Special Session: The Role of Magnetic Fields and Filaments in Star Formation

Date: 
Monday, January 07, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm PST
Location: 
2019 Winter AAS in Seattle, Washington
Event Type: 
Conference

This session brings together the latest studies of magnetic fields in star forming regions and the galactic environment, with a goal of better understanding the role of magnetic fields shaping interstellar matter into the observed filaments, funneling atoms and molecules to enhance star formation efficiencies, and supporting clouds against collapse. 

Additional Information: 

Understanding the role of magnetic fields in the star formation process is evolving from a theoretical to empirical approach thanks to the development of polarimetric capabilities in the infrared at major observatories and dedicated missions. Polarization observations are needed to connect the processes associated with star formation, from the smallest to the largest scales, and effectively test current theories. Herschel observations established that molecular filaments are ubiquitous in the interstellar medium and are the preferred sites of star formation. Planck’s all-sky dust polarization maps show an organized magnetic field on large (few parsec) scales.  SOFIA’s new instrument, HAWC+, studies the role of magnetic fields in filaments on sub-parsec scales. ALMA provides polarization observations on even smaller scales, probing regions surrounding young protostars. Sub-orbital platforms, such as BLASTPOL and BLAST-TNG, can deliver a wealth of data on magnetic fields in the interstellar medium. Arecibo’s 21-cm neutral hydrogen data reveal pervasive interstellar filaments that follow galactic magnetic field lines. These observations can help to break degeneracies on the MHD modeling of the turbulent interstellar medium. This session brings together the latest studies of magnetic fields in star forming regions and the galactic environment. The goal is to better understand the role of magnetic fields shaping interstellar matter into the observed filaments, funneling atoms and molecules to enhance star formation efficiencies, and supporting clouds against collapse.

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