Magnetic Fields in the Formation of Sun-Like Stars

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Abstract

We report high-angular-resolution measurements of polarized dust emission toward the low-mass protostellar system NGC 1333 IRAS 4A. We show that in this system the observed magnetic field morphology is in agreement with the standard theoretical models of the formation of Sun-like stars in magnetized molecular clouds at scales of a few hundred astronomical units; gravity has overcome magnetic support, and the magnetic field traces a clear hourglass shape. The magnetic field is substantially more important than turbulence in the evolution of the system, and the initial misalignment of the magnetic and spin axes may have been important in the formation of the binary system.

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