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 language||English (US)|
|Journal||Proceedings of Science|
|State||Published - 2014|
|Event||Advancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array, AASKA 2014 - Giardini Naxos, Italy|
Duration: Jun 9 2014 → Jun 13 2014
ASJC Scopus subject areas