273 research outputs found

    Optical polarization observations in the Scorpius region: NGC 6124

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    We have obtained optical multicolour (UBVRI) linear polarimetric data for 46 of the brightest stars in the area of the open cluster NGC 6124 in order to investigate the properties of the interstellar medium (ISM) that lies along the line of sight toward the cluster. Our data yield a mean polarization efficiency of PV/EB−V=3.1±P_V/E_{B-V}=3.1\pm0.62, i.e., a value lower than the polarization produced by the ISM with normal efficiency for an average color excess of EB−V=0.80E_{B-V}=0.80 as that found for NGC 6124. Besides, the polarization shows an orientation of θ∼8∘\theta \sim 8^\circ.1 which is not parallel to the Galactic Disk,an effect that we think may be caused by the Lupus Cloud. Our analysis also indicates that the observed visual extinction in NGC 6124 is caused by the presence of three different absorption sheets located between the Sun and NGC 6124. The values of the internal dispersion of the polarization (ΔPV∼1.3\Delta P_V\sim 1.3% ) and of the colour excess (ΔEB−V∼0.29\Delta E_{B-V}\sim 0.29 mag) for the members of NGC 6124 seem to be compatible with the presence of an intra-cluster dust component. Only six stars exhibit some evidence of intrinsic polarization.Our work also shows that polarimetry provides an excellent tool to distinguish between member and non-member stars of a cluster

    Polarization in young open cluster NGC 6823

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    We present multiwavelength linear polarimetric observations of 104 stars towards the region of young open cluster NGC 6823. The polarization towards NGC 6823 is dominated by foreground dust grains and we found the evidence for the presence of several layers of dust towards the line of sight. The first layer of dust is located approximately within 200 pc towards the cluster, which is much closer to the Sun than the cluster (~ 2.1 kpc). The radial distribution of the position angles for the member stars are found to show a systematic change while the polarization found to reduce towards the outer parts of the cluster and the average position angle of coronal region of the cluster is very close to the inclination of the Galactic parallel (~ 32 degree). The size distribution of the grains within NGC 6823 is similar to those in general interstellar medium. The patchy distribution of foreground dust grains are suggested to be mainly responsible for the both differential reddening and polarization towards NGC 6823. The majority of the observed stars do not show the evidence of intrinsic polarization in their light.Comment: 16 pages, 6 tables, 11 figures, Accepted for publication in MNRA

    Imaging Polarimetric Observations of a New Circumstellar Disk System

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    Few circumstellar disks have been directly observed. Here we use sensitive differential polarimetric techniques to overcome atmospheric speckle noise in order to image the circumstellar material around HD 169142. The detected envelope or disk is considerably smaller than expectations based on the measured strength of the far-IR excess from this system

    Evidence of V-band polarimetric separation of carbon stars at high Galactic latitude

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    Polarization is an important indicator of stellar evolution, especially for stars evolving from red-giant stage to planetary nebulae. However, not much is known about the polarimetric properties of the carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) stars, although they have been well studied in terms of photometric as well as low- and high-resolution spectroscopy. We report here first-ever estimates of V-band polarimetry of a group of CEMP stars. V-band polarimetry was planned as the V-band is known to show maximum polarization among BVRI polarimetry for any scattering of light caused due to dust. Based on these estimates the program stars show a distinct classification into two: one with p% 1. Stars with circumstellar material exhibit a certain amount of polarization that may be caused by scattering of starlight due to circumstellar dust distribution into non-spherically symmetric envelopes. The degree of polarization increases with asymmetries present in the geometry of the circumstellar dust distribution. Our results reflect upon these properties. While the sample size is relatively small, the polarimetric separation of the two groups (p% 1) is very distinct; this finding, therefore, opens up an avenue of exploration with regard to CEMP stars.Comment: 13 pages, 1 figure. Accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letter

    A compact and robust method for full Stokes spectropolarimetry

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    We present an approach to spectropolarimetry which requires neither moving parts nor time dependent modulation, and which offers the prospect of achieving high sensitivity. The technique applies equally well, in principle, in the optical, UV or IR. The concept, which is one of those generically known as channeled polarimetry, is to encode the polarization information at each wavelength along the spatial dimension of a 2D data array using static, robust optical components. A single two-dimensional data frame contains the full polarization information and can be configured to measure either two or all of the Stokes polarization parameters. By acquiring full polarimetric information in a single observation, we simplify polarimetry of transient sources and in situations where the instrument and target are in relative motion. The robustness and simplicity of the approach, coupled to its potential for high sensitivity, and applicability over a wide wavelength range, is likely to prove useful for applications in challenging environments such as space.Comment: 36 pages, 11 figures, 3 tables; accepted for publication in Applied Optic

    Dispersion of Observed Position Angles of Submillimeter Polarization in Molecular Clouds

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    One can estimate the characteristic magnetic field strength in GMCs by comparing submillimeter polarimetric observations of these sources with simulated polarization maps developed using a range of different values for the assumed field strength. The point of comparison is the degree of order in the distribution of polarization position angles. In a recent paper by H. Li and collaborators, such a comparison was carried out using SPARO observations of two GMCs, and employing simulations by E. Ostriker and collaborators. Here we reexamine this same question, using the same data set and the same simulations, but using an approach that differs in several respects. The most important difference is that we incorporate new, higher angular resolution observations for one of the clouds, obtained using the Hertz polarimeter. We conclude that the agreement between observations and simulations is best when the total magnetic energy (including both uniform and fluctuating field components) is at least as large as the turbulent kinetic energy.Comment: revised, accepted version; to appear in The Astrophysical Journal; 20 pages, 2 figures, 2 table

    Optical polarimetric monitoring of the type II-plateau SN 2005af

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    Aims. Core-collapse supernovae may show significant polarization that implies non-spherically symmetric explosions. We observed the type II-plateau SN 2005af using optical polarimetry in order to verify whether any asphericity is present in the supernova temporal evolution. Methods. We used the IAGPOL imaging polarimeter to obtain optical linear polarization measurements in R (five epochs) and V (one epoch) broadbands. Interstellar polarization was estimated from the field stars in the CCD frames. The optical polarimetric monitoring began around one month after the explosion and lasted ~30 days, between the plateau and the early nebular phase. Results. The weighted mean observed polarization in R band was [1.89 +/- 0.03]% at position angle (PA) 54 deg. After foreground subtraction, the level of the average intrinsic polarization for SN 2005af was ~0.5% with a slight enhancement during the plateau phase and a decline at early nebular phase. A rotation in PA on a time scale of days was also observed. The polarimetric evolution of SN 2005af in the observed epochs is consistent with an overall asphericity of ~20% and an inclination of ~30 deg. Evidence for a more complex, evolving asphericity, possibly involving clumps in the SN 2005af envelope, is found.Comment: 6 pages, 5 figures, to be published A&

    Polarimetry of an Intermediate-age Open Cluster: NGC 5617

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    We present polarimetric observations in the UBVRI bands of 72 stars located in the direction of the medium age open cluster NGC 5617. Our intention is to use polarimetry as a tool membership identification, by building on previous investigations intended mainly to determine the cluster's general characteristics rather than provide membership suitable for studies such as stellar content and metallicity, as well as study the characteristics of the dust lying between the Sun and the cluster. The obsevations were carried out using the five-channel photopolarimeter of the Torino Astronomical Observatory attached to the 2.15m telescope at the Complejo Astron\'omico El Leoncito (CASLEO; Argentina. We are able to add 32 stars to the list of members of NGC 5617, and review the situation for others listed in the literature. In particular, we find that five blue straggler stars in the region of the cluster are located behind the same dust as the member stars are and we confirm the membership of two red giants. The proposed polarimetric memberships are compared with those derived by photometric and kinematical methods, with excellent results. Among the observed stars, we identify 10 with intrinsic polarization in their light. NGC 5617 can be polarimetrically characterized with Pmax=4.40P_{max}= 4.40% and θv=73∘.1 \theta_{v}= 73^\circ.1. The spread in polarization values for the stars observed in the direction of the cluster seems to be caused by the uneven distribution of dust in front of the cluster's face. Finally, we find that in the direction of the cluster, the interstellar medium is apparently free of dust, from the Sun's position up to the Carina-Sagittarius arm, where NGC 5617 seems to be located at its farthest border
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