Astrophysical magnetic fields

Magnetic fields are produced by electrical currents that are generated by various astrophysical objects. The study of magnetic fields seeks to understand their origin, as well as the acceleration of charged particles in such fields, and includes numerical simulations and observational studies of magnetism in astrophysical environments.

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Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    The velocity gradient technique is used to measure the magnetic field orientations and magnetization of five low-mass star-forming molecular clouds, also finding that collapsing regions constitute a small fraction of the volume in these clouds.

    • Yue Hu
    • , Ka Ho Yuen
    • , Victor Lazarian
    • , Ka Wai Ho
    • , Robert A. Benjamin
    • , Alex S. Hill
    • , Felix J. Lockman
    • , Paul F. Goldsmith
    •  & Alex Lazarian
  • Reviews |

    This article reviews radio emission mechanisms in radio-quiet active galactic nuclei (AGNs), from star formation and AGN winds, to free-free emission from photoionized gas and AGN disk coronal activity. These mechanisms can be probed by sensitive radio observatories.

    • Francesca Panessa
    • , Ranieri Diego Baldi
    • , Ari Laor
    • , Paolo Padovani
    • , Ehud Behar
    •  & Ian McHardy
    Nature Astronomy 3, 387-396
  • Research |

    Jupiter’s magnetic field can affect the circulation of the internal ocean of Europa and possibly of other Jovian moons by generating a Lorentz force in the ocean’s salty water. Such a force creates an equatorial jet that affects the ocean’s dynamics and acts as a torque on Europa’s ice shell, possibly affecting its surface features.

    • Christophe Gissinger
    •  & Ludovic Petitdemange
    Nature Astronomy 3, 401-407
  • Research |

    A state-of-the-art magnetohydrodynamic simulation of a solar flare from emergence to eruption is able to reproduce observations at visible, UV and X-ray wavelengths, and suggests that non-thermal particles at high energy may play a less prominent role than usually assumed in flare models.

    • M. C. M. Cheung
    • , M. Rempel
    • , G. Chintzoglou
    • , F. Chen
    • , P. Testa
    • , J. Martínez-Sykora
    • , A. Sainz Dalda
    • , M. L. DeRosa
    • , A. Malanushenko
    • , V. Hansteen
    • , B. De Pontieu
    • , M. Carlsson
    • , B. Gudiksen
    •  & S. W. McIntosh
    Nature Astronomy 3, 160-166
  • Research | | open

    The presence of magnetic fields in protostellar jets has been predicted theoretically, but its experimental confirmation has been elusive so far. Here, the authors report the detection of SiO line polarisation in the HH 211 protostellar jet, indicative of the onset of magnetic fields.

    • Chin-Fei Lee
    • , Hsiang-Chih Hwang
    • , Tao-Chung Ching
    • , Naomi Hirano
    • , Shih-Ping Lai
    • , Ramprasad Rao
    •  & Paul. T. P Ho

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    The interstellar medium in our Galaxy is threaded by magnetic fields. A new method of inferring magnetic field directions from spectroscopic measurements of this turbulent medium provides insight into the role of these magnetic fields in molecular cloud formation and evolution.

    • Kate Pattle
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Until now, radio astronomers had to choose between sensitivity or field of view. The new Apertif system provides both, enabling studies of low-mass galaxies, galaxy interactions and fast radio bursts, write Betsey Adams and Joeri van Leeuwen.

    • Elizabeth A. K. Adams
    •  & Joeri van Leeuwen