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The Interstellar Polarization Feature Associated with the 2175 Angstrom Extinction BumpThe most successful model at fitting the wavelength dependence of interstellar extinction consists of two populations of bare silicate and graphite grains (Mathis, Rumpl & Nordsieck, (MRN)). The graphite grains are needed to fit the strong 2175 A extinction bump, with the silicates providing most of the smooth extinction seen at other wavelengths. From observations of the IR silicate absorption features, it was inferred that the silicate grains, non-spherical and aligned to the Galactic magnetic field, were responsible for the interstellar polarization. Aligned silicate grains make a very good fit to the smooth featureless UV polarization curves that comprise most of the observed sample. The lines of sight showing a UV polarization feature require something different, perhaps a second population of grains as do the fits to the extinction curve. The polarization wavelength dependence of HD 197770 can be fit by a MRN-like mixture of aligned bare silicate and graphite grains. However, none of the popular grain models including MRN envisaged an aligned bump grain population. It has been suggested that the extinction bump is not due to graphite but rather to a population of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). If the observed UV polarization features could be associated with the 2175 A bump then it would strengthen the argument that the bump must be due to grains rather than PAHs which are not likely to be aligned to the Galactic Magnetic field. The reality of ultraviolet polarization features has been confirmed by observations with ASTRO-2. The original detection toward HD 197770 has been confirmed and a new feature has been detected toward HD 147933-4. Both features have centroids lying close to 2175 A the location of the UV extinction bump. Two possibilities are considered for the source of the polarization bump, alignment of graphite grains responsible for the extinction bump or changes in the size distribution of the aligned silicate grains responsible for the continuum polarization. It seems the graphite grains are a more likely source of the polarization.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Clayton, Geoffrey C.
(Louisiana State Univ. Baton Rouge, LA United States)
Wolff, Michael J.
(Space Science Inst. Boulder, CO United States)
Kim, S. H.
(Korea Astronomy Observatory Daejon Korea, Republic of)
Martin, P. G.
(Canadian Inst. for Theoretical Astrophysics Toronto, Ontario Canada)
Anderson, C. M.
(Wisconsin Univ. Madison, WI United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1996
Publication Information
Publication: From Stardust to Planetesimals: Contributed Papers
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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