Magnetic field in the isolated massive dense clump iras 20126+4104

Hiroko Shinnaga*, Giles Novak, John E. Vaillancourt, Masahiro N. MacHida, Akimasa Kataoka, Kohji Tomisaka, Jacqueline Davidson, Thomas G. Phillips, C. Darren Dowell, Lerothodi Leeuw, Martin Houde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We measured polarized dust emission at 350 μm toward the high-mass star-forming massive dense clump IRAS 20126+4104 using the SHARC II Polarimeter, SHARP, at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. Most of the observed magnetic field vectors agree well with magnetic field vectors obtained from a numerical simulation for the case when the global magnetic field lines are inclined with respect to the rotation axis of the dense clump. The results of the numerical simulation show that rotation plays an important role on the evolution of the massive dense clump and its magnetic field. The direction of the cold CO 1-0 bipolar outflow is parallel to the observed magnetic field within the dense clump as well as the global magnetic field, as inferred from optical polarimetry data, indicating that the magnetic field also plays a critical role in an early stage of massive star formation. The large-scale Keplerian disk of the massive (proto)star rotates in an almost opposite sense to the clump's envelope. The observed magnetic field morphology and the counterrotating feature of the massive dense clump system provide hints to constrain the role of magnetic fields in the process of high-mass star formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL29
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 10 2012


  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: magnetic fields
  • polarization
  • stars: formation
  • submillimeter: ISM
  • techniques: polarimetric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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