Very large array OH Zeeman observations of the star-forming region S88B

A. P. Sarma, C. L. Brogan, T. L. Bourke, M. Eftimova, T. H. Troland

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5 Scopus citations


We present observations of the Zeeman effect in OH thermal absorption main lines at 1665 and 1667 MHz taken with the Very Large Array toward the star-forming region S88B. The OH absorption profiles toward this source are complicated, and contain several blended components toward a number of positions. Almost all of the OH absorbing gas is located in the eastern parts of S88B, toward the compact continuum source S88B-2 and the eastern parts of the extended continuum source S88B-1. The ratio of 1665/1667 MHz OH line intensities indicates the gas is likely highly clumped, in agreement with other molecular emission line observations in the literature. S88-B appears to present a similar geometry to the well-known star-forming region M17, in that there is an edge-on eastward progression from ionized to molecular gas. The detected magnetic fields appear to mirror this eastward transition; we detected line-of-sight magnetic fields ranging from 90 to 400 μG, with the lowest values of the field to the southwest of the S88B-1 continuum peak, and the highest values to its northeast. We used the detected fields to assess the importance of the magnetic field in S88B by a number of methods; we calculated the ratio of thermal to magnetic pressures, we calculated the critical field necessary to completely support the cloud against self-gravity and compared it to the observed field, and we calculated the ratio of mass to magnetic flux in terms of the critical value of this parameter. All these methods indicated that the magnetic field in S88B is dynamically significant, and should provide an important source of support against gravity. Moreover, the magnetic energy density is in approximate equipartition with the turbulent energy density, again pointing to the importance of the magnetic field in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 10 2013


  • Hii regions
  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: individual objects (S88B)
  • ISM: kinematics and dynamics
  • ISM: magnetic fields
  • ISM: molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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