Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First evidence for magnetic field in protostar jet: Magnetism common to all cosmic jets?

Date:
November 26, 2010
Source:
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Summary:
Highly-sensitive observations with the Very Large Array show the first-ever evidence for a magnetic field in the jet of a young star. This gives such protostellar jets a common characteristic with jets from quasars and microquasars.

Astronomers have found the first evidence of a magnetic field in a jet of material ejected from a young star, a discovery that points toward future breakthroughs in understanding the nature of all types of cosmic jets and of the role of magnetic fields in star formation.

Throughout the Universe, jets of subatomic particles are ejected by three phenomena: the supermassive black holes at the cores of galaxies, smaller black holes or neutron stars consuming material from companion stars, and young stars still in the process of gathering mass from their surroundings. Previously, magnetic fields were detected in the jets of the first two, but until now, magnetic fields had not been confirmed in the jets from young stars.

"Our discovery gives a strong hint that all three types of jets originate through a common process," said Carlos Carrasco-Gonzalez, of the Astrophysical Institute of Andalucia Spanish National Research Council (IAA-CSIC) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

The astronomers used the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to study a young star some 5,500 light-years from Earth, called IRAS 18162-2048. This star, possibly as massive as 10 Suns, is ejecting a jet 17 light-years long.

Observing this object for 12 hours with the VLA, the scientists found that radio waves from the jet have a characteristic indicating they arose when fast-moving electrons interacted with magnetic fields. This characteristic, called polarization, gives a preferential alignment to the electric and magnetic fields of the radio waves.

"We see for the first time that a jet from a young star shares this common characteristic with the other types of cosmic jets," said Luis Rodriguez, of UNAM.

The discovery, the astronomers say, may allow them to gain an improved understanding of the physics of the jets as well as of the role magnetic fields play in forming new stars. The jets from young stars, unlike the other types, emit radiation that provides information on the temperatures, speeds, and densities within the jets. This information, combined with the data on magnetic fields, can improve scientists' understanding of how such jets work.

"In the future, combining several types of observations could give us an overall picture of how magnetic fields affect the young star and all its surroundings. This would be a big advance in understanding the process of star formation," Rodriguez said.

Carrasco-Gonzalez and Rodriguez worked with Guillem Anglada and Mayra Osorio of the Astrophysical Institute of Andalucia, Josep Marti of the University of Jaen in Spain, and Jose Torrelles of the University of Barcelona. The scientists reported their findings in the November 26 edition of Science.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Radio Astronomy Observatory. "First evidence for magnetic field in protostar jet: Magnetism common to all cosmic jets?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101125202011.htm>.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory. (2010, November 26). First evidence for magnetic field in protostar jet: Magnetism common to all cosmic jets?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101125202011.htm
National Radio Astronomy Observatory. "First evidence for magnetic field in protostar jet: Magnetism common to all cosmic jets?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101125202011.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: NASA Captures Solar Flare

Raw: NASA Captures Solar Flare

AP (Sep. 1, 2014) NASA reported the sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, on August 24th. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the images of the flare, which erupted on the left side of the sun. (Sept. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Shuttle Discovery's Legacy, 30 Years Later

Space Shuttle Discovery's Legacy, 30 Years Later

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The space shuttle Discovery launched for the very first time 30 years ago. Here's a look back at its legacy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) Researchers at Fermilab are using a device called "The Holometer" to test whether our universe is actually a 2-D hologram that just seems 3-D. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

Newsy (Aug. 23, 2014) The private spaceflight company says it is preparing a thorough investigation into Friday's mishap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins