For the first time have been discovered and mapped magnetic fields of extremely subtle in what is called in astronomy “the Pillars of Creation“, which is a structure that has become famous thanks to the Hubble space telescope. The structure consists of cosmic dust and gas dense and cold that it seems to be is what it ends up to form the stars. A novel research has shown that the magnetic fields that run over the so-called Pillars of Creation, they are at different angles with respect to the regions surrounding the same, and that revealed the reason of this unusual structure.
The discovery suggests that the pillars have evolved because of the strength of the magnetic fields and the pillars remain so thanks to the magnetic support, suggesting therefore that the stars could have been formed by the collapse of the gas masses that might have moved slowly due to these magnetic fields, and forming, consequently, this training in the form of pillars.
The discovery was made by a global team of researchers known as BISTRO and led by astronomers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), who made measurements on the telescope James Clerk Maxwell in Hawaii. using instruments on the telescope, known as a polarimeter, the researchers were able to show that the light emitted from the a-Pillars is polarized, thus indicating the direction of the magnetic field.
Professor Derek Ward-Thompson, head of the school of physical sciences and computing at UCLan, said: “The technology used to view the details of the magnetic fields is frankly remarkable, and in fact, is what has made it possible to observe a magnetic field is incredibly weak with these sensitive instruments, which allow us to solve the mystery in the formation of stars”.
More information: “First Observations of the Magnetic Field Inside the Pillars of Creation: Results from the BISTRO Survey,” Kate Pattle et al., 2018, Astrophysical Journal Letters: