EDP Sciences
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Volume 371, Number 1, May III 2001
Page(s) 274 - 286
Section Diffuse matter in space
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010329

A&A 371, 274-286 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010329

Zeeman line splitting measurements sampling dense gas in dark cloud and star-forming cores

K. I. Uchida1, 2, D. Fiebig3 and R. Güsten1

1  Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2  Cornell University, 108 Space Sciences Building, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
3  Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Universität Heidelberg, Tiergartenstraße 15, 69121 Heidelberg, Germany

(Received 31 October 2000 / Accepted 28 February 2001)

We present measurements of Zeeman splitting in SO $J_{\rm N}=1_2-1_1$ line emission/absorption arising from dense thermal gas (>106 cm-3) associated with ten compact H II and star-forming regions. No line-of-sight magnetic field, above an average 1$\sigma$ limit of 0.57 mG, is detected toward any of these sources. The W3(OH) region, found in a previous study to have a line-of-sight field of 3 mG in its dense gas, is thus unique in this respect. The implication of this study is that the magnetic fields in dense clouds are supercritical in the sense that they are not capable of supporting their host clouds against gravitational collapse. The relatively low average field limit is consistent with those theories predicting the quick onset of and short timescales for ambipolar diffusion. Also presented are (1) Zeeman splitting measurements of the CCS $J_{\rm N}=1_0-0_1$ line probing the 104-5 cm-3 gas towards three positions in the Taurus star forming region, giving a 1$\sigma$ average upper limit of 66 $\mu$G, and (2) measurements of Zeeman splitting in the OH $^2{\rm\Pi}_{\rm 3/2} J=7/2$ F= 3+ - 3- hyperfine line toward the compact H II regions DR-21 and G10.62.

Key words: radio lines: ISM -- magnetic field -- H II regions -- ISM: molecules -- ISM: clouds

Offprint request: K. Uchida, kuchida@astrosun.tn.cornell.edu

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