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Dust alignment and magnetic fields in the 30 Doradus star-forming region

Presentation #306.05 in the session “Dust”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
Dust alignment and magnetic fields in the 30 Doradus star-forming region

Polarization from dust thermal emission at far-infrared wavelengths is a useful probe of magnetic fields in dense star-forming environments, as interstellar dust grains are expected to align with these fields through Radiative Alignment Torques (RATs). Such polarimetric observations have found that magnetic fields contribute to regulating star formation processes in low-mass molecular clouds, but few studies have quantified their influence in massive starburst regions. This presentation will therefore focus on multi-wavelength observations of polarization toward the 30 Doradus star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (also known as the Tarentula nebula). We present publicly available data at 53, 89, 154, and 214 µm obtained with the HAWC+ polarimetric camera aboard the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). We use an angular dispersion analysis to fit the turbulent-to-ordered magnetic energy and the turbulent correlation length in multiple regions of the cloud, and compare the results between wavelengths. Combined with spectroscopic data (i.e., SOFIA, APEX), we measure the plane-of-sky amplitude of the magnetic field through the Davis-Chandrasekhar-Fermi method. These multi-wavelength observations also offer a unique opportunity to probe the alignment efficiency of different dust populations in a variety of extreme environments. Specifically, we characterize the measured polarization as a function of column density and temperature for each available wavelength in the regions of interest. These results may help to understand observed discrepancies in the angular dispersion analysis between data sets, as the polarization efficiency of dust populations is expected to change depending on the physical properties of their environment.


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