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Published November 1, 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

Polarimetry of DG TAU at 350 μm


We present the first 350 μm polarization measurement for the disk of the T Tauri star (TTS) DG Tau. The data were obtained using the SHARP polarimeter at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. We measured normalized Stokes parameters q= –0.0086 ± 0.0060 and u = –0.0012 ± 0.0061, which gives a 2σ upper limit for the percent polarization of 1.7%. We obtain information about the polarization spectrum by comparing our 350 μm measurement with an 850 μm polarization detection previously published for this source. Comparing the two measurements in Stokes space (not in percent polarization) shows that the two data points are not consistent, i.e., either the degree of polarization or the angle of polarization (or both) must change significantly as one moves from 850 μm to 350 μm. This conclusion concerning the polarization spectrum disagrees with the predictions of a recent model for TTS disk polarization. We show that this discrepancy can be explained by optical depth effects. Specifically, we demonstrate that if one were to add more mass to the model disk, one would expect to obtain a model polarization spectrum in which the polarization degree falls sharply with increasing frequency, consistent with the observations at the two wavelengths. We suggest that multiwavelength polarimetry of TTS disk emission may provide a promising method for probing the opacity of TTS disks.

Additional Information

© 2009 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2009 April 27; accepted 2009 September 21; published 2009 October 14. We thank A. Lazarian, and B. Whitney for their comments and suggestions. For help with the development and commissioning of SHARP, we are grateful to M. Houde, M. Attard, R. Hildebrand, L. Kirby, C. D. Dowell, and L. Leeuw. This work was supported by the NSF via grants AST 02-41356 and AST 05-05230 to Northwestern University. Additional support came in the form of a NASA GSRP Award to M.K. The CSO is supported by NSF grant AST 05-40882. Facilities: CSO (SHARP).

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