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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 duemore »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 rotational 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. Themore »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 p 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 We have obtained sensitive dust continuum polarization observations at 850 μ m in the B213 region of Taurus using POL-2 on SCUBA-2 at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope as part of the B -fields in STar-forming Region Observations (BISTRO) survey. These observations allow us to probe magnetic field ( B -field) at high spatial resolution (∼2000 au or ∼0.01 pc at 140 pc) in two protostellar cores (K04166 and K04169) and one prestellar core (Miz-8b) that lie within the B213 filament. Using the Davis–Chandrasekhar–Fermi method, we estimate the B -field strengths in K04166, K04169, and Miz-8b to be 38more »± 14, 44 ± 16, and 12 ± 5 μ G, respectively. These cores show distinct mean B -field orientations. The B -field in K04166 is well ordered and aligned parallel to the orientations of the core minor axis, outflows, core rotation axis, and large-scale uniform B -field, in accordance with magnetically regulated star formation via ambipolar diffusion taking place in K04166. The B -field in K04169 is found to be ordered but oriented nearly perpendicular to the core minor axis and large-scale B -field and not well correlated with other axes. In contrast, Miz-8b exhibits a disordered B -field that shows no preferred alignment with the core minor axis or large-scale field. We found that only one core, K04166, retains a memory of the large-scale uniform B -field. The other two cores, K04169 and Miz-8b, are decoupled from the large-scale field. Such a complex B -field configuration could be caused by gas inflow onto the filament, even in the presence of a substantial magnetic flux.« less
  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.more »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 in 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