The geometry used to probe the effects of the relative orientation of the magnetic field and radiation field anisotropy is illustrated. In the two panels, the dashed lines illustrate an idealized magnetic field. a) – Side view: a bright source is located close to and in front of an underlying interstellar cloud surface, such that its radiation locally dominates over the diffuse radiation field. b) – En face view: by probing the polarization of background field stars we can probe the effects of angle dependent radiative alignment torque (RAT) grain alignment (adapted, with permission of the AAS, from Andersson & Potter 2010).
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