Our speaker will be Dr. Dylan Pare of Villanova University:
The Extreme Center of the Milky Way: Uncovering the Nature of Magnetic Fields in the Galactic Center
The center of the Milky Way, known as the Galactic Center (GC), is an extreme region characterized by high densities, temperatures, and magnetic field strengths. Though the GC is obscured by intervening dust at optical wavelengths, it is possible to study the region using radio, infrared, and X-ray wavelengths. Through such studies of this region, we have unveiled a population of thread-like structures that seem to be unique to the GC. These thread-like structures have come to be known as the non-thermal filaments (NTFs) because their emission is caused by non-thermal, relativistic electrons. This form of emission is produced in the presence of ordered magnetic fields, allowing us to use the emission from the NTFs to study the properties of the magnetic field in the GC. Improving our understanding of cosmic magnetic fields is important because, though they are theorized to play an important role in processes like star and galaxy formation, it remains unclear observationally the extent of their impact. In this talk, I present our current understanding of the NTFs and what we know about the magnetic field in the GC. I also discuss my own work in studying the NTF magnetic field and the magnetic fields as traced by molecular, star-forming regions within the GC.