AAS 197, January 2001
Session 43. High Mass Star Formation
Display, Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[43.12] VLBA Detection of the Zeeman effect in water masers

A. P. Sarma, T. H. Troland (University of Kentucky), J. D. Romney (National Radio Astronomy Observatory)

We present the first VLBA detection of the Zeeman effect in water masers. These results provide the first ultra-high spatial resolution data on magnetic field strength variations in star forming regions. The fields observed in four masers in the W3 IRS5 region range from -14 to -42 mG; the fields may be 5-10 times less if the Elitzur model for masers is adopted. These masers, for which we can independently measure the Zeeman effect, are separated by 25 mas (60 A.U.) or less. We shall also show that if the W3 IRS5 region were to be observed with lower resolution, the field detected would be smaller, in spite of the fact that the observed fields of the four masers have the same sign. Hence, we demonstrate that the magnetic fields inferred from VLBA Zeeman effect observations are the most reliable estimates to date for water masers.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: sarma@pa.uky.edu

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