AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 4. Star-Forming Environments
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Monroe/Lincoln

[Previous] | [Session 4] | [Next]

[4.04] Polarimetry of Star-Forming Clouds and Cores on Multiple Spatial Scales

B. C. Matthews (UC Berkeley), J. D. Fiege (Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics), J. S. Greaves (Royal Observatory, Edinburgh), C. D. Wilson (McMaster University)

It has long been hoped that thermal emission polarimetry longward of 100 \mum would provide the "smoking gun" in our understanding of the role of magnetic fields in the process of star formation. Such data provide strong evidence for the presence of highly ordered, in some cases complex, field geometries in several regions. However, in more than one region, we have found that more than one potential field geometry can explain the polarization data, even in the presence of the additional constraint of information on the line-of-sight field through Zeeman splitting. Thus, some degeneracy persists in the interpretation of these data.

We present data toward several star-forming regions ranging in spatial scale from cores to filamentary clouds. Several of these regions have exhibited polarization patterns well matched with models presented in the literature, while some polarization patterns contain somewhat unique features. One of the most interesting of these is a dust core within the Barnard 1 dark cloud, which does not exhibit the typically observed "depolarization effect" usually associated with thermal emission polarization data.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: bmatthews@astron.berkeley.edu

[Previous] | [Session 4] | [Next]