NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0180

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0180


PI: Christopher Wright, UNSW at the Australian Defence Force Academy, c.wright@adfa.edu.au
Address: School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, UNSW@ADFA, Canberra ACT 2600, Australia

CoI: Charles Telesco, University of Florida
CoI: Robert Smith, UNSW@ADFA
CoI: Chris Packham, University of Florida

Title: Magnetic fields toward massive Young Stellar Objects

Abstract: Magnetic fields are central in star and planet formation models. Their importance extends from controlling the initial cloud collapse, to extracting angular momentum by driving and collimating bipolar outflows, to re-distributing angular momentum from the inner to outer disk in the final stages of disk accretion and planet growth. Yet observational constraints on the magnetic field configuration far from the central star - e.g. within the disk and outflow - are rare. Thus, we will observe the magnetic field toward several young stars using Michelle's imaging polarimetry mode. For all targets pre-existing, non-imaging mid-IR spectropolarimetry shows two magnetic field components, originating respectively from polarized emission by warm dust and dichroic absorption by cold dust. In all cases one of the magnetic field components lies along the outflow direction. The question however arises as to whether the magnetic field is actually driving the outflow via one of the hydromagnetic mechanisms proposed in the literature, or whether the outflow is merely being steered along the ambient field direction. Mid-IR imaging polarimetry will resolve this ambiguity, providing a unique insight into understanding the magnetic field structure around young stars.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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