Sunday, October 22, 2017

Mid-Infrared Polarization of Herbig Ae/Be Discs

Mid-Infrared Polarization of Herbig Ae/Be Discs


Li et al 
We measured mid-infrared polarization of protoplanetary discs to gain new insight into their magnetic fields. Using CanariCam at the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias, we detected linear polarization at 8.7, 10.3, and 12.5 ${\mu} {\rm m}$ from discs around eight Herbig Ae/Be stars and one T-Tauri star. We analyzed polarimetric properties of each object to find out the most likely interpretation of the data. While the observed mid-infrared polarization from most objects is consistent with polarized emission and/or absorption arising from aligned dust particles, we cannot rule out polarization due to dust scattering for a few objects in our sample. For those objects for which polarization can be explained by polarized emission and/or absorption, we examined how the derived magnetic field structure correlates with the disc position angle and inclination. We found no preference for a certain type of magnetic field. Instead, various configurations (toroidal, poloidal, or complex) are inferred from the observations. The detection rate (64 per cent) of polarized mid-infrared emission and/or absorption supports the expectation that magnetic fields and suitable conditions for grain alignment are common in protoplanetary discs around Herbig Ae/Be stars.

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