Magnetic fields in star-forming filaments: NIKA2-POL as a pathfinder for SPICA-B-BOP
Herschel imaging surveys of Galactic molecular clouds have emphasized the quasi-universality of the filamentary structure of the cold ISM and the key role of filaments in the star formation process. Planck polarization data moreover suggest that the formation and evolution of star-forming filaments is at least partly controlled by magnetic fields.
I will summarize the main objectives and prospects of the B-FUN large program with NIKA2-POL, which will probe the morphology of magnetic field lines in a selected sample of nearby molecular filaments on the critical < 0.1 pc scales where fragmentation into prestellar cores occurs. I will also discuss how 1.2mm polarimetric observations with NIKA2-POL can be used to prepare for more extensive high-resolution polarimetric imaging studies of Galactic ISM structures with SPICA-POL (B-BOP), the far-IR polarimetric imager of the proposed SPICA cryogenic space telescope.