HAWC+/SOFIA Multiwavelength Polarimetric Observations of OMC-1

David T. Chuss, B. G. Andersson, John Bally, Jessie L. Dotson, C. Darren Dowell, Jordan A. Guerra, Doyal A. Harper, Martin Houde, Terry Jay Jones, A. Lazarian, Enrique Lopez Rodriguez, Joseph M. Michail, Mark R. Morris, Giles Novak, Javad Siah, Johannes Staguhn, John E. Vaillancourt, C. G. Volpert, Michael Werner, Edward J. WollackDominic J. Benford, Marc Berthoud, Erin G. Cox, Richard Crutcher, Daniel A. Dale, L. M. Fissel, Paul F. Goldsmith, Ryan T. Hamilton, Shaul Hanany, Thomas K. Henning, Leslie W. Looney, S. Harvey Moseley, Fabio P. Santos, Ian Stephens, Konstantinos Tassis, Christopher Q. Trinh, Eric Van Camp, Derek Ward-Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We report new polarimetric and photometric maps of the massive star-forming region OMC-1 using the HAWC+ instrument on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. We present continuum polarimetric and photometric measurements of this region at 53, 89, 154, and 214 μm at angular resolutions of 5″, 8″, 14″, and 19″ for the four bands, respectively. The photometric maps enable the computation of improved spectral energy distributions for the region. We find that at the longer wavelengths, the inferred magnetic field configuration matches the "hourglass" configuration seen in previous studies, indicating magnetically regulated star formation. The field morphology differs at the shorter wavelengths. The magnetic field inferred at these wavelengths traces the bipolar structure of the explosive Becklin-Neugebauer/Kleinman-Low outflow emerging from OMC-1 behind the Orion Nebula. Using statistical methods to estimate the field strength in the region, we find that the explosion dominates the magnetic field near the center of the feature. Farther out, the magnetic field is close to energetic equilibrium with the ejecta and may be providing confinement to the explosion. The correlation between polarization fraction and the local polarization angle dispersion indicates that the depolarization as a function of unpolarized intensity is a result of intrinsic field geometry as opposed to decreases in grain alignment efficiency in denser regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number187
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Based on observations made with the NASA/DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). SOFIA is jointly operated by the Universities Space Research Association, Inc. (USRA), under NASA contract NAS2-97001, and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut (DSI) under DLR contract 50 OK 0901 to the University of Stuttgart. Financial support for this work was provided by NASA through awards #SOF 05-0038 and #SOF 05-0018 issued by USRA.

Funding Information:
PACS has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by MPE (Germany) and including UVIE (Austria); KU Leuven, CSL, IMEC (Belgium); CEA, LAM (France); MPIA (Germany); INAF-IFSI/OAA/OAP/OAT, LENS, SISSA (Italy); and IAC (Spain). This development has been supported by the funding agencies BMVIT (Austria), ESA-PRODEX (Belgium), CEA/CNES (France), DLR (Germany), ASI/INAF (Italy), and CICYT/MCYT (Spain). SPIRE has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by Cardiff University (UK) and including the University of Lethbridge (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, LAM (France); IFSI, the University of Padua (Italy); IAC (Spain); Stockholm Observatory (Sweden); Imperial College London, RAL, UCL-MSSL, UKATC, Univ. Sussex (UK); and Caltech, JPL, NHSC, the University of Colorado (USA). This development has been supported by national funding agencies: CSA (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, CNES, CNRS (France); ASI (Italy); MCINN (Spain); SNSB (Sweden); STFC, UKSA (UK); and NASA (USA). HCSS/HSpot/HIPE is a joint development by the Herschel Science Ground Segment Consortium, consisting of ESA, the NASA Herschel Science Center, and the HIFI, PACS, and SPIRE consortia. This work is based in part on observations made with Herschel, a European Space Agency Cornerstone Mission with significant participation by NASA. Portions of this work were carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, operated by the California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope has historically been operated by the Joint Astronomy Centre on behalf of the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the National Research Council of Canada and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Additional funds for the construction of SCUBA-2 were provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation. This paper made use of SCUBA-2 data taken as part of program ID MJLSG31.


  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: magnetic fields
  • stars: formation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'HAWC+/SOFIA Multiwavelength Polarimetric Observations of OMC-1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this