A Lack of Resolved Near-Infrared Polarization Across the Face of M51

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Pavel, Michael D.
Clemens, Dan P.

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The galaxy M51 was observed using the Mimir instrument on the Perkins Telescope to constrain the resolved H-band (1.6 mu m) polarization across the galaxy. These observations place an upper limit of P-H < 0.05% on the H-band polarization across the face of M51, at 0.6 arcsec pixel sampling. Even with smoothing to coarser angular resolutions, to reduce polarization uncertainty, the H-band polarization remains undetected. The polarization upper limit at H band, when combined with previous resolved optical polarimetry, rules out a Serkowski-like polarization dependence on wavelength. Other polarization mechanisms cannot account for the observed polarization ratio (P-H/P-VRI less than or similar to 0.05) across the face of M51.



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Pavel, Michael D., and Dan P. Clemens. "A Lack of Resolved Near-infrared Polarization across the Face of M51." The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 761, No. 2 (Dec., 2012): L28.