ALMA CN Zeeman Observations of AS 209: Limits on Magnetic Field Strength and Magnetically Driven Accretion Rate

Rachel E. Harrison, Leslie W. Looney, Ian W. Stephens, Zhi Yun Li, Richard Teague, Richard M. Crutcher, Haifeng Yang, Erin G. Cox, Manuel Fernández-López, Hiroko Shinnaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While magnetic fields likely play an important role in driving the evolution of protoplanetary disks through angular momentum transport, observational evidence of magnetic fields has only been found in a small number of disks. Although dust continuum linear polarization has been detected in an increasing number of disks, its pattern is more consistent with that from dust scattering than from magnetically aligned grains in the vast majority of cases. Continuum linear polarization from dust grains aligned to a magnetic field can reveal information about the magnetic field's direction, but not its strength. On the other hand, observations of circular polarization in molecular lines produced by Zeeman splitting offer a direct measure of the line-of-sight magnetic field strength in disks. We present upper limits on the net toroidal and vertical magnetic field strengths in the protoplanetary disk AS 209 derived from Zeeman splitting observations of the CN 2-1 line. The 3σ upper limit on the net line-of-sight magnetic field strength in AS 209 is 5.0 mG on the redshifted side of the disk and 4.2 mG on the blueshifted side of the disk. Given the disk's inclination angle, we set a 3σ upper limit on the net toroidal magnetic field strength of 8.7 and 7.3 mG for the red and blue sides of the disk, respectively, and 6.2 and 5.2 mG on the net vertical magnetic field on the red and blue sides of the disk. If magnetic disk winds are a significant mechanism of angular momentum transport in the disk, magnetic fields of a strength close to the upper limits would be sufficient to drive accretion at the rate previously inferred for regions near the protostar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number141
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume908
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 20 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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