Far-infrared Polarization of the Sagittarius B2 Molecular Cloud

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Session 34 -- Airbourne Astronomy
Display presentation, Tuesday, 9:30-6:30, Pauley Room

[34.07] Far-infrared Polarization of the Sagittarius B2 Molecular Cloud

G. Novak, S.R. Platt (Princeton U., Dept. of Physics), P.F. Goldsmith (NAIC), R.H. Hildebrand, J. Dotson, D. Figer (U. of Chicago, E.F.I.), J.A. Davidson (NASA-Ames)

We have measured the 100 micron polarization of the thermal emission from magnetically aligned interstellar dust grains in Sagittarius B2, an extremely massive molecular cloud that is located near Galactic Center. The data, which consist of polarization measurements at about 20 individual positions, were obtained using the U. of Chicago far-infrared array polarimeter and the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. The measured magnetic field directions indicate that there are two magnetically distinct regions within the area that we mapped: one corresponds to the dense star-forming core of Sgr B2, and the other corresponds to the less dense envelope. The two regions show very different mean directions for the field, but within each region the field is nearly uniform. We use our results to estimate magnetic field strengths, and we discuss the implications of our results for star-formation in Sgr B2, and for the magnetic field geometry near the Galactic Center.

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