AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 112 The Milky Way and Its Environs
Poster, Thursday, January 8, 2004, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

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[112.04] Is the Galactic Center Magnetic Field Globally Ordered?

T.N. LaRosa (Kennesaw State Univ.), M.E. Nord (Naval Research Lab. & Univ. of New Mexico), T.J.W. Lazio (Naval Ressearch Lab.), N.E. Kassim (Naval Research Lab.)

We review recent VLA observations of the Galactic Center region at 90 and 6 cm which reveal a new population of low surface brightness nonthermal filaments. The nonthermal filaments are magnetic structures tens of pc long and only a fraction of pc wide. They are unique to the Galactic Center and are the primary tracer of the topology of the GC magnetic field. The new observations show that the phenomenon extends 300 pc along the galactic plane. Furthermore, although the majority of the brighter nonthermal filaments are aligned perpendicular to the Galactic plane the newly discovered filaments exhibit a wider variety of orientations. A filament was found at a 45 degree angle to the plane and another system of filaments runs parallel to the Galactic plane. These results suggest that the GC magnetic field has non-poloidal components and is more complex that a simple globally ordered dipole.

Basic research in radio astronomy at the Naval Research Laboratory is made possible by support from the Office of Naval Research.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.