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2022PASP..134h4301T - Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac., 134, part no 8, 4301 (2022/August-1038)

Interstellar Extinction and Polarization of Stars in the Open Cluster NGC 6709.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present BVRI polarimetric measurements of 23 stars in the direction of the open cluster NGC 6709. Fifteen stars display wavelength-dependence of polarization which is typically due to selective extinction in the interstellar medium and could be fitted to the Serkwoski equation. Based on these stars, we obtained an average maximum degree of polarization of 0.722 ± 0.022% and an average wavelength at a maximum polarization of 0.615 ± 0.011 μm. The observed low polarization may be due to the alignment of grains along a more longitudinally-directed magnetic field in this region which would cause the aspect ratio of the grains to be reduced. This would have the observational consequence of decreased polarization as well as shifting ${\lambda }_{\max }$ toward longer wavelengths. Using the expression proposed by Whittet & van Breda we calculated the ratio of total-to-selective extinction as ${R}_{V}=(5.6\pm 0.3){\lambda }_{\max }=3.44\pm 0.06$, higher than the nominal value of 3.1 for the general ISM. The remaining eight sample stars display an unusual wavelength-dependence that is similar to some Be stars. However, there are only two Be stars currently listed in this cluster, yet, based on our data, they both present reliable fits within the Serkowski equation. The overall alignment of the V-band polarization vectors implies polarization by selective extinction due to foreground dust. Using the Planck 353 GHz channel we find there is an agreement between polarization by emission and selective extinction. Since the optical polarization traces a magnetic field, this suggests that the magnetic field in this region is inclined to the Galactic plane, with an overall average Galactic position angle of 104 ± 12 (st. dev.) degrees.

Abstract Copyright: © 2022. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

Journal keyword(s): Starlight polarization - Fundamental parameters of stars - Stellar associations - Interstellar extinction

Simbad objects: 26

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