AstronomyUCLALos AngelesUSA

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