Volume 541, May 2012
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||26 April 2012|
Interstellar polarization and grain alignment: the role of iron and silicon⋆
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie,
2 Sobolev Astronomical Institute, St. Petersburg University, Universitetskii prosp. 28, 198504 St. Petersburg, Russia
3 Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, St. Petersburg Branch, Russia
4 IUCAA, Post Bag 4, Ganeshkhind, 411 007 Pune, India
Received: 25 July 2011
Accepted: 9 March 2012
We compiled the polarimetric data for a sample of lines of sight with known abundances of Mg, Si, and Fe. We correlated the degree of interstellar polarization P and polarization efficiency (the ratio of P to the colour excess E(B − V) or extinction AV) with dust phase abundances. We detect an anticorrelation between P and the dust phase abundance of iron in non silicate-containing grains [Fe(rest)/H]d, a correlation between P and the abundance of Si, and no correlation between P/E(B − V) or P/AV and dust phase abundances. These findings can be explained if mainly the silicate grains aligned by the radiative mechanism are responsible for the observed interstellar linear polarization.
Key words: dust, extinction / ISM: abundances / polarization
Table 1 is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2012
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