SKA studies of in-situ synchrotron radiation from molecular clouds

Clive Dickinson, R. Beck, R. Crocker, R. M. Crutcher, R. D. Davies, K. Ferriere, G. Fuller, T. Jaffe, D. I. Jones, J. P. Leahy, E. J. Murphy, M. W. Peel, E. Orlando, T. Porter, R. J. Protheroe, T. Robishaw, A. W. Strong, R. A. Watson, F. Yusef-Zadeh

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


    Observations of the properties of dense molecular clouds are critical in understanding the process of star-formation. One of the most important, but least understood, is the role of the magnetic fields. We discuss the possibility of using high-resolution, high-sensitivity radio observations with the SKA to measure for the first time the in-situ synchrotron radiation from these molecular clouds. If the cosmic-ray (CR) particles penetrate clouds as expected, then we can measure the B-field strength directly using radio data. So far, this signature has never been detected from the collapsing clouds themselves and would be a unique probe of the magnetic field. Dense cores are typically ∼ 0.05 pc in size, corresponding to ∼arcsec at ∼kpc distances, and flux density estimates are ∼ mJy at 1 GHz. The SKA should be able to readily detect directly, for the first time, along lines-of-sight that are not contaminated by thermal emission or complex foreground/background synchrotron emission. Polarised synchrotron may also be detectable providing additional information about the regular/turbulent fields.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number102
    JournalProceedings of Science
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
    EventAdvancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array, AASKA 2014 - Giardini Naxos, Italy
    Duration: 9 Jun 201413 Jun 2014


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