Self-consistent analysis of OH Zeeman observations

Richard M. Crutcher, Nicholas Hakobian, Thomas H. Troland

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Crutcher et al. used OH Zeeman observations of four nearby molecular dark clouds to show that the ratio of mass to magnetic flux was smaller in the ~0.1 pc cores than in the ~1 pc envelopes, in contradiction to the prediction of ambipolar diffusion driven core formation. A crucial assumption was that the magnetic field direction is nearly the same in the envelope and core regions of each cloud. Mouschovias & Tassis have argued that the data are not consistent with this assumption, and presented a new analysis that changes the conclusions of the study. Here, we show that the data are in fact consistent with the nearly uniform field direction assumption; hence, the original study is internally self-consistent and the conclusions are valid under the assumptions that were made. We also show that the Mouschovias & Tassis model of magnetic fields in cloud envelopes is inconsistent with their own analysis of the data. However, the data do not rule out a more complex field configuration that future observations may discern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L64-L66
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: evolution
  • ISM: magnetic fields
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-consistent analysis of OH Zeeman observations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this