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  1. Abstract We have measured the gas temperature in the IC 63 photodissociation region (PDR) using the S(1) and S(5) pure rotation lines of molecular hydrogen with SOFIA/EXES. We divide the PDR into three regions for analysis based on the illumination from γ Cas: sunny, ridge, and shady. Constructing rotation diagrams for the different regions, we obtain temperatures of T ex = 562 − 43 + 52 K toward the ridge and T ex = 495 − 25 + 28 K in the shady side. The H 2 emission was not detected on the sunny side of the ridge, likely due to the photodissociation of H 2 in this gas. Our temperature values are lower than the value of T ex = 685 ± 68 K using the S(1), S(3), and S(5) pure rotation lines, derived by Thi et al. using lower spatial resolution ISO-SWS data at a different location of the IC 63 PDR. This difference indicates that the PDR is inhomogeneous and illustrates the need for high-resolution mapping of such regions to fully understand their physics. The detection of a temperature gradient correlated with the extinction into the cloud, points to the ability of using H 2 pure rotationalmore »line spectroscopy to map the gas temperature on small scales. We used a PDR model to estimate the FUV radiation and corresponding gas densities in IC 63. Our results shows the capability of SOFIA/EXES to resolve and provide detailed information on the temperature in such regions.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  2. 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
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  3. Abstract Star formation primarily occurs in filaments where magnetic fields are expected to be dynamically important. The largest and densest filaments trace the spiral structure within galaxies. Over a dozen of these dense (∼10 4 cm −3 ) and long (>10 pc) filaments have been found within the Milky Way, and they are often referred to as “bones.” Until now, none of these bones has had its magnetic field resolved and mapped in its entirety. We introduce the SOFIA legacy project FIELDMAPS which has begun mapping ∼10 of these Milky Way bones using the HAWC+ instrument at 214 μ m and 18.″2 resolution. Here we present a first result from this survey on the ∼60 pc long bone G47. Contrary to some studies of dense filaments in the Galactic plane, we find that the magnetic field is often not perpendicular to the spine (i.e., the center line of the bone). Fields tend to be perpendicular in the densest areas of active star formation and more parallel or random in other areas. The average field is neither parallel nor perpendicular to the Galactic plane or the bone. The magnetic field strengths along the spine typically vary from ∼20 to ∼100 μmore »G. Magnetic fields tend to be strong enough to suppress collapse along much of the bone, but for areas that are most active in star formation, the fields are notably less able to resist gravitational collapse.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  4. Abstract The alignment of dust grains with the ambient magnetic field produces polarization of starlight as well as thermal dust emission. Using the archival SOFIA/HAWC+ polarimetric data observed toward the ρ Ophiuchus (Oph) A cloud hosted by a B star at 89 and 154 μ m, we find that the fractional polarization of thermal dust emission first increases with the grain temperature and then decreases once the grain temperature exceeds ≃25–32 K. The latter trend differs from the prediction of the popular RAdiative Torques (RATs) alignment theory, which implies a monotonic increase of the polarization fraction with the grain temperature. We perform numerical modeling of polarized dust emission for the ρ Oph-A cloud and calculate the degree of dust polarization by simultaneously considering the dust grain alignment and rotational disruption by RATs. Our modeling results could successfully reproduce both the rising and declining trends of the observational data. Moreover, we show that the alignment of only silicate grains or a mixture of silicate–carbon grains within a composite structure can reproduce the observational trends, assuming that all dust grains follow a power-law size distribution. Although there are a number of simplifications and limitations to our modeling, our results suggest grains inmore »the ρ Oph-A cloud have a composite structure, and the grain size distribution has a steeper slope than the standard size distribution for the interstellar medium. Combination of SOFIA/HAWC+ data with JCMT observations 450 and 850  μ m would be useful to test the proposed scenario based on grain alignment and disruption by RATs.« less
  5. Context. LDN 1157 is one of several clouds that are situated in the cloud complex LDN 1147/1158. The cloud presents a coma-shaped morphology with a well-collimated bipolar outflow emanating from a Class 0 protostar, LDN 1157-mm, that resides deep inside the cloud. Aims. The main goals of this work are (a) mapping the intercloud magnetic field (ICMF) geometry of the region surrounding LDN 1157 to investigate its relationship with the cloud morphology, outflow direction, and core magnetic field (CMF) geometry inferred from the millimeter- and submillimeter polarization results from the literature, and (b) to investigate the kinematic structure of the cloud. Methods. We carried out optical ( R -band) polarization observations of the stars projected on the cloud to map the parsec-scale magnetic field geometry. We made spectroscopic observations of the entire cloud in the 12 CO, C 18 O, and N 2 H + ( J = 1–0) lines to investigate its kinematic structure. Results. We obtained a distance of 340 ± 3 pc to the LDN 1147/1158, complex based on the Gaia DR2 parallaxes and proper motion values of the three young stellar objects (YSOs) associated with the complex. A single filament of ~1.2 pc in length (tracedmore »by the Filfinder algorithm) and ~0.09 pc in width (estimated using the Radfil algorithm) is found to run throughout the coma-shaped cloud. Based on the relationships between the ICMF, CMF, filament orientations, outflow direction, and the hourglass morphology of the magnetic field, it is likely that the magnetic field played an important role in the star formation process in LDN 1157. LDN 1157-mm is embedded in one of the two high-density peaks detected using the Clumpfind algorithm. The two detected clumps lie on the filament and show a blue-red asymmetry in the 12 CO line. The C 18 O emission is well correlated with the filament and presents a coherent structure in velocity space. Combining the proper motions of the YSOs and the radial velocity of LDN 1147/1158 and an another complex, LDN 1172/1174, that is situated ~2° east of it, we found that the two complexes are moving collectively toward the Galactic plane. The filamentary morphology of the east-west segment of LDN 1157 may have formed as a result of mass lost by ablation through interaction of the moving cloud with the ambient interstellar medium.« less