The large-scale topology and strength of the Galactic Center magnetic field have been inferred from radio imaging of the nonthermal filaments (NTFs). These objects, which seem to be unique to the Galactic center, are defined by extreme aspect ratios and a high degree of polarization. Recent high resolution, wide-field VLA imaging of the GC at 90 cm has revealed new candidate NTFs with a wide range of orientations relative to the Galactic plane. We present follow up 6 cm polarization observations of 6 of these candidates and confirm 4 as new NTFs. Together the new 90 and 6 cm results complicate the previous picture of largely perpendicular filaments that trace a globally ordered magnetic field. NTF observations in general do not rule out any particular models for the origin of the NTFs. Hence we explore the idea that the NTFs are local, individual structures: magnetic wakes generated through the interaction of molecular clouds with a Galactic Center wind. Numerical simulations of the evolution of a magnetized wake will be discussed and compared with NTF observations.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Larosa TN, Nord ME, Lazio TJW, Shore SN, Kassim NE,. 2003. The galactic center nonthermal filaments: Recent observations and theory. Astronomische Nachrichten Supplement 324:181-7.