H II Region Driven Galactic Bubbles And Their Relationship To The Galactic Magnetic Field

Date

2012-12

Authors

Pavel, Michael D.
Clemens, D. P.

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Abstract

The relative alignments of mid-infrared traced Galactic bubbles are compared to the orientation of the mean Galactic magnetic field in the disk. The orientations of bubbles in the northern Galactic plane were measured and are consistent with random orientations-no preferential alignment with respect to the Galactic disk was found. A subsample of H II region driven Galactic bubbles was identified, and as a single population they show random orientations. When this subsample was further divided into subthermal and suprathermal H II regions, based on hydrogen radio recombination linewidths, the subthermal H II regions showed a marginal deviation from random orientations, but the suprathermal H II regions showed significant alignment with the Galactic plane. The mean orientation of the Galactic disk magnetic field was characterized using new near-infrared starlight polarimetry and the suprathermal H II regions were found to preferentially align with the disk magnetic field. If suprathermal linewidths are associated with younger H II regions, then the evolution of young H II regions is significantly affected by the Galactic magnetic field. As H II regions age, they cease to be strongly linked to the Galactic magnetic field, as surrounding density variations come to dominate their morphological evolution. From the new observations, the ratios of magnetic-to-ram pressures in the expanding ionization fronts were estimated for younger H II regions.

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Citation

Pavel, Michael D., and Dan P. Clemens. "H II Region Driven Galactic Bubbles and Their Relationship to the Galactic Magnetic Field." The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 760, No. 2 (Dec., 2012): 150.