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Optical Polarization as a Probe of the Local Interstellar MediumThe use of interstellar polarization as a tool for measuring interstellar dust is discussed. Problems resulting from dust and magnetic field configurations becoming mixed up are discussed, as is the availability of sufficiently bright stars to obtain the photons needed for precision measurements. It is proposed that: (1) on the scale of several hundred parsec, there is a preferential magnetic field direction, as evidenced by observations at the Galactic poles and selected longitudes in the Galactic plane; (2) the local (r 50 pc) region is devoid of dust, as evidenced by the mean square degree of polarization as a function of distance; and, less certainly, that (3) at a distance of less than 5 pc, there is a patch of dust which may be of interest in connection with cloud models.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Tinbergen, J. (Leiden Univ.)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1984
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center Local Interstellar Medium, No. 81
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19850007230Analytic PrimaryLocal Interstellar Medium. International Astronomical Union Colloquium No. 81
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