AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 27. Stars, Gas, and Dust in the Milky Way
Oral, Monday, January 6, 2003, 10:00-11:30am, 618-619

[Previous] | [Session 27] | [Next]

[27.01] Estimating the Characteristic Magnetic Field Strength in the Cold Dust at the Galactic Center

D. T. Chuss (NASA/GSFC), G. Novak (Northwestern University), J. A. Davidson, J. L. Dotson (NASA/Ames), C. D. Dowell (Caltech), R. H. Hildebrand (University of Chicago), J. E. Vaillancourt (University of Wisconsin)

We analyze submillimeter and far-infrared polarimetry data of the central 30 parsecs of the Galactic Center and find the following relationship between the angle of the projected field at a given point and the local 350 micron flux. For low fluxes, the projected magnetic field is perpendicular to the plane. As the flux increases, the projected magnetic field direction rotates such that at high fluxes, the field is generally parallel to the plane. We interpret this relationship as resulting from an initially poloidal field that is sheared into a toroidal geometry in regions where the gravitational energy density is greater than the energy density associated with the magnetic field. Conversely, in regions of low density (low flux), the gravitational energy is low enough such that the field maintains its poloidal configuration. We use this relationship to estimate a characteristic field strength for the cold dust at the Galactic center of ~few mG.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: chuss@nebulae.gsfc.nasa.gov

[Previous] | [Session 27] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.