A Submillimeter View Into a Magnetic and Turbulent Universe

Date: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 1:30pm PDT
Speaker: 
Simon Coudé
Affiliation: 
Université de Montréal
Location: 
N232 R227
Event Type: 
Seminar

Astronomy at far-infrared and submillimeter wavelengths offers a unique window to study the physical properties of a wide variety of interstellar environments, ranging from the stellar nurseries in our Galaxy to the relativistic jets of faraway blazars. Polarimetric observations in particular can probe the magnetic and turbulent properties of these environments, providing insights into notoriously challenging topics such as the role of magnetic fields in the formation of stars and their planets.

I will present observations obtained with the new POL-2 polarimeter at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope of the 850 µm linear polarization towards a sample of galactic and extragalactic objects. Specifically, I will show the results of the BISTRO survey for the Barnard 1 star-forming region in the Perseus molecular cloud complex. We derived the turbulent-to-total energy ratio within the cloud by analyzing the dispersion of polarization angles, from which we then estimated the amplitude of the magnetic field through the Davis-Chandrasekhar-Fermi method. Additionally, I will present results from a monitoring campaign by the POL-2 commissioning team of the temporal variability in the polarization measured towards four radio-loud active galactic nuclei.

With its continuum, spectroscopic and polarimetric capabilities in the far-infrared, SOFIA is uniquely equipped to further expand our understanding of the dynamics within interstellar environments.

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