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Title: MAGNETIC FIELDS IN HIGH-MASS INFRARED DARK CLOUDS

High-mass stars are cosmic engines known to dominate the energetics in the Milky Way and other galaxies. However, their formation is still not well understood. Massive, cold, dense clouds, often appearing as infrared dark clouds (IRDCs), are the nurseries of massive stars. No measurements of magnetic fields in IRDCs in a state prior to the onset of high-mass star formation (HMSF) have previously been available, and prevailing HMSF theories do not consider strong magnetic fields. Here, we report observations of magnetic fields in two of the most massive IRDCs in the Milky Way. We show that IRDCs G11.11–0.12 and G0.253+0.016 are strongly magnetized and that the strong magnetic field is as important as turbulence and gravity for HMSF. The main dense filament in G11.11–0.12 is perpendicular to the magnetic field, while the lower density filament merging onto the main filament is parallel to the magnetic field. The implied magnetic field is strong enough to suppress fragmentation sufficiently to allow HMSF. Other mechanisms reducing fragmentation, such as the entrapment of heating from young stars via high-mass surface densities, are not required to facilitate HMSF.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  2. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)
  3. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)
  4. Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, MC 314-6, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  5. Max Planck Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364458
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 799; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CLOUDS; DENSITY; FILAMENTS; GALACTIC EVOLUTION; GRAVITATION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MASS; MILKY WAY; POLARIZATION; STARS; TURBULENCE