Submillimeter array observations of magnetic fields in star forming regions

Ramprasad Rao, Josep M. Girart, Daniel P. Marrone

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The role of magnetic fields in the process of star formation is still not fully understood. Some theories postulate that magnetic fields are important while others state that turbulence is the dominant process and that magnetic fields play a relatively weak role. The recent installation of a polarimetry system at the Submillimeter Array (SMA) has enabled us to conduct observations that could potentially distinguish between the two theories. Some of the nearby low mass star forming regions show hour-glass shaped magnetic field structures that are consistent with theoretical models in which the magnetic field plays a dominant role. However, there are other similar regions where no significant polarization is detected. Ongoing upgrades to the SMA polarimetry system should allow us to make further observations enabling us to increase the sample of observed regions. These SMA measurements will allow us to address observationally the important question of the role of magnetic fields and/or turbulence in the process of star formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number048
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - 2010
Event2010 ISKAF Science Meeting, ISKAF 2010 - Assen, Netherlands
Duration: Jun 10 2010Jun 14 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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