KY Space Grant Consortium Fellowship Elizabth Mayo,Magnetic Fields in the Galaxy

Grants and Contracts Details


This proposal describes the progress ofthe Ph.D. project of Elizabeth Mayo, who is currently supported through the Kentucky Space Grant Consortium Graduate Student Fellowship. The current project is part of a long-standing research project that uses the techniques of radio astronomy to measure magnetic field strengths in the interstellar medium of our galaxy. Interstellar magnetic fields are believed to playa crucial role in the star-formation process, therefore a comprehensive study of magnetic fields is necessary in understanding the origins of stars (and planets, by implication). For the purpose of this project, observational data have been obtained from several radio telescope facilities including the Very Large Array (Socorro, NM) and the Green Bank Telescope (Green Bank, WV). These data reveal interstellar magnetic field strengths via the Zeeman Effect in radio frequency spectral lines. From this information, we will estimate the magnetic energy in star-forming interstellar clouds in the Galaxy and compare these energies with the energies of self-gravitation and internal motions. From these comparisons, we hope a better understanding will emerge of the role of magnetic fields in the origin of stars.
Effective start/end date8/1/048/31/05


  • Western Kentucky University: $18,000.00


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