AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 40. Supernova Remnants
Display, Tuesday, June 5, 2001, 10:00am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[40.05] VLBA and MERLIN Observations of Supernova Remnant OH (1720 MHz) Masers

C. L. Brogan, M. J. Claussen, W. M. Goss (National Radio Astronomy Observatory)

Supernovae have a profound and perhaps dominating effect on the morphology, kinematics, and metallicity of galaxies. The impact of supernova shocks on surrounding molecular clouds is also thought to trigger new generations of star formation. A critical ingredient in such interactions and, indeed, all aspects of supernova remnant (SNR) evolution are magnetic fields. In recent years, OH (1720 MHz) masers have been used as signposts for the interaction of SNRs with molecular gas. In addition to tracing SNR/molecular cloud interactions, the OH (1720 MHz) maser line also provides a unique opportunity to measure the strength of the post-shock magnetic field via Zeeman splitting. Recent results from efforts to both detect the magnetic fields and resolve the maser spot sizes of OH (1720 MHz) masers toward the SNRs W51C and G349.7+0.2 using the VLBA and toward W44 using Merlin will be presented. These observations have yielded magnetic field detections between 0.5 and 2.5 mG and large maser spot sizes of about 1015 cm. Some of the implications from these data including the resulting magnetic pressures, brightness temperatures, and degree of maser saturation will also be discussed.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: cbrogan@aoc.nrao.edu

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