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    We present the stability analysis of two regions, OMC-3 and OMC-4, in the massive and long molecular cloud complex of Orion A. We obtained 214 $\mu$m HAWC + /SOFIA polarization data, and we make use of archival data for the column density and C18O (1–0) emission line. We find clear depolarization in both observed regions and that the polarization fraction is anticorrelated with the column density and the polarization-angle dispersion function. We find that the filamentary cloud and dense clumps in OMC-3 are magnetically supercritical and strongly subvirial. This region should be in the gravitational collapse phase and is consistent with many young stellar objects (YSOs) forming in the region. Our histogram of relative orientation (HRO) analysis shows that the magnetic field is dynamically sub-dominant in the dense gas structures of OMC-3. We present the first polarization map of OMC-4. We find that the observed region is generally magnetically subcritical except for an elongated dense core, which could be a result of projection effect of a filamentary structure aligned close to the line of sight. The relative large velocity dispersion and the unusual positive shape parameters at high column densities in the HROs analysis suggest that our viewing angle may be closemore »to axes of filamentary substructures in OMC-4. The dominating strong magnetic field in OMC-4 is unfavourable for star formation and is consistent with much fewer YSOs than in OMC-3.

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  2. Abstract

    Dust-induced polarization in the interstellar medium (ISM) is due to asymmetric grains aligned with an external reference direction, usually the magnetic field. For both the leading alignment theories, the alignment of the grain’s angular momentum with one of its principal axes and the coupling with the magnetic field requires the grain to be paramagnetic. Of the two main components of interstellar dust, silicates are paramagnetic, while carbon dust is diamagnetic. Hence, carbon grains are not expected to align in the ISM. To probe the physics of carbon grain alignment, we have acquired Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy/Higch-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-plus far-infrared photometry and polarimetry of the carbon-rich circumstellar envelope (CSE) of the asymptotic giant branch star IRC+10° 216. The dust in such CSEs are fully carbonaceous and thus provide unique laboratories for probing carbon grain alignment. We find a centrosymmetric, radial, polarization pattern, where the polarization fraction is well correlated with the dust temperature. Together with estimates of a low fractional polarization from optical polarization of background stars, we interpret these results to be due to a second-order, direct radiative external alignment of grains without internal alignment. Our results indicate that (pure) carbon dust does not contribute significantly tomore »the observed ISM polarization, consistent with the nondetection of polarization in the 3.4μm feature due to aliphatic CH bonds on the grain surface.

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    Optical and infrared polarization mapping and recent Planck observations of the filametary cloud L1495 in Taurus show that the large-scale magnetic field is approximately perpendicular to the long axis of the cloud. We use the HAWC + polarimeter on SOFIA to probe the complex magnetic field in the B211 part of the cloud. Our results reveal a dispersion of polarization angles of 36°, about five times that measured on a larger scale by Planck. Applying the Davis–Chandrasekhar–Fermi (DCF) method with velocity information obtained from Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique 30 m C18O(1-0) observations, we find two distinct sub-regions with magnetic field strengths differing by more than a factor 3. The quieter sub-region is magnetically critical and sub-Alfv$\acute{\rm e}$nic; the field is comparable to the average field measured in molecular clumps based on Zeeman observations. The more chaotic, super-Alfv$\acute{\rm e}$nic sub-region shows at least three velocity components, indicating interaction among multiple substructures. Its field is much less than the average Zeeman field in molecular clumps, suggesting that the DCF value of the field there may be an underestimate. Numerical simulation of filamentary cloud formation shows that filamentary substructures can strongly perturb the magnetic field. DCF and true field values in the simulation aremore »compared. Pre-stellar cores are observed in B211 and are seen in our simulation. The appendices give a derivation of the standard DCF method that allows for a dispersion in polarization angles that is not small, present an alternate derivation of the structure function version of the DCF method, and treat fragmentation of filaments.

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  4. Abstract Located in the Large Magellanic Cloud and mostly irradiated by the massive star cluster R136, 30 Doradus is an ideal target to test the leading theory of grain alignment and rotational disruption by RAdiative Torques (RATs). Here, we use publicly available polarized thermal dust emission observations of 30 Doradus at 89, 154, and 214 μ m using SOFIA/HAWC+. We analyze the variation of the dust polarization degree ( p ) with the total emission intensity ( I ), the dust temperature ( T d ), and the gas column density ( N H ) constructed from Herschel data. The 30 Doradus complex is divided into two main regions relative to R136, namely North and South. In the North, we find that the polarization degree first decreases and then increases before decreasing again when the dust temperature increases toward the irradiating cluster R136. The first depolarization likely arises from the decrease in grain alignment efficiency toward the dense medium due to the attenuation of the interstellar radiation field and the increase in the gas density. The second trend (the increase of p with T d ) is consistent with the RAT alignment theory. The final trend (the decrease of pmore »with T d ) is consistent with the RAT alignment theory only when the grain rotational disruption by RATs is taken into account. In the South, we find that the polarization degree is nearly independent of the dust temperature, while the grain alignment efficiency is higher around the peak of the gas column density and decreases toward the radiation source. The latter feature is also consistent with the prediction of rotational disruption by RATs.« less