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  1. ABSTRACT Of all the factors that influence star formation, magnetic fields are perhaps the least well understood. The goal of this paper is to characterize the 3D magnetic field properties of nearby molecular clouds through various methods of statistically analysing maps of polarized dust emission. Our study focuses on nine clouds, with data taken from the Planck Sky Survey as well as data from the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry observations of Vela C. We compare the distributions of polarization fraction (p), dispersion in polarization angles ($\mathcal {S}$), and hydrogen column density (NH) for each of our targeted clouds. To broaden the scope of our analysis, we compare the distributions of our clouds’ polarization observables with measurements from synthetic polarization maps generated from numerical simulations. We also use the distribution of polarization fraction measurements to estimate the inclination angle of each cloud’s cloud-scale magnetic field. We obtain a range of inclination angles associated with our clouds, varying from 16○ to 69○. We establish inverse correlations between p and both $\mathcal {S}$ and NH in almost every cloud, but we are unable to establish a statistically robust $\mathcal {S}$ versus NH trend. By comparing the results of these different statisticalmore »analysis techniques, we are able to propose a more comprehensive view of each cloud’s 3D magnetic field properties. These detailed cloud analyses will be useful in the continued studies of cloud-scale magnetic fields and the ways in which they affect star formation within these molecular clouds.« less
  2. Context. Recent surveys of the Galactic plane in the dust continuum and CO emission lines reveal that large (≳50 pc) and massive (≳10 5 M ⊙ ) filaments, know as giant molecular filaments (GMFs), may be linked to Galactic dynamics and trace the mid-plane of the gravitational potential in the Milky Way. Yet our physical understanding of GMFs is still poor. Aims. We investigate the dense gas properties of one GMF, with the ultimate goal of connecting these dense gas tracers with star formation processes in the GMF. Methods. We imaged one entire GMF located at l ~ 52–54° longitude, GMF54 (~68 pc long), in the empirical dense gas tracers using the HCN(1–0), HNC(1–0), and HCO + (1–0) lines, and their 13 C isotopologue transitions, as well as the N 2 H + (1–0) line. We studied the dense gas distribution, the column density probability density functions (N-PDFs), and the line ratios within the GMF. Results. The dense gas molecular transitions follow the extended structure of the filament with area filling factors between 0.06 and 0.28 with respect to 13 CO(1–0). We constructed the N-PDFs of H 2 for each of the dense gas tracers based on their column densitiesmore »and assumed uniform abundance. The N-PDFs of the dense gas tracers appear curved in log–log representation, and the HCO + N-PDF has the flattest power-law slope index. Studying the N-PDFs for sub-regions of GMF54, we found an evolutionary trend in the N-PDFs that high-mass star-forming and photon-dominated regions have flatter power-law indices. The integrated intensity ratios of the molecular lines in GMF54 are comparable to those in nearby galaxies. In particular, the N 2 H + / 13 CO ratio, which traces the dense gas fraction, has similar values in GMF54 and all nearby galaxies except Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies. Conclusions. As the largest coherent cold gaseous structure in our Milky Way, GMFs, are outstanding candidates for connecting studies of star formation on Galactic and extragalactic scales. By analyzing a complete map of the dense gas in a GMF we have found that: (1) the dense gas N-PDFs appear flatter in more evolved regions and steeper in younger regions, and (2) its integrated dense gas intensity ratios are similar to those of nearby galaxies.« less
  3. Abstract

    We present the first linear polarization measurements from the 2015 long-duration balloon flight ofSpider, which is an experiment that is designed to map the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) on degree angular scales. The results from these measurements include maps and angular power spectra from observations of 4.8% of the sky at 95 and 150 GHz, along with the results of internal consistency tests on these data. While the polarized CMB anisotropy from primordial density perturbations is the dominant signal in this region of sky, Galactic dust emission is also detected with high significance. Galactic synchrotron emission is found to be negligible in theSpiderbands. We employ two independent foreground-removal techniques to explore the sensitivity of the cosmological result to the assumptions made by each. The primary method uses a dust template derived fromPlanckdata to subtract the Galactic dust signal. A second approach, which constitutes a joint analysis ofSpiderandPlanckdata in the harmonic domain, assumes a modified-blackbody model for the spectral energy distribution of the dust with no constraint on its spatial morphology. Using a likelihood that jointly samples the template amplitude andrparameter space, we derive 95% upper limits on the primordial tensor-to-scalar ratio from Feldman–Cousins and Bayesian constructions,more »findingr< 0.11 andr< 0.19, respectively. Roughly half the uncertainty inrderives from noise associated with the template subtraction. New data at 280 GHz fromSpider’s second flight will complement thePlanckpolarization maps, providing powerful measurements of the polarized Galactic dust emission.

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  4. Abstract

    Modern cosmic microwave background (CMB) analysis pipelines regularly employ complex time-domain filters, beam models, masking, and other techniques during the production of sky maps and their corresponding angular power spectra. However, these processes can generate couplings between multipoles from the same spectrum and from different spectra, in addition to the typical power attenuation. Within the context of pseudo-Cbased,MASTER-style analyses, the net effect of the time-domain filtering is commonly approximated by a multiplicative transfer function,F, that can fail to capture mode mixing and is dependent on the spectrum of the signal. To address these shortcomings, we have developed a simulation-based spectral correction approach that constructs a two-dimensional transfer matrix,J, which contains information about mode mixing in addition to mode attenuation. We demonstrate the application of this approach on data from the first flight of theSpiderballoon-borne CMB experiment.