Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Astronomy

First Advisor

Steven R. Spangler

Abstract

We report the results of Faraday rotation measurements of 23 background radio sources whose lines of sight pass through or close to the Rosette Nebula. We made linear polarization measurements with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) at frequencies of 4.4 GHz, 4.9 GHz, and 7.6 GHz. We find the background Galactic contribution to the rotation measure in this part of the sky to be +147 rad m-2. Sources whose lines of sight pass through the nebula have an excess rotation measure of 50-750 rad m-2, which we attribute to the plasma shell of the Rosette Nebula. We consider two simple plasma shell models and how they reproduce the magnitude and sign of the rotation measure, and its dependence on distance from the center of the nebula. These two models represent different modes of interaction of the Rosette Nebula star cluster with the surrounding interstellar medium. Both can reproduce the magnitude and spatial extent of the rotation measure enhancement, given plausible free parameters. We contend that the model based on a stellar bubble more closely reproduces the observed dependence of rotation measure on distance from the center of the nebula.

Pages

vi, 49 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 47-49).

Copyright

Copyright 2013 Allison Hainline Savage

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