Detailed interstellar polarimetric properties of the Pipe Nebula at core scales.
FRANCO G.A.P., ALVES F.O. and GIRART J.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We use R-band CCD linear polarimetry collected for about 12,000 background field stars in 46 fields of view toward the Pipe nebula to investigate the properties of the polarization across this dark cloud. Based on archival Two Micron All Sky Survey data, we estimate that the surveyed areas present total visual extinctions in the range 0.6 mag ≤ AV≤ 4.6 mag. While the observed polarizations show a well-ordered large-scale pattern, with polarization vectors almost perpendicularly aligned to the cloud's long axis, at core scales one sees details that are characteristics of each core. Although many observed stars present degrees of polarization that are unusual for the common interstellar medium (ISM), our analysis suggests that the dust grains constituting the diffuse parts of the Pipe nebula seem to have the same properties as the normal Galactic ISM. Estimates of the second-order structure function of the polarization angles suggest that most of the Pipe nebula is magnetically dominated and that turbulence is sub-Alvénic. The Pipe nebula is certainly an interesting region to investigate the processes that prevailed during the initial phases of low-mass stellar formation.