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The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:30-16:30 Wed 20 Apr 2005

ATNF Marsfield Lecture Theatre

Prof Richard Wielebinski

(Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn)

The 'tomography' of the Galactic magnetic field - Prof Richard Wielebinski Colloquium

The morphology of the magnetic fields of the Milky Way is important information which forms the basis for our understanding of the Galactic (foreground) radio emission. In the past 40 years considerable progress has been made mainly due to the various radio methods of remote sensing of magnetic fields. Driven by theoretical considerations and using pulsar Rotation Measure data in particular, a bi-symmetrical morphology model for the Galactic magnetic field was proposed. New observations of polarized radio continuum with high angular resolution, of extra-galactic radio sources in the Galactic plane and studies of individual pulsars near HII regions have shown that we have a very complex situation, not anticipated on the basis of previous observations. Many of the published interpretations are as a consequence in need of a thorough re-examination. It is now clear that no one method can give a complete picture of the magnetic field morphology. In this contribution the old data will be discussed pointing out the limitations. New data will be presented that can give us as a possible way to perform a 'tomography' of the Galactic magnetic field

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