Multi-scale analysis of magnetic fields in filamentary molecular clouds in Orion A

Frédérick Poidevin, P. Bastien, T. J. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


New visible and K-band polarization measurements of stars surrounding molecular clouds in Orion A and stars in the Becklin-Neugebauer (BN) vicinity are presented. Our results confirm that magnetic fields located inside the Orion A molecular clouds and in their close neighborhood are spatially connected. On and around the BN object, we measured the angular offsets between the K-band polarization data and available submillimeter (submm) data. We find high values of the polarization degree, PK , and of the optical depth, τK, close to an angular offset position of 90° whereas lower values of PK and τK are observed for smaller angular offsets. We interpret these results as evidence for the presence of various magnetic field components toward lines of sight in the vicinity of BN. On a larger scale, we measured the distribution of angular offsets between available H-band polarization data and the same submm data set. Here we find an increase of 〈PH 〉 with angular offset, which we interpret as a rotation of the magnetic field by ≲ 60°. This trend generalizes previous results on small scales toward and around lines of sight to BN and is consistent with a twist of the magnetic field on a larger scale toward OMC-1. A comparison of our results with several other studies suggests that a two-component magnetic field, perhaps helical, could be wrapping the OMC-1 filament.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 10 2011


  • ISM: individual objects (Orion A, OMC-1, OMC-2, OMC-3, OMC-4)
  • ISM: magnetic fields
  • polarization


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-scale analysis of magnetic fields in filamentary molecular clouds in Orion A'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this