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Title: Measuring Filament Orientation: A New Quantitative, Local Approach

Abstract

The relative orientation between filamentary structures in molecular clouds and the ambient magnetic field provides insight into filament formation and stability. To calculate the relative orientation, a measurement of filament orientation is first required. We propose a new method to calculate the orientation of the one-pixel-wide filament skeleton that is output by filament identification algorithms such as filfinder. We derive the local filament orientation from the direction of the intensity gradient in the skeleton image using the Sobel filter and a few simple post-processing steps. We call this the “Sobel-gradient method.” The resulting filament orientation map can be compared quantitatively on a local scale with the magnetic field orientation map to then find the relative orientation of the filament with respect to the magnetic field at each point along the filament. It can also be used for constructing radial profiles for filament width fitting. The proposed method facilitates automation in analyses of filament skeletons, which is imperative in this era of “big data.”.

Authors:
; ;  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052 (Australia)
  2. CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Australia Telescope National Facility, P.O. Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710 (Australia)
  3. Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States)
  4. National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA, 22903 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22661096
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 232; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0067-0049
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALGORITHMS; AUTOMATION; CLOUDS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DATA ANALYSIS; FILAMENTS; FILTERS; IMAGE PROCESSING; IMAGES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; ORIENTATION; STABILITY; STARS

Citation Formats

Green, C.-E., Cunningham, M. R., Jones, P. A., Dawson, J. R., Novak, G., and Fissel, L. M. Measuring Filament Orientation: A New Quantitative, Local Approach. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4365/AA8507.
Green, C.-E., Cunningham, M. R., Jones, P. A., Dawson, J. R., Novak, G., & Fissel, L. M. Measuring Filament Orientation: A New Quantitative, Local Approach. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4365/AA8507.
Green, C.-E., Cunningham, M. R., Jones, P. A., Dawson, J. R., Novak, G., and Fissel, L. M. Fri . "Measuring Filament Orientation: A New Quantitative, Local Approach". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4365/AA8507.
@article{osti_22661096,
title = {Measuring Filament Orientation: A New Quantitative, Local Approach},
author = {Green, C.-E. and Cunningham, M. R. and Jones, P. A. and Dawson, J. R. and Novak, G. and Fissel, L. M.},
abstractNote = {The relative orientation between filamentary structures in molecular clouds and the ambient magnetic field provides insight into filament formation and stability. To calculate the relative orientation, a measurement of filament orientation is first required. We propose a new method to calculate the orientation of the one-pixel-wide filament skeleton that is output by filament identification algorithms such as filfinder. We derive the local filament orientation from the direction of the intensity gradient in the skeleton image using the Sobel filter and a few simple post-processing steps. We call this the “Sobel-gradient method.” The resulting filament orientation map can be compared quantitatively on a local scale with the magnetic field orientation map to then find the relative orientation of the filament with respect to the magnetic field at each point along the filament. It can also be used for constructing radial profiles for filament width fitting. The proposed method facilitates automation in analyses of filament skeletons, which is imperative in this era of “big data.”.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4365/AA8507},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series},
issn = {0067-0049},
number = 1,
volume = 232,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {9}
}