interstellar magnetic field
meydân-e meqnâtisi-ye andaraxtari
Fr.: champ magnétique interstellaire
A large-scale, weak magnetic field, with an estimated strength of about 1 to 5 microgauss, that pervades the disk of the Milky Way Galaxy and controls the alignment of interstellar dust grains.
stellar magnetic field
meydân-e meqnâtisi-ye setâre-yi
Fr.: champ magnétique stellaire
The → magnetic field associated with a star. Magnetic fields are common among stars of solar and lower masses. So far definitive detections of fields in stars with masses ~1.5 Msun have, for the most part, been made for objects having anomalous chemical abundances (e.g., the → chemically peculiar A and B stars). Recently, however, observations of cyclic variability in the properties of → stellar winds from luminous → OB stars have been interpreted as evidence for the presence of large-scale magnetic fields in the surface layers and atmospheres of these objects (→ magnetic massive star). These inferences have been bolstered by the unambiguous measurement of a weak (~ 360 G) field in the chemically normal B1 IIIe star → Beta Cephei. These results suggest that magnetic fields of moderate strength might be more prevalent among → hot stars than had previously been thought. At the present time, the origin of magnetism in massive stars is not well understood. If the magnetic field of a hot star is produced by → dynamo effect in the → convective core, then a mechanism for transporting the field to the stellar surface must be identified. The finite electrical conductivity of the envelope leads to the outward diffusion of any fields contained therein, but only over an extended period of time. Estimates indicate that for stars more massive than a few solar masses, the resistive diffusion time across the radiative interior exceeds the → main sequence lifetime. Another possibility is that dynamo fields are advected from the core to the surface by rotation-induced → meridional circulation (MacGregor & Cassinelli, 2002, astro-ph/0212224).