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'Draining Magnetic Whirlpools Onto Stars', research featured in AAS Nova

05 Aug 2021

Magnetic field in the massive star-forming region IRAS 18089-1732 revealed by ALMA

A new study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters reveals how magnetic fields and gravity affect high-mass star formation process. The article has been featured in AAS Nova, which includes research highlights from the journals of the American Astronomical Society.

Josep Miquel Girart, researcher at the Institute of Space Sciences (ICE-CSIC) is the second author of the study led by Patricio Sanhueza of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).

The team used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA telescope) and observed a source called IRAS 18089-1732, a high-mass star-forming region 7600 light-years away, finding a well-organized magnetic field that resembles a spiral "whirlpool".

This discovery concludes that high-mass stars can be born in either strongly or weakly magnetized environments and shows the diversity of their formation process.

More information


Find more information in ALMA's website here.


Find the paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters here.

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