Gravity and rotation drag the magnetic field in high-mass star formation

Henrik Beuther, Juan D Soler, Hendrik Linz, Thomas Henning, Caroline Gieser, Rolf Kuiper, Wouter Vlemmings, Patrick Hennebelle, Siyi Feng, Rowan Smith, Aida Ahmadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The formation of hot stars out of the cold interstellar medium lies at the heart of astrophysical research. Understanding the importance of magnetic fields during star formation remains a major challenge. With the advent of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, the potential to study magnetic fields by polarization observations has tremendously progressed. However, the major question remains how much magnetic fields shape the star formation process or whether gravity is largely dominating. Here, we show that for the high-mass star-forming region G327.3 the magnetic field morphology appears to be dominantly shaped by the gravitational contraction of the central massive gas core where the
star formation proceeds. We find that in the outer parts of the region, the magnetic field is directed toward the gravitational center of the region. Filamentary structures feeding the central core exhibit U-shaped magnetic field morphologies directed toward the gravitational center as well, again showing
the gravitational drag toward the center. The inner part then shows rotational signatures, potentially associated with an embedded disk, and there the magnetic field morphology appears to be rotationally dominated. Hence, our results demonstrate that for this region gravity and rotation are dominating
the dynamics and shaping the magnetic field morphology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Oct 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Gravity and rotation drag the magnetic field in high-mass star formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this