Interferometric mapping of magnetic fields: The ALMA view of the massive star-forming clump W43-MM1

Paulo C. Cortes, Josep M. Girart, Charles L.H. Hull, Tirupati K. Sridharan, Fabien Louvet, Richard Plambeck, Zhi Yun Li, Richard M. Crutcher, Shih Ping Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here, we present the first results from ALMA observations of 1 mm polarized dust emission toward the W43-MM1 high-mass star-forming clump. We have detected a highly fragmented filament with source masses ranging from 14 M to 312 M, where the largest fragment, source A, is believed to be one of the most massive in our Galaxy. We found a smooth, ordered, and detailed polarization pattern throughout the filament, which we used to derived magnetic field morphologies and strengths for 12 out of the 15 fragments detected ranging from 0.2 to 9 mG. The dynamical equilibrium of each fragment was evaluated finding that all the fragments are in a super-critical state that is consistent with previously detected infalling motions toward W43-MM1. Moreover, there are indications suggesting that the field is being dragged by gravity as the whole filament is collapsing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL15
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: kinematics and dynamics
  • ISM: magnetic fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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