The relative orientation between the magnetic field and gradients of surface brightness within thin velocity slices of 12CO and 13CO emission from the Taurus molecular cloud

M. Heyer, J. D. Soler, B. Burkhart

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine the role of the interstellar magnetic field to modulate the orientation of turbulent flows within the Taurus molecular cloud using spatial gradients of thin velocity slices of 12CO and 13CO antenna temperatures. Our analysis accounts for the random errors of the gradients that arise from the thermal noise of the spectra. The orientations of the vectors normal to the antenna temperature gradient vectors are compared to the magnetic field orientations that are calculated from Planck 353 GHz polarization data. These relative orientations are parameterized with the projected Rayleigh statistic and mean resultant vector. For 12CO, strongly parallel and strongly perpendicular relative orientations are found in 28 percent and 39 percent of the cloud area respectively. For the lower opacity 13CO emission, strongly parallel and strongly perpendicular orientations are found in 7 per cent and 43 per cent of the cloud area, respectively. For both isotopologues, strongly parallel or perpendicular alignments are restricted to localized regions with low levels of turbulence. If the relative orientations serve as an observational proxy to the Alfvénic Mach number then our results imply local variations of the Alfvénic Mach number throughout the cloud.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4546-4564
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume496
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: molecules
  • ISM: structure
  • Stars: formation
  • Submillimetre: ISM

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