Planck intermediate results. XXXV. Probing the role of the magnetic field in the formation of structure in molecular clouds

Abstract : Within ten nearby (d < 450 pc) Gould Belt molecular clouds we evaluate statistically the relative orientation between the magnetic field projected on the plane of sky, inferred from the polarized thermal emission of Galactic dust observed by Planck at 353 GHz, and the gas column density structures, quantified by the gradient of the column density, NH. The relative orientation is evaluated pixel by pixel and analyzed in bins of column density using the novel statistical tool called "Histogram of Relative Orientations". Within most clouds we find that the relative orientation changes progressively with increasing NH, from preferentially parallel or having no preferred orientation to preferentially perpendicular. In simulations of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in molecular clouds this trend in relative orientation is a signature of Alfv\'enic or sub-Alfv\'enic turbulence, implying that the magnetic field is significant for the gas dynamics at the scales probed by Planck. We compare the deduced magnetic field strength with estimates we obtain from other methods and discuss the implications of the Planck observations for the general picture of molecular cloud formation and evolution.
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Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2016, 586, pp.A138. 〈10.1051/0004-6361/201525896〉
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Contributeur : Sabine Starita <>
Soumis le : mercredi 8 avril 2015 - 15:23:11
Dernière modification le : mardi 29 mai 2018 - 12:50:43

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P.A.R. Ade, F. Couchot, S. Henrot-Versillé, A. Mangilli, Stéphane Plaszczynski, et al.. Planck intermediate results. XXXV. Probing the role of the magnetic field in the formation of structure in molecular clouds. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2016, 586, pp.A138. 〈10.1051/0004-6361/201525896〉. 〈in2p3-01140418〉

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