Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, General Astronomy > Molecular Hydrogen Formation Makes Dust Spin

Molecular Hydrogen Formation Makes Dust Spin


In a paper published in the Oct. 1, 2013, issue of The Astrophysical Journal, an integrated team of observers and theoreticians led by USRA astronomer Dr. B-G Andersson, has used telescopes in Spain, Hawaii, Arizona, and New Mexico, to show – for the first time – that intense molecular hydrogen (H2) formation leads to an increase in the amount of polarization seen when starlight passes through dust clouds in the interstellar medium.

“While interstellar polarization has been known since 1949, the physical mechanisms behind grain alignment have been poorly understood until recently,” said Dr. Andersson. “These observations form part of a coordinated effort to – after more than 60 years – place interstellar grain alignment on a solid theoretical and observational footing.”

Link To Full Story.

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