453 research outputs found

    A polarisation study of spiral galaxies

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    Optical polarimetry results are presented for four spiral galaxies: NGC 5194 (M51), NGC 1068, NGC 4565 and NGC 4594 (Ml04). M51 and NGC 1068 show spiral polar isation patterns which are interpreted as indicating a spiral magnetic field in each case. NGC 4565 and M104 show polar isations in their dust lanes which are parallel to their galactic planes, and which are interpreted in terms of a magnetic field in the plane of each. It is hypothesised that the observed magnetic fields may be linked to galactic shocks. A discussion of the origin of galactic magnetic fields concludes that there is no evidence which necessitates a primordial magnetic field

    BIMA N2H+ 1-0 mapping observations of L183 -- fragmentation and spin-up in a collapsing, magnetized, rotating, pre-stellar core

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    We have used the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Array (BIMA) to make deep N2H+ 1-0 maps of the pre-stellar core L183, in order to study the spatial and kinematic substructure within the densest part of the core. Three spatially and kinematically distinct clumps are detected, which we label L183-N1, L183-N2 and L183-N3. L183-N2 is approximately coincident with the submillimetre dust peak and lies at the systemic velocity of L183. Thus we conclude that L183-N2 is the central dense core of L183. L183-N1 and 3 are newly-discovered fragments of L183, which are marked by velocity gradients that are parallel to, but far stronger than, the velocity gradient of L183 as a whole, as detected in previous single-dish data. Furthermore, the ratio of the large-scale and small-scale velocity gradients, and the ratio of their respective size-scales, are consistent with the conservation of angular momentum for a rotating, collapsing core undergoing spin-up. The inferred axis of rotation is parallel to the magnetic field direction, which is offset from its long axis, as we have seen in other pre-stellar cores. Therefore, we propose that we have detected a fragmenting, collapsing, filamentary, pre-stellar core, rotating about its B-field, which is spinning up as it collapses. It will presumably go on to form a multiple protostellar system.Comment: 7 figures, 1 table, 21 pages, accepted for publication in Ap

    Interferometric Identification of a Pre-Brown Dwarf

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    It is not known whether brown dwarfs (stellar-like objects with masses less than the hydrogen-burning limit, 0.075 Msun) are formed in the same way as solar-type stars or by some other process. Here we report the clear-cut identification of a self-gravitating condensation of gas and dust with a mass in the brown-dwarf regime, made through millimeter interferometric observations. The level of thermal millimeter continuum emission detected from this object indicates a mass ~ 0.02-0.03 Msun, while the small radius < 460 AU and narrow spectral lines imply a dynamical mass of 0.015-0.02 Msun. The identification of such a pre-brown dwarf core supports models according to which brown dwarfs are formed in the same manner as hydrogen-burning stars.Comment: 23 pages, 6 figures, Supporting Online Material included. Published in Science (Vol. 337, 6 july 2012); http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/337/6090/69?ijkey=ODfDOFPXGRc9E&keytype=ref&siteid=sc

    Stellar clustering and the kinematics of stars around Collinder 121 using Gaia DR3

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    We study the region around Collinder 121 (Cr 121) using newly available 6-dimensional data from the Gaia DR3 catalogue. Situated in the third quadrant, near the galactic plane, Collinder 121 lies in the region of Canis Major centred around l = 236 degrees, b = -10 degrees. Previous studies have suggested that the stellar associations in this region comprise an OB association (CMa OB2) lying at about 740 pc with a more distant open cluster (Cr 121) at approximately 1170 pc. Despite these studies, the precise nature of Collinder 121 remains uncertain. This study investigates the region bounded by the box l = 225 to 245 degrees, b = 0.00 to -20.00 degrees to a depth of 700 pc from 500 to 1200 pc which fully encompasses the region discussed in the literature. Using Gaia DR3 data, we do not find associations at the distances given in the literature. Instead, using the HDBSCAN machine learning algorithm, we find a major association of OB stars centred around 803 pc. Within this association we find four smaller subgroups that may be indicative of a larger association and which are located at a mean distance of 827 pc. Proper motion studies find coherence between these four subgroups and show a distinctive east to west increase in the size of the velocity vectors which supports contemporary studies that show similar trends in OB populations in Cygnus and within the Carina spiral Arm. Therefore, we hypothesize that Cr 121 and CMa OB2 are the same cluster, consistent with the 1977 study by Hoogerwerf

    Detailed Studies of Cloud Cores: Probing the Initial Conditions for Protostellar Collapse

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    Improving our understanding of the earliest stages of star formation is crucial to gain insight into the origin of stellar masses, multiple systems, and protoplanetary disks. We discuss recent advances made in this area thanks to detailed mapping observations at infrared and (sub)millimeter wavelengths. Although ambipolar diffusion appears to be too slow to play a direct role in the formation of dense cores, there is nevertheless good evidence that the gravitational collapse of isolated protostellar cores is strongly magnetically controlled. We also argue that the beginning of protostellar collapse is much more violent in cluster-forming clouds than in regions of distributed star formation.Comment: 10 pages, 4 figures, to appear in the proceedings of the JENAM2003 minisymposium "Early Stages of Star Formation" (special issue of Baltic Astronomy - M. Kun & J. Eisloeffel Eds.

    From Filamentary Networks to Dense Cores in Molecular Clouds: Toward a New Paradigm for Star Formation

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    Recent studies of the nearest star-forming clouds of the Galaxy at submillimeter wavelengths with the Herschel Space Observatory have provided us with unprecedented images of the initial and boundary conditions of the star formation process. The Herschel results emphasize the role of interstellar filaments in the star formation process and connect remarkably well with nearly a decade's worth of numerical simulations and theory that have consistently shown that the ISM should be highly filamentary on all scales and star formation is intimately related to self-gravitating filaments. In this review, we trace how the apparent complexity of cloud structure and star formation is governed by relatively simple universal processes - from filamentary clumps to galactic scales. We emphasize two crucial and complementary aspects: (i) the key observational results obtained with Herschel over the past three years, along with relevant new results obtained from the ground on the kinematics of interstellar structures, and (ii) the key existing theoretical models and the many numerical simulations of interstellar cloud structure and star formation. We then synthesize a comprehensive physical picture that arises from the confrontation of these observations and simulations.Comment: 24 pages, 15 figures. Accepted for publication as a review chapter in Protostars and Planets VI, University of Arizona Press (2014), eds. H. Beuther, R. Klessen, C. Dullemond, Th. Hennin
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