skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1908123

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Interstellar dust grains are often aligned. If the grain alignment direction varies along the line of sight, the thermal emission becomes circularly polarized. In the diffuse interstellar medium, the circular polarization at far-infrared and submillimeter wavelengths is predicted to be very small, and probably unmeasurable. However, circular polarization may reach detectable levels in photodissociation regions viewed through molecular clouds, in infrared dark clouds, and in protoplanetary disks. Measurement of circular polarization could help constrain the structure of the magnetic field in infrared dark clouds, and may shed light on the mechanisms responsible for grain alignment in protoplanetary disks.

  2. ABSTRACT In the cold neutral medium, high out-of-equilibrium temperatures are created by intermittent dissipation processes, including shocks, viscous heating, and ambipolar diffusion. The high-temperature excursions are thought to explain the enhanced abundance of CH+ observed along diffuse molecular sightlines. Intermittent high temperatures should also have an impact on H2 line luminosities. We carry out simulations of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence in molecular clouds including heating and cooling, and post-process them to study H2 line emission and hot-gas chemistry, particularly the formation of CH+. We explore multiple magnetic field strengths and equations of state. We use a new H2 cooling function for $n_{\text{H}}\le 10^5\, {\text{cm}}^{-3}$, $T\le 5000\, {\text{K}}$, and variable H2 fraction. We make two important simplifying assumptions: (i) the H2/H fraction is fixed everywhere and (ii) we exclude from our analysis regions where the ion–neutral drift velocity is calculated to be greater than 5 km s−1. Our models produce H2 emission lines in accord with many observations, although extra excitation mechanisms are required in some clouds. For realistic root-mean-square (rms) magnetic field strengths (≈10 μG) and velocity dispersions, we reproduce observed CH+ abundances. These findings contrast with those of Valdivia et al. (2017) Comparison of predicted dust polarization with observations by Planck suggests thatmore »the mean field is ≳5 µG, so that the turbulence is sub-Alfvénic. We recommend future work treating ions and neutrals as separate fluids to more accurately capture the effects of ambipolar diffusion on CH+ abundance.« less