Magnetic fields and star formation in filamentary clouds with SOFIA
Often ignored due to the difficulty of observing them, magnetic fields are a key
dark ingredient of the star formation process from galactic scales to protoplanetary
disks. On large scales, they may help to regulate both the formation of giant
molecular clouds (GMCs) and the formation of dense molecular filaments, the birth
sites of most stars within GMCs. On smaller scales, the magnetic field and angular
momentum of protostellar systems may be largely inherited from the processes of
filament formation and fragmentation. On even smaller scales, magnetic fields
are essential to generate protostellar outflows and control disk formation.
Based on recent results obtained with HAWC+, I will discuss the prospects offered
by dust polarimetric imaging with SOFIA in the coming years, focusing on the role
of magnetic fields in the fragmentation and evolution of star-forming filaments.