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The Spiral Magnetic Field of NGC 1068 as Seen by HAWC+
Wednesday, November 06, 2019 - 9:00am PST
SOFIA Science Center
The evolution of galaxies is controlled by a delicate interplay between gravity, turbulence, feedback, and magnetic fields. Although most current empirical and theoretical approaches to understanding this interplay are mainly focused on gravitational forces, magnetic fields indeed play a fundamental role in the interstellar medium (ISM), galactic dynamics, galactic winds, and intergalactic medium (IGM). Radio and optical polarimetric observations have studied the large-scale structure in the ionized gas, and the scattering/extinction by the ISM, however the effect of magnetic fields in dense regions of the ISM of galaxies are still poorly understood. We report the first detection of thermal polarized emission from magnetically aligned dust grains in the grand design spiral galaxy NGC 1068. We have used HAWC+ on SOFIA, which also shed light on magnetic fields in the vicinity of the galaxy’s inner-bar and active galactic nucleus. I will present the results and data analysis, which has shown that the measured polarization can be explained by a logarithmic spiral model. The results presented here show the potential of HAWC+ to provide new insights on characterizing kpc-scale magnetic fields structures in the molecular gas disks of nearby galaxies.