The wavelength dependence of interstellar polarization in the local hot bubble

Cotton, Daniel V. and Marshall, Jonathan P. and Frisch, Priscilla C. and Kedziora-Chudzer, Lucyna and Bailey, Jeremy and Bott, Kimberly and Wright, Duncan J. and Wyatt, Mark C. and Kennedy, Grant M. (2019) The wavelength dependence of interstellar polarization in the local hot bubble. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 483 (3). pp. 3636-3646. ISSN 0035-8711

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The properties of dust in the interstellar medium (ISM) nearest the Sun are poorly understood because the low column densities of dust toward nearby stars induce little photometric reddening, rendering the grains largely undetectable. Stellar polarimetry offers one pathway to deducing the properties of this diffuse material. Here we present multi-wavelength aperture polarimetry measurements of seven bright stars chosen to probe interstellar polarization near the edge of the Local Hot Bubble (LHB)-an amorphous region of relatively low-density interstellar gas and dust extending similar to 70-150 pc from the Sun. The measurements were taken using the HIgh Precision Polarimetric Instrument (HIPPI) on the 3.9-m Anglo-Australian Telescope. HIPPI is an aperture stellar polarimeter with a demonstrated sensitivity of 4.3 parts-per-million (ppm). Of the stars observed two are polarized to a much greater degree than the others; they have a wavelength of maximum polarization (lambda(max)) of similar to 550 +/- 20 nm-similar to that of stars beyond the LHB - and we conclude that they are in the wall of the LHB. The remaining five stars have polarizations of similar to 70-160 ppm, of these four have a much bluer lambda(max), similar to 350 +/- 50 nm. Bluer values of lambda(max) may indicate grains shocked during the evolution of the Loop I Superbubble. The remaining star, HD 4150 is not well fit by a Serkowski curve, and may be intrinsically polarized.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 05:32
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2022 05:58
Uncontrolled Keywords: polarimetric, ISM bubbles, ISM magnetic fields, ISM structure, ISM supernova remnants
Fields of Research (2008): 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
Fields of Research (2020): 51 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 5101 Astronomical sciences > 510109 Stellar astronomy and planetary systems
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