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Surveying Magnetic Field Morphology with Velocity Gradient Techniques in Interstellar Clouds

Published onJun 01, 2020
Surveying Magnetic Field Morphology with Velocity Gradient Techniques in Interstellar Clouds

Magnetic fields, while ubiquitous in many astrophysical environments, are challenging to measure observationally. Based on the properties of anisotropy of eddies in magnetized turbulence, the velocity gradient technique is a method synergistic to dust polarimetry that is capable of tracing plane-of-the-sky magnetic fields, measuring the magnetization of interstellar media and estimating the fraction of gravitational collapsing gas in molecular clouds using spectral line observations. Here, we apply this technique to five low-mass star-forming molecular clouds in the Gould Belt and compare the results to the magnetic field orientation obtained from polarized dust emission. We find that the estimates of magnetic field orientations and magnetization for both methods are statistically similar. We estimate the fraction of collapsing gas in the selected clouds. By using the velocity gradient technique, we also present the plane-of-the-sky magnetic field orientation and magnetization of the Smith Cloud, for which dust polarimetry data are unavailable.

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