Preliminary Maps from the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry (BLAST-Pol) 2010 Science Campaign
Polarimetry is an important tool for studying the role played by magnetic fields in the star formation process. However, there are very few submm/mm polarimetry observations of large scale fields within molecular clouds. BLAST-Pol, the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry, maps polarized dust emission at 250, 350 and 500 microns; it uniquely combines sensitivity to large scale magnetic fields and the arcminute resolution necessary to trace fields into cores and dense filaments. I will present preliminary maps from the first BLAST-Pol science flight, completed in January 2011. In particular, I will focus on maps of the Lupus I cloud (d~200 pc) and the Vela C Molecular Cloud (d~700 pc). This dataset will be used to study the relationship between large and small scale magnetic fields in molecular clouds, the degree of order in the field and the relationship between the field structure and the morphology of filaments and cores within the clouds.