B-fields and Dust in Interstellar Filaments Using Dust Polarization (BALLAD-POL). I. The Massive Filament G11.11–0.12 Observed by SOFIA/HAWC+

Nguyen Bich Ngoc, Pham Ngoc Diep, Thiem Hoang, Le Ngoc Tram, Nguyen Chau Giang, Ngân Lê, Thuong D. Hoang, Nguyen Thi Phuong, Nguyen Minh Khang, Dieu D. Nguyen, Bao Truong

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We report the first measurement of polarized thermal dust emission toward the entire infrared dark cloud G11.11−0.12 taken by the polarimeter SOFIA/HAWC+ at 214 μm. The obtained magnetic fields (B-fields) from the polarized emission of the early-stage and massive filament tend to be perpendicular to its spine. We produce a map of B-field strengths for the center region of the filament. The strengths vary in the range of 100-600 μG and are strongest along the filament's spine. The central region is sub-Alfvénic and mostly subcritical, meaning that B-fields dominate over turbulence and are strong enough to resist gravitational collapse. The alignment and properties of dust grains in the filament are studied using radiative torque (RAT) theory. We find the decrease of polarization degree P with emission intensity I, i.e., depolarization effect, of the form P ∝ I −α with α ∼ 0.8-0.9, implying a significant loss of grain alignment in the filament's spine. The depolarization can be explained by the decrease in RAT alignment efficiency toward the denser regions with weaker radiation field, which cannot be explained by B-field tangling. We study the effect of the enhanced magnetic relaxation by embedded iron inclusions on RAT alignment and find that the high polarization fraction P ∼ 20%-30% in the outer layer of the filament is potential evidence for the magnetically enhanced RAT alignment mechanism. This is the first time this effect is evaluated in a filament. Based on the polarization fraction and RAT alignment theory, we also find evidence for grain growth in the filament.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalThe Astrophysical journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023

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© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.


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